Inositol supplement benefit, side effects, for depression, OCD, mood improvement, capsule, powder
March 22 2017 by Ray Sahelian, M.D.

The latest inositol supplement research, along with capsules and powder products. Consider Mind Power Rx for more alertness, focus, better mood, and mental clarity.

Inositol is a naturally occurring nutrient found in various forms, the most common being myo-inositol. It is found in phospholipids which function as cellular mediators of signal transduction, in metabolic regulation, and growth. Myo-inositol is one of nine distinct isomers of inositol, and the terms are often used interchangeably. This nutrient is essential for the growth of rodents, but not for most animals, including humans. Humans can make this nutrient in the body, which they do from glucose. Even though it is sometimes referred to as a vitamin, it is not a vitamin for humans. It is also known as hexahydroxycyclohexane, cyclohexanehexol, and mouse anti-alopecia factor.

Inositol benefit, why take it?
This pill or powder may benefit those with bipolar disorder, depression, impotence, obsessive-compulsive disorder, lung cancer, panic disorder, and
polycystic ovary syndrome. The dosages used in most studies have been several grams. Whether smaller amounts benefit these conditions is not clear. Sometimes researchers choose dosages of medicines and supplements much higher than is required since they wish to elicit a quick response.

Source Naturals buy Inositol supplement Powder, 8 ounces
Nature's Way Inositol supplement, 500 mg, 100 capsules

Inositol is a direct precursor of phospholipids which are a major component of cellular membranes. It helps to maintain proper electrical energy and nutrient transfer across the cell membrane. It also acts as a lipotropic which converts fats into other useful products. It helps establish healthy cell membranes, which facilitate nerve impulses.


Buy Inositol supplement pills or powder, or Mind Power Rx as a natural brain booster

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Q. The Mind Power Rx product which I ordered has a small amount of inositol. Is this amount really effective when we can get several hundred milligrams from a capsule?
   A. There are more that a dozen ingredients in this product and they all work together to influence brain chemistry so one has to look at the whole picture rather than one part of it.

Supplement Facts
Serving Size: 1 Capsule
  Amount Per Serving % DV
Inositol 500 mg **
**Daily Value (DV) not established.

Nature's Way Inositol is 100% natural crystalline. It contains no artificial ingredients or preservatives. Water or juice are both good options as a way to take the powder. As long as the dosages are the same, it should not make a difference if a person takes capsules, tablets or powder.

Inositol dosage, how much to take
Always start with a lower dosage of one 500 mg capsule even though studies have used higher amounts. Do not take several grams at a time unless you have first tried a lower amount to see how your body reacts to it.

Q. I am thinking of taking inositol for depression, but I read on a website to take choline with it. If I am on, say, 10g of inositol a day, would I have to take that much choline as well, or could I just take a gram a day of choline.
   A. It is not necessary to take choline with it, but if a person were, the dosage could be much less than a gram.

I would like to try taking Inositol for depression / anxiety. Everything I read said to take 12 to 18 grams per day for this but most of the supplements are sold in 500mg pills (meaning you would have to take 24 pills a day and most bottles are sold with 100 pills each. Even if you bought the powder form you would still have to use a lot of tablespoons to get to that level and you would go through your bottles of Inositol in a matter of days. How do you logically take 12 to 18 grams per day? I also read that you should take equal amounts of Choline. Are you really supposed to take 12-18 grams of Choline per day?
    When studies are done researchers use high dosages of a supplement since they have limited time and they want to show a statistical change to measure. Often a lower amount of a nutrient works well. It is best to begin with 500 mg a day and gradually increase over time and the final dosage may be significantly less than the ones used in studies. There is no reason to use such high dosages of choline, 200 to 1000 mg is often plenty for most people.

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Food and diet
Inositol is present in our diet from both plant and animal sources, providing the adult human on a mixed North American diet with approximately 1 gram per day.
The major dietary forms of myo-inositol are inositol hexaphosphate or phytic acid, which is widely found in cereals and legumes and associated with dietary fiber, and myo- inositol -containing phospholipids from animal and plant sources. It is also found in nuts and fruits.

