Inositol is necessary for the formation of lecithin and functions closely with a B complex vitamin, Choline. Since it is not essential in the human diet, it cannot be considered a vitamin. Inositol is a fundamental ingredient of cell membranes and is necessary for proper function of nerves, brain, and muscles in the body. Inositol works in conjunction with folacin, Vitamins B-6 and B-12, Choline, betaine, and methionine to prevent the accumulation of fats in the liver. It exists as the fiber component phytic acid, which has been investigated for its anti-cancer properties.
Inositol has also had some success therapeutically in improving the nerve function in diabetic patients with pain and numbness due to nerve degeneration. Generally, diabetic people should take extra inositol. People with multiple sclerosis may also receive some benefit with inositol supplementation, as there seems to be a higher percentage of inositol deficiency in nerve cell membranes in those patients.Uses of Inositol
Inositol is primarily used in the treatment of liver problems, depression, panic disorder, and diabetes. It also aids in the breakdown of fats, helps in the reduction of blood cholesterol, and helps to prevent thinning hair. A diet low in Inositol may result in deficiency symptoms that culminate in high blood cholesterol, constipation, eczema, and hair loss. Neurotransmitters such as serotonin in the brain depend on Inositol to function properly. Low levels of this nutrient may result in depression and some research has shown that increased levels of Inositol appear to be a promising treatment for depression.Inositol helps promote healthy hair and skin
Inositol helps promote healthy hair and skin. It has been used to treat eczema, and it may help the hair, especially if there is an inositol deficiency. For sleep, 500 mg. of inositol before bed has a mild anti anxiety effect (placebo?) as well as possibly helping to utilize fat and cholesterol during sleep.Sources
Inositol is not known to be an essential nutrient. However, nuts, seeds, beans, whole grains, cantaloupe, and citrus fruits supply a substance called phytic acid (inositol hex phosphate, or IP6), which releases inositol when acted on by bacteria in the digestive tract. The typical American diet provides an estimated 1,000 mg daily.
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