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Inositol is a B vitamin (B8) that is produced naturally in the body. The body actually uses inositol as a nutrient. Inositol occurs naturally in the body, which means that it is not an essential vitamin.
Inositol naturally occurs in the body but it can also be found in plants and animals. Finding a natural source for inositol is easy because of this. However, in the rare instance that your body doesn’t produce enough inositol, inositol supplements are easily manufactured in a lab as well.
There are nine types of inositol, each one performing its own function in the human body. Myoinositol is considered by most to be the most important inositol in the human body. It is a necessary tool for the way that the nerves, brain and muscles work in the human body. In addition, it is responsible for cell signaling in the body.
Inositol supplements are sold traditionally in pill form. They are marketed as a product to produce healthy cell growth. In addition, it is sold as a way to manage panic disorder and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). In addition, some supplement companies market inositol supplements for depression, ADD, hair growth, as a fat metabolizer, to manage high cholesterol, and for insomnia.
You will find that the cost of inositol is very reasonably priced, although it can cost as much as a hundred dollars for certain products. You will find that the cost starts at about $2 and increases from there.
There have been some limited human studies on inositol. As with many easily obtained supplements, it is difficult if not impossible to get pharmaceutical companies to commit to studying vitamins already on the market. However, there were many studies done on inositol when it was first discovered.
Studies have shown that inositol does have some benefit for controlling panic attacks due to agoraphobia. Some doctors will prescribe inositol for patients that suffer from this problem.
In addition, studies show that OCD sufferers have improvement when using inositol products. It is important to note that there have been no studies longer than 6 weeks when used for this condition so you should consult with your doctor if you have OCD.
In some women with Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) inositol has been shown to reduce triglyceride levels. This has led some doctors to attempt to use isomer D-chiro-inositol in patients with high blood pressure although there have been no studies conducted for this purpose.
Doctors also use inositol by IV in infants that have acute respiratory distress.
These are the only medical conditions that have been proven by trial to have at least some improvement or sustainability when inositol is used. All other conditions have no clinical backing. In fact, in depression symptoms worsened after long term use of inositol.
One of the more common ways that these supplements are sold is for hair growth. Unfortunately, in trials no hair growth occurred on those taking inositol.
Here are some of the purported uses of inositol that are not proven in study:
Some supplement companies create small non-FDA compliant studies to show the benefit of using inositol. While these studies don’t meet the burden of FDA use, this is at least a starting point for many people who need some sort of proof that this type of product will work.
Because there are no long term human studies of inositol currently available, it is difficult to determine if there are long term toxicity issues when using inositol. However, there are some common side effects that you might encounter when using inositol. These side effects include:
In most cases the side effects of inositol are mild and easily tolerated. However, if they don’t go away after a week or so of usage, then you should discontinue use of the inositol product that you are taking.
There are no known interactions with inositol and other medications. However, it is important to always speak to your physician if you are taking any medications. In addition, if you are bi-polar, then you should not take inositol because it is known to make the symptoms of bi-polar disorder worsen.
Beware of any websites that promote inositol as a side effect free product. It is rare for any supplement to be without side effects and, with no long term studies, it is possible for other side effects to manifest.
If you have any medical conditions, including pregnancy, speak to your doctor before taking inositol or any other supplements to confirm the safety of use during this time. Use the supplement finder to compare inositol and other options now!