Side effects, adverse reactions
I am not yet aware of major side effects reported in the medical literature but I would not be surprised if there are some on high doses.

Q. I have been using 9-18 grams of Inositol per day for the past 4 years to treat OCD / anxiety. I feel it has worked somewhat, however, I just had my testosterone levels checked and they are extremely low…and I’m only 42. We have ruled out all other known causes. I read that inositol is used to lower testosterone in women with PCOS. If it lowers it in women, is it conceivable it could have the same effect on men?
   A. I have not seen studies regarding the role of inositol in testosterone levels in men so I do not know at this time.

ADHD, attention deficit disorder
Oral inositol was studied in children with ADHD in a double-blind, crossover, placebo-controlled manner. Eleven children, mean age 9 years were enrolled in an eight week trial at a dose of 200 mg/kg body weight. Results showed a trend for aggravation of the syndrome with myo-inositol as compared to placebo.

Alzheimer's disease or dementia
A double-blind controlled crossover trial of 6 g of inositol daily vs. glucose for one month each was carried out in eleven Alzheimer patients, with no significant therapeutic effects.

Anxiety and tension
Double-blind, controlled, crossover trial of inositol versus fluvoxamine for the treatment of panic disorder.
J Clin Psychopharmacol. 2001.
A double-blind, controlled, random-order crossover study was undertaken to compare the effect of inositol with that of fluvoxamine in panic disorder. Twenty patients completed 1 month of inositol up to 18 grams a day and 1 month of fluvoxamine up to 150 mg a day. Improvements on Hamilton Rating Scale for Anxiety scores, agoraphobia scores, and Clinical Global Impressions Scale scores were similar for both treatments. Nausea and tiredness were more common with fluvoxamine.

I have the 500 mg capsules. it would be difficult to take 10-12 of these pills a day to relief anxiety?
    A. Sometimes researchers use a high dosage of a medication or supplement and taking a much lower amount can work just as well. However, there are many other supplements that are effective for anxiety treatment and I discuss these on the anxiety page.

Patients receiving chemotherapy, along with IP6 + Inositol did not have cytopenia, drop in leukocyte and platelet counts. Red blood cell counts and tumor markers were unaltered in both groups. However, breast cancer patients who took IP6 + Inositol had significantly better quality of life and functional status and were able to perform their daily activities.

Inositol and depression, premenstrual syndrome, mood enhancement
Controlled trials of inositol in psychiatry.
Eur Neuropsychopharmacol. 1997. Faculty of Health Sciences, Ben Gurion University of the Negev, Beersheva, Israel.
Inositol is a simple polyol precursor in a second messenger system important in the brain. Cerebrospinal fluid inositol has been reported decreased in depression. A double-blind controlled trial of 12 grams daily of inositol in 28 depressed patients for four weeks was performed. Significant overall benefit for inositol compared to placebo was found at week 4 on the Hamilton Depression Scale. No changes were noted in hematology, kidney or liver function.

Hum Psychopharmacology. 2014. A meta-analysis of inositol for depression and anxiety disorders. A systematic review and meta-analysis of double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trials (RCTs) were conducted comparing inositol for depressed or anxiety disorder patients. Seven RCTs in depression (two bipolar depression studies, one bipolar depression and major depressive disorder (MDD) study, two MDD studies, and two premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD or PMS) studies) were identified. Four RCTs in anxiety disorders (two obsessive-compulsive disorder studies, one panic disorder study, and one posttraumatic stress disorder study) were also identified. There were no statistically significant effects of inositol on depressive, anxiety, and obsessive-compulsive symptoms and discontinuation (all-cause, side effects, and worsening psychiatric symptoms). However, inositol had marginally more responders in depression than placebo, and inositol showed a trend towards superior efficacy for depressive symptoms in patients with PMDD. Inositol marginally caused gastrointestinal upset compared with placebo. Our results suggest that inositol may be beneficial for depressed patients, especially those with PMDD.

