What is Inositol?
Inositol falls in the category of natural remedies that are not particularly popular but extremely useful. This compound is a medicinal powerhouse and has been used for years to treat some of the most disturbing illnesses.
Before using any supplement, it’s always vital that you gather as much information as possible about it. In this review, we will provide you with all the details you need to understand how the supplement works and its benefits.
The product is a chemical compound that resembles a vitamin. This compound is naturally made by our bodies and can also be manufactured synthetically in a laboratory. The problem, however, is that our bodies don’t make enough of it for us to enjoy its vast benefits for a long time. Synthetically engineered Inositol, on the other hand, is not very safe which discourages most people from using it. This leaves us with only one option, which is plants. Plants make pure and extremely safe Inositol that can be used for medical purposes without worrying about any negative reactions.
Naturally, it exists in nine different forms which are also referred to as isomers. Of all these, Myo-inositol is the most common form which is also widely used in medical supplements.
How does Inositol Work?
The product is sold in different forms from oral supplements to energy drinks. Scientists explain that consuming this compound through supplements or whole foods is the safest and most recommendable way. When included in energy drinks, Inositol is normally packed with lots of other compounds full of sugars. This may benefit some users but in most cases, you are unlikely to enjoy any of its benefits. Additionally, a combination of Inositol with other compounds to make the energy drinks can easily result in adverse reactions.
Once consumed, the product works in various ways. It can help with the generation of cell membranes and research also shows us that it can interact with your central nervous system to function as a secondary messenger. Most of the benefits associated with inositol are attributed to the compounds ability to balance different chemicals in the body. This helps to restore and improve mental and other body functions.
- Treats PCOS
Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome is a very common disease in women. According to recent studies, approximately 21% of women suffer from this condition and around 72% of them end up having infertility problems.
The product is one of the best natural treatments for this ailment and this has been proven by almost every clinical trial done on the compound. One of such studies was done in 2016 and the outcomes didn’t just prove that the product can treat PCOS but they also showed that the fertility in these women had improved significantly. In this study, the researchers used the two most common forms of inositol i.e. Myo-inositol and D-Chiro-Inositol. The outcomes showed that using either of the two forms will yield similar results with zero negative reactions. They can also be combined together in a 40:1 ratio of myo-inositol to D-chiro-inositol in which you will have dealt with both PCOS and the metabolic aberrations of the condition i.e. restoring regular ovulation, blood pressure triglyceride, and cholesterol levels.
One of the common symptoms of PCOS is hyperandrogenism; a condition characterized by excess male hormones resulting in skin issues, acne, hair loss, increased sex drive and an increase in both body and facial hair. D-chiro-inositol helps in treating this symptom by increasing insulin activity in PCOS patients. It will also assist in enhancing ovulation.
- Improves Insulin Sensitivity among Diabetics
Inositol’s ability to reduce insulin resistance among PCOS patients has led scientists into believing that it can do the same in diabetics. This has led to multiple clinical trials and all of them seem to confirm this theory.
According to one study, insulin resistance individuals tend to excrete excess inositol that is never restored leading to a deficiency of the crucial compound. This was reported in patients with insulin resistance caused by PCOS, diabetes, and preeclampsia. This study went on to investigate how the product can reverse diabetes. The report suggested that D-Chiro-Inositol, in particular, can be very useful in restoring insulin sensitivity to reverse the symptoms and effects of diabetes.
- Treats Mental Illnesses
Mental diseases are a serious problem in the society that remains unresolved. Majority of these diseases are usually treated with medication that is barely 20% effective. Other than not being fully used, almost all of the psych drugs issued usually come with dozens of side effects.
Natural herbs offer some of the best solutions to most mental diseases out there. Inositol, for instance, has been seen to be effective in dealing with depression, anxiety, panic disorders, premenstrual dysphoric disorder and obsessive-compulsive disorder. All this is due to the extract’s potency in interacting with the neurotransmitters and the entire central nervous system.
In one study, depression patients were placed under a daily inositol dosage of 6000mg. At the end of the study, the researchers recorded a major improvement from depression in 90% of the patients treated. Another study reported an improvement of up to 15 points compared to the placebo group.
One trial tried to look at the effects of the product in patients with manic depression or bipolar disorder. In this trial, the patients placed under inositol experienced less manic episodes compared to the placebo group. This showed the compound’s potency in reducing manic episodes but it wasn’t able to eliminate all the symptoms of bipolar disorder.
Another interesting study was done to compare the effectiveness of inositol in treating depression to the other two common pharmaceutical drugs i.e. fluoxetine and fluvoxamine. This research provided incredible results. When they compared the two options in treating panic disorders, the product was twice as effective as fluvoxamine! And the best part is that it didn’t leave the patients nursing any adverse reactions.
In treating obsessive-compulsive disorder and depression, the product and the other pharmaceutical drugs performed relatively the same way.
- Helps in Cancer Treatment
The supplement on its own, cannot treat cancer. Watch out for anyone trying to sell you an inositol supplement with a claim that it will get rid of your cancer woes. What this extract can do is aid other cancer treatment drugs to reduce the effects of cancer and improve the effectiveness of regular chemotherapy treatment. According to a pilot study report published in The Journal of Nutrition, using myo-inositol alongside another form known as inositol hexaphosphate and phytic acid (IP6) helped in the cancer killing process and improved the overall quality of life. This study went further to point out that regular use of inositol can also help in preventing cancer growth. The study, however, pointed out that more trials are needed for better understanding of how the supplement can further improve cancer treatment and prevention.
In studies involving rats, inositol helped in suppressing colon cancer. There are reports that it also offers protection against lung cancer caused by smoking.
- Fights Metabolic Syndrome
Women with metabolic syndrome can benefit hugely from using myo-inositol. A 2011 research shows that it is even more effective among women in their post-menopause stage. There’s, however, no reliable evidence showing that it can aid with weight loss.
Inositol is found in plenty of veggies and fresh fruits. You can also get inositol supplements and in this case, we usually recommend that you get the purest inositol from trusted retailers.
The dosages here, depending on the condition that you are treating. If you are treating PCOS, the recommended dosage is between 1500mg to 4000mg daily. You can also balance it in a ratio of 40:1 if you are using it with D-Chiro-Inositol. For psychiatric purposes, 12 to 18mg daily is enough.
The supplement is a relatively safe supplement. A few of the reported side effects include dizziness, tiredness, nausea, GI distress, and headaches. You shouldn’t experience any problems if you follow the prescription properly.
Individuals on specific carbohydrate diets should avoid taking the supplement. You should also consult your doctor before using inositol if you are under any other medications.
Sol Ruiz heads our Research Digest department. He graduated from the New York University where he obtained his Master’s Degree in Public Health.