Inositol Prevents Anxiety & Depression

Inositol also called IP6 and sometimes referred to as vitamin B8 is a naturally occurring glucose isomer fatty lipid which is present in human cells with largest concentrations in the heart, eyes and brain. It is a simple water-soluble carbohydrate that belongs to a class of compounds called polyols. Your body requires inositol for the formation of healthy cells, especially the cells specialized in your brain, bone marrow, eyes and intestines.

Instol is found in many foods such as beans, brewer's yeast, cantaloupe, citrus fruits, legumes, nuts, seeds and whole grains. Typical a person consumes about 1g of inositol from dietary sources per day. These foods contain a nutrient called phytic acid that converts to inositol. When extracted from cells, inositol is a sweet, colorless, water-soluble crystal. Myo-inositol is the most common form of inositol.

Inositol helps your liver break down certain fats and aids the body in the healthy metabolism of certain minerals including calcium. It is vital for the maintenance of cell membranes and acts as a messenger to relay external signals to the nucleus inside every cell. Inositol aids the neurons in your central nervous system contributing to the overall function of nerves and muscles. Its role as a second messenger triggering the release of calcium in cells has been identified by researchers as a possible means for the treatment of many conditions.

Deficiency of Inositol
Like the B vitamins inositol is water soluble, and as a result it is not stored very well in the body and needs to be continually replaced from the diet. If your intake of inositol is not sufficient, you may experience symptoms such as irritability, mood swings, abnormalities of the eyes, eczema, hair thinning or hair loss, constipation and raised cholesterol. Long term usage of antibiotics may increase your need for inositol, as well as heavy coffee consumption as coffee significantly reduces inositol's absorption.

Various studies have shown its efficacy in treating a number of psychological disorders that seem to have a chemical basis, including bulimia, OCD, anxiety and depression.

- According to a study published in the Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology in 2001, inositol aids in the treatment of panic disorder as it has a calming effect on the brain.
- In a 1995 double-blind study by the Ministry of Mental Health at Ben Gurion University, published in the "Journal of Clinical Psychology," inositol has shown to be an effective treatment for anxiety disorders, including generalized anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder and panic disorder.
- In a study by the Ministry of Mental Health Center at Ben Gurion University, the high dosage efficacy of inositol was similar to fluvoxamine, a prescription antidepressant, in patients with anxiety disorders. During the first month, inositol reduced panic attacks by four, compared with fluvoxamine, which reduced panic attacks by 2.4.
- Similarly, many other studies have found significant benefits of Inositol to treat anxiety and panic disorders. Up to 4 grams three times per day has been reported to control such attacks in a double-blind trial.

- According to experts, some patients have deficiencies of inositol in the brain to the point where their serotonin system cannot respond. People with depression, including suicide victims, have been found to have low levels of inositol in their bodies. Research has shown that those with low levels of inositol in their body have a higher chance of suffering with mental illnesses.
- In double-blind trials, depressed people who received 12 grams of inositol per day for four weeks had a significant improvement in depressive symptoms compared to those who took placebo.
- In addition, there is evidence to suggest that inositol may be useful in treating other mood disorders, neuro-psychological and sleep disorders.

Other than being effective in Mental Illnesses, Inositol is also associated to many other cures.

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)
Taking a particular form of inositol (isomer D-chiro-inositol) by mouth seems to lower triglyceride, modestly decrease blood pressure, and promote ovulation in obese women with polycystic ovary syndrome.

Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome
Instol is commonly administered intravenously for this breathing problem in premature infants. A study published in the late 90′s has shown that inositol benefits new born babies with respiratory distress by significantly reducing death and disability.

- Inositol enhances the sensitivity of insulin in human body and can reduce the resulting factors for diabetes, including hyperinsulinemia and insulin resistance.
- Inositol also helps against a type of nerve damage known as diabetic neuropathy because of its role in maintaining normal nerve function.
- According to a study published in the journal Diabetes Care, from the women who took myo-inositol, only six percent developed gestational diabetes, compared to 15 percent of the women who only took folic acid.

- Inositol seems to stop the blood supply that forms to support cancer cells and starts a chain reaction process that eventually leads to the death of cancer cells in petri dish studies.
- In Biochemical Pharmacology, December, 2008, researchers report myo-inositol potentiating appropriate cell death.
- According to the American Cancer Society, animal and test tube studies have shown that IP6 may be active against breast, prostate, colon, lung and skin cancer. However more studies are required to conclude its effectiveness in cancer.

Many users also claim it to have a positive effect in controlling conditions such as liver problems, hair loss, high cholesterol, insomnia, some skin conditions and obesity.

Inositol is a generally safe supplement. Large doses of over 12g/day has been reported to cause mild gastrointestinal side effects such as mild nausea, diarrhoea, and flatulence. Many studies have used anywhere up to 18g/day and none have reported significant adverse effects.

Always consult your health care provider before starting a supplement therapy.