Fertility or infertility
The aim of the study was to evaluate the efficacy of a treatment with myo-inositol plus folic acid plus melatonin compared with myo-inositol plus folic acid alone on oocyte quality in women underwent in vitro fertilization (IVF) cycles. Starting on the day of GnRH administration, 65 women undergoing IVF cycles were randomized in two groups to receive myo-inositol plus folic acid plus melatonin, and myo-inositol plus folic acid, administered continuously. Primary endpoints were number of morphologically mature oocytes retrieved, embryo quality, and pregnancy rate. Secondary endpoints were the total number of oocytes retrieved (immature and mature oocytes), fertilization rate per number of retrieved oocytes and embryo cleavage rate. The mean number of oocytes retrieved did not differ between the two groups whereas the group cotreated with melatonin reported a significantly greater mean number of mature oocytes and a lower mean number of immature oocytes. Fertilization rate did not differ between the two groups. Clinical pregnancy rate and implantation rate were in tendency higher in the group cotreated with melatonin, although the differences did not reach statistical significance. Biochemical pregnancy rate and abortion rate were similar in both groups. Melatonin ameliorates the activity of myo-inositol and folic acid by improving oocyte quality and pregnancy outcome in women with low oocyte quality history. Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci. 2010. Effect of the treatment with myo-inositol plus folic acid plus melatonin in comparison with a treatment with myo-inositol plus folic acid on oocyte quality and pregnancy outcome in IVF cycles. A prospective, clinical trial. Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Messina, Messina, Italy.

Gestational diabetes in PCOS women
Gynecological Endocrinology Nov 2011. A total of 98 pregnancies in polycystic ovary syndrome women obtained in a 3-year period, either with myo-inositol or with metformin (a drug used to lower blood sugar in diabetic patients) were considered. While myo-inositol was assumed through the whole pregnancy, the group of women treated with metformin stopped the drug assumption after pregnancy diagnosis, and was considered as a control group. The primary outcome measure was GD occurrence in both groups; whereas secondary outcome measures were pregnancy outcomes: hypertensive disorders, pre-term birth, macrosomia and caesarean section occurrence. Prevalence of GD in the myo-inositol group was 17% versus 54% in the control group. There was no difference between the groups in relation to secondary outcome measures.

Heart disease
I have not come across studies evaluating its role in heart disease.

Myoinositol and folic acid combination for the treatment of erectile dysfunction in type 2 diabetes men.
Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci. 2006. Agostini R, Rossi F, Pajalich R. First Institute of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University La Sapienza, Rome, Italy.
This prospective, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study included 176 patients with type 2 diabetes. The daily 4 g dose of inositol plus 400 micrograms of folic acid or placebo was divided and given in three doses. The present study demonstrates that Myoinositol and folic acid combination deserves consideration as therapeutic agent for preventing and treating erectile dysfunction in diabetic men, probably by virtue of both their chronic metabolic, acute antioxidant properties, and nitric oxide protective beneficial effects.

Single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) in obsessive-compulsive disorder before and after treatment with inositol.
Metab Brain Dis. 2004.
Inositol, a glucose isomer and second messenger precursor, regulates numerous cellular functions and has demonstrated efficacy in obsessive-compulsive disorder OCD through mechanisms that remain unclear. Fourteen OCD subjects underwent single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) before and after 12 weeks of treatment with inositol supplements. There was 1) deactivation in OCD responders relative to nonresponders following treatment with inositol in the left superior temporal gyrus, middle frontal gyrus and precuneus, and the right paramedian post-central gyrus; 2) no significant regions of deactivation for the group as a whole posttreatment; and 3) a single cluster of higher perfusion in the left medial prefrontal region in responders compared to nonresponders at baseline. Significant reductions in OCD severity scores followed treatment. These data are only partly consistent with previous functional imaging work on OCD. They may support the idea that inositol effects a clinical response through alternate neuronal circuitry to the SSRIs and may complement animal work proposing an overlapping but distinct mechanism of action.

