Inositol

Background

Inositol, at times referred to as vitamin B8, is a small molecule structurally similar to glucose that is involved in cellular signalling. Inositol is also most popularly known as Myo-inositol. This natural nootropic compound is found in a number of foods such as grains, nuts, beans, and fruits but it is also produced by the human body and was originally discovered as a component of human spinal fluid. Inositol is a psuedovitamin that is used as a brain supplement for enhancing the mood and energy levels. It works particularly well in women to relieve anxiety, binge eating, PMS and more. It appears to be quite effective in the case of insulin resistance and PCOS with standard doses.[1]

Benefits

Inositol supplements, produced from glucose with a sugar-like taste, are taken for a number of brain benefits as well as improved physical performance. This pseudo‐vitamin (vitamin B8) helps in the process of neurogenesis, or the creation of neurons within the brain. And in this respect, it is thought that Inositol may be able to contribute to long-term brain health and hinder cognitive decline with age. Many users think that this nootropic makes their brain feel like it is working at a faster firing rate with better intellectual processing and computations.
As Inositol is a part of so many brain chemical systems, it can help a wide array of mental health conditions. The following are also the benefits of Inositol that can improve your mental health and well-being.

  • Improves brain function [5]
  • Reduces anxiety and depression and enhance mood [6]
  • Improves memory [7]
  • Reduce fatigue [8]
  • Promote sleep [9]
  • Helps people who are fighting cancer [10]
  • Helps with diabetic nerve pain [11]
  • Helps with schizophrenia [12]
  • Less accumulation of fat in the heart, arteries and brain [13]
  • Improve weight loss [14]
  • Helps with ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) [15]

Inositol is considered as a woman’s best friend. It works better in women than in men for depression and bulimia. It also diminishes the mood swings, depression and anxiety of premenstrual syndrome (PMS) and the more severe premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD).
The Natural Medicines database has rated Inositol as Possibly Effective for improving lithium-induced side effects, OCD, panic disorder, polycystic ovary syndrome, and respiratory distress syndrome. It is believed that there are a number of brain benefits from taking Inositol supplements, including improved mood, more focus, and better thought processing.[2][3]

How it works

Insositol is transferred through the blood-brain barrier by simple diffusion and a stereospecific, saturable transport system.[4]
This supplement works with neurotransmitters in message circulation. In fact, Inositol is found in high concentrations in the brain where it facilitates communication between the billions of brain cells. Almost all major neurotransmitters — dopamine, norepinephrine, serotonin, acetylcholine, and GABA — rely on Inositol to relay messages. The importance of Inositol can be understood from this example: when there is no signal, you can’t talk to others on your smartphone. Similarly, neurotransmitters can’t do their jobs when there’s no inositol. And neurotransmitters play a major role in most aspects of your life — mood, productivity, ability to handle stress, ability to learn and remember, sleep, cravings, addictions, and more.

Considerations

Inositol is considered a very safe supplement to ingest, and a few side-effects associated with Inositol are merely mild gastrointestinal distress from high doses. However, there may be some other side effects that include headache, nausea, diarrhea, fatigue, nervousness, and some additional GI issues.
If you experience any of these Inositol side effects, the best course of action is to reduce the dosage. If the side effects do not improve, then consider taking a few days off and start up again later (albeit at a reduced dosage level). You are recommended to speak with your doctor to determine if this supplement is right for your needs.

Recommendations

Usually there are different recommended dosages for taking Inositol. Most users take anywhere between 500 mg and several grams a day. This can be split into several different administrations throughout the day. The high doses (usually in the 12-18g range) for any neurological effects can be taken while lower doses (2-4g) are sufficient for fertility and insulin sensitizing effects. Still, you are recommended to speak with your doctor to help determine the best dosage for your personal needs.
You may also stack Inositol with one of the higher quality choline sources such as CDP Choline (Citicoline) or Alpha GPC for the best results.

Sources