I just learned about inositol as a treatment for OCD, and am enthused about taking it, but my understanding is that it is necessary to take 18 g daily; in what form would I need to consume such a large amount? And does it need to be taken with food, at certain intervals of the day?
   Whenever researchers do a study, they usually use dosages that are much higher than what normally may be necessary. It's difficult to say what the effective dose would be, but it would be safer to start with 500 mg the first few days and then see how things progress and gradually increase the dosage by 500 mg each few days.

First of all, awesome web site. It has a LOT of great information that I've found very beneficial. I've been experimenting with relatively high 18g doses of inositol to combat moderate OCD symptoms, and so far I've had some success. OCD symptoms are still present, but I find I can let them go easier and move on quicker, which is much nicer. However, I've also noticed a fairly steep decline in sex drive, and I was wondering if inositol has ever been linked to this. I was also experimenting with 5-HTP and a supplement containing small amounts of melatonin, and I know both of those can have that affect, so I discontinued them, but perhaps I haven't given it enough time for that to return.
   It's a good question. We don't know if high doses of inositol influence libido or sexual health. We do know that 5HTP and melatonin reduce sex drive, and perhaps the sexual side effects were still a remnant of these nutrients.

Lung cancer prevention
The chemopreventive agent myoinositol inhibits Akt and extracellular signal-regulated kinase in bronchial lesions from heavy smokers.
Cancer Prev Res. 2009. Center for Cancer Research, National Cancer Institute, NIH, Bethesda, MD.
Myoinositol might cause regression of bronchial dysplastic lesions through inhibition of active Akt and ERK.

A phase I study of myo-inositol for lung cancer chemoprevention.
Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2006.
A clinical study was conducted to assess the safety, tolerability, maximum tolerated dose, and potential cancer preventive effect of myo-inositol in smokers with bronchial dysplasia. Smokers between 40 and 74 years of age with more than 30 pack-years of smoking history and one or more sites of bronchial dysplasia were enrolled. A dose escalation study ranging from 12 to 30 grams /d of myo-inositol for a month was first conducted to determine the maximum tolerated dose. Ten new subjects were then enrolled to take the maximum tolerated dose for 3 months. The maximum tolerated dose was found to be 18 grams per day. Side effects, when present, were mild and mainly gastrointestinal in nature. A significant increase in the rate of regression of preexisting dysplastic lesions was observed. A statistically significant reduction in systolic and diastolic blood pressures by an average of 10 mm Hg was observed after taking 18 g/d of myo-inositol for a month or more.

A person who is fighting lung cancer, would they benefit using this?
    It's difficult to say since very little research data is available on this topic.

I have been researching this subject since I saw a segment on the "Today" show on April 8 2010. I sent three emails to the Today show and called them twice. I asked my oncologist about it, but he was not familiar with this supplement. I am a non-smoking lung-cancer survivor who is considered to be "cured." However, I carry the lung-cancer gene. Is there any research to support the effectiveness of Inositol in non-smoking lung-cancer patients?
    Not that we are aware of.

Panic disorder
Double-blind, controlled, crossover trial of inositol versus fluvoxamine for the treatment of panic disorder.
 Ben Gurion University of the Negev, Beer-Sheba, Israel. J Clin Psychopharmacol. 2001.
Myo Inositol, a natural isomer of glucose and a precursor for the second-messenger phosphatidyl inositol system, has previously been found superior to placebo in the treatment of depression, panic disorder, and obsessive-compulsive disorder OCD, but a direct comparison with an established drug has never been performed. A double-blind, controlled, random-order crossover study was undertaken to compare the effect of inositol with that of fluvoxamine in panic disorder. Twenty patients completed 1 month of inositol up to 18 grams a day and 1 month of fluvoxamine up to 150 mg/day. Improvements on Hamilton Rating Scale for Anxiety scores, agoraphobia scores, and Clinical Global Impressions Scale scores were similar for both treatments. In the first month, inositol reduced the number of panic attacks per week by 4 compared with a reduction of 2.4 with fluvoxamine. Nausea and tiredness were more common with fluvoxamine.

Since many antidepressants are effective in panic disorder, twenty-one patients with panic disorder with or without agoraphobia completed a double-blind, placebo-controlled, four week, random-assignment crossover treatment trial of inositol 12 grams  per day. Frequency and severity of panic attacks and severity of agoraphobia declined significantly with inositol compared to placebo. Side-effects were minimal. Since serotonin re-uptake inhibitors benefit obsessive compulsive disorder OCD and inositol is reported to reverse desensitization of serotonin receptors, thirteen patients with OCD completed a double-blind controlled crossover trial of 18 g inositol or placebo for six weeks each. Inositol significantly reduced scores of OCD symptoms compared with placebo.

I have taken inositol to prevent panic attacks and I recommended it for my sister's 10-year old daughter because she is now experiencing panic attacks. Inositol is working but the question is, what is a safe dose for a 10 year old child?
   We don't have experience using inositol in children. It may be a good idea to start with no more than 500 mg a day and use the least amount that works under medical supervision.

Polycystic ovary syndrome
Effects of inositol on ovarian function and metabolic factors in women with PCOS: a randomized double blind placebo-controlled trial.
Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci. 2003.
The aim of this study was to use a double-blind, placebo-controlled approach with detailed assessment of ovarian activity to assess the validity of this therapeutic approach in this group of women. Of the 283 patients randomized, 2 withdrew before treatment commenced, 147 received placebo, and 136 received inositol 100 mg, twice a day. The ovulation frequency estimated by the ratio of luteal phase weeks to observation weeks was significantly higher in the treated group (23%) compared with the placebo (13%). The time in which the first ovulation occurred was significantly shorter. The number of patients failing to ovulate during the placebo-treatment period was higher in the placebo group, and in most cases ovulations were characterized by normal progesterone concentrations in both groups. The effect of inositol on follicular maturation was rapid, because the circulating concentration of E2 increased only in the inositol group during the first week of treatment. Significant weight loss (and leptin reduction) was recorded in the inositol group, whereas in the placebo group was recorded an increase of the weight. No change in fasting glucose concentrations, fasting insulin, or insulin responses to glucose challenge test was recorded after 14-wk of inositol and placebo therapy. There was an inverse relationship between body mass of the patients and the efficacy of the treatment. These data support a beneficial effect of inositol in improving ovarian function in women with oligomenorrhea and polycystic ovaries.

Gynecol Endocrinol. 2013.  Endocrine and clinical effects of myo-inositol administration in polycystic ovary syndrome. A randomized study. To evaluate the effects the administration of myo-inositol (MYO) on hormonal parameters in a group of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) patients. 50 overweight PCOS patients were enrolled after informed consent. All patients underwent hormonal evaluations and an oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) before and after 12 weeks of therapy (Group A (n¼10): MYO 2 g plus folic acid 200 mg every day; Group B (n¼10): folic acid 200 mg every day). Plasma LH, FSH, PRL, E2, 17OHP, A, T, glucose, insulin, C peptide concentrations, BMI, HOMA index and glucose-to-insulin ratio. After 12 weeks of inositol administration plasma LH, PRL, T, insulin levels and LH/FSH resulted significantly reduced. Insulin sensitivity, expressed as glucose-to-insulin ratio and HOMA index resulted significantly improved after 12 weeks of treatment. Menstrual cyclicity was restored in all amenorrheic and oligomenorrheic subjects. No changes occurred in the patients treated with folic acid. Inositol administration improves reproductive axis functioning in PCOS patients reducing the hyperinsulinemic state that affects LH secretion.

Diabetes Care. 2013. myo-Inositol supplementation and onset of gestational diabetes mellitus in pregnant women with a family history of type 2 diabetes: a prospective, randomized, placebo-controlled study. myo-Inositol supplementation in pregnant women with a family history of type 2 diabetes may reduce GDM incidence and the delivery of macrosomia fetuses.

Obstet Gynecol. 2015. Myo-inositol Supplementation for Prevention of Gestational Diabetes in Obese Pregnant Women: A Randomized Controlled Trial. n an open-label, randomized trial, myo-inositol (2 g plus 200 micrograms folic acid twice a day) or placebo (200 micrograms folic acid twice a day) was administered from the first trimester to delivery in pregnant obese women (prepregnancy body mass index 30 or greater. We calculated that 101 women in each arm would be required to demonstrate a 65% GDM reduction in the myo-inositol group with a statistical power of 80% (α=0.05). The primary outcomes were the incidence of GDM and the change in insulin resistance from enrollment until the diagnostic oral glucose tolerance test. From January 2011 to April 2014, 220 pregnant women at 12-13 weeks of gestation were randomized at two Italian university hospitals, 110 to myo-inositol and 110 to placebo. Most characteristics were similar between groups. The GDM rate was significantly reduced in the myo-inositol group compared with the control group. Furthermore, women treated with myo-inositol showed a significantly greater reduction in the homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance compared with the control group. Myo-inositol supplementation, started in the first trimester, in obese pregnant women seems to reduce the incidence in GDM through a reduction of insulin resistance.

The effect of inositol supplements on the psoriasis of patients taking lithium: a randomized, placebo-controlled trial.
Br J Dermatol. 2004. Department of Dermatology, Victoria Hospital, Kirkcaldy, Fife, UK.
Lithium carbonate is the most widely used long-term treatment for bipolar affective disorders, but its ability to trigger and exacerbate psoriasis can become a major problem in patients for whom lithium is the only treatment option. Inositol depletion underlies the action of lithium in bipolar affective disorders and there are good theoretical reasons why the use of inositol supplements might be expected to help this group of patients. Fifteen patients with psoriasis, who were taking lithium, took part in a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover clinical trial comparing the effect of inositol supplements with those of a placebo (lactose). Changes in the severity of their psoriasis were measured by Psoriasis Area and Severity Index scores recorded before and after the different courses of treatment. The effect of inositol supplements on the psoriasis of 11 patients who were not taking lithium was evaluated in the same way. The inositol supplements had a significantly beneficial effect on the psoriasis of patients taking lithium. No such effect was detected on the psoriasis of patients not on lithium. The use of inositol supplements is worth considering for patients with intractable psoriasis who need to continue to take lithium for bipolar affective disorders.

No benefit in these conditions
Inositol supplements have not been found to benefit those with ADHD, Alzheimer's disease, autism, ECT-induced cognitive impairment, PMS, or schizophrenia.

Autism - A controlled double-blind crossover trial of inositol 200 mg/kg per day showed no benefit in nine children with autism.

EDT induced cognitive decline - Cholinergic agonists have been reported to ameliorate electroconvulsive therapy (ECT)-induced memory impairment. Inositol metabolism is involved in the second messenger system for several muscarinic cholinergic receptors. Inositol 6 g daily was given in a crossover-double-blind manner for five days before the fifth or sixth ECT to a series of twelve patients, without effect.

Premenstrual syndrome - Myo inositol 12 grams daily was compared to placebo (d-glucose) administered at the same dose to patients with PMS. Each substance was given during the luteal phase only (14 days prior to menses). For each patient treatment alternated between these two drugs for six menstrual cycles. No beneficial effect was demonstrated for inositol over placebo.

Schizophrenia  - A controlled double-blind crossover trial of 12 g daily of inositol for a month in twelve anergic schizophrenic patients, did not show any beneficial effects.

Mechanism of action, how it works
Myo-Inositol is synthesized from glucose-6-phosphate
and metabolized to phosphatidylinositol, which makes up a small, but very significant, component of cell membranes.

My personal experience
I have only taken inositol twice. One day I took two 500 mg capsules and did not feel much. The next day I took 4 capsules and noticed slightly more energy, better mood and perhaps a mild improvement in vision. I think if I had continued the inositol supplement experimentation a few more days the effects would have been cumulative. For long term use, a 500 mg capsule should be sufficient unless a person is being treated for a particular medical condition. Based on my limited experience, I think it could be added to other mood improving supplements, such as 5-HTP, St. John's wort, or SAM-e, as a multi-supplement therapy for depression treatment.

Various forms
I recently read an article on scyllo-inositol. Can you tell me about it?
   See scyllo-inositol.

Inositol Hexanicotinate
One website claims Inositol hexanicotinate functions as niacin without the characteristic "flush." Another says Inositol Hexanicotinate (IHN) is a special form of slow released niacin. However I don't have personal experience with this nutrient. We found a study from 1988 on Medline that says Hexopal (Hexanicotinate inositol) is safe and effective in reducing the vasospasm of primary Raynaud's disease during the winter months.

A double blind randomised placebo controlled trial of hexopal in primary Raynaud's disease.
Clin Rheumatol. 1988. University Department of Surgery, Glasgow Royal Infirmary, Scotland.
Hexopal (Hexanicotinate inositol) has shown promise in uncontrolled studies and its use in patients with Raynaud's disease may reduce such vasospasm. This study examines the effects of 4 g/day of Inositol hexanicotinate or placebo, during cold weather, in 23 patients with primary Raynaud's disease. The Inositol hexanicotinate group felt subjectively better and had demonstrably shorter and fewer attacks of vasospasm during the trial period. Although the mechanism of action remains unclear Inositol hexanicotinate is safe and is effective in reducing the vasospasm of primary Raynaud's disease during the winter months.

Bottom Line sent me the book Mind Boosting Secrets. I just saw a fascinating TV program about Inositol (Your Health with Dr. Richard Becker). He discussed inositol and IP6 interchangeably. What is the difference between inositol products and IP6 item? Inositol interests me as I suffered terribly with trichotillomania from childhood and for a couple of decades thereafter. Additionally, I understand that inositol could be beneficial as an anti-viral agent. Several years ago, I was struck by a virus that paralyzed me (albeit temporarily) from the waist down, and was told that this condition could return, or evolve into multiple sclerosis. Since then, I have become a health fanatic, eliminated all toxins, bad food, etc. from my diet, juice tons of greens daily, feel fabulous but am always vigilant -- re OCD, viruses, carcinogens, etc. So, which form of inositol do I take? Or, are they both the same?
   Inositol and IP-6 are different. IP-6, Inositol hexaphosphate, is also known as phytic acid and has been researched in terms of cancer prevention. To the best of my understanding, when inositol hexaphosphate is ingested in the diet, the body is able to cleave the inositol from the hexaphosphate part and use the inositol as needed. I am not sure how much of a difference there is in the mental or physical effects of taking an inositol supplement versus an IP-6 supplement.

Q. I am a 35 year old man and want to start taking Inositol to help with my mood/energy levels and depression. In my research of Inositol, I've read that it significantly lowers Testosterone levels in women, decreasing it up to 55% in some situations. Is this also the case for men who take Inositol? I don't want to risk lowering my Testosterone, as it is something I've had to work on keeping elevated in recent years. I would greatly appreciate Dr Sahelian's input on the effects of Inositol on Testosterone in men.
   A. I am not aware of studies regarding testing testosterone level decrease with inositol in those without endocrine problems. It appears to lower levels in women with PCOS.

Q. I have been taking myoinoisitol and have benefited from it. I have read some studies that seem to allude to a possible connections between inositol and Alzheimers. Is there any link that you know of between taking a high dosage of myoinositol and increased risk for Alzheimer's disease?
   A. I am not aware of such a connection.

Combination with other supplements
Q. I am wondering if there have been any studies done where both 5 HTP and inositol have been used? I am trying to find out if there is any adverse interaction in taking these nutraceuticals when combined. Your website is a wealth of information, and I keep coming back to it to find answers.
   A. I have not seen studies where these two nutrients were combined.
      Q. Thank you for your reply.. I have been using 5 HTP for a few months, and I was thinking of using inositol as well.. I think that I will try the inositol without the 5 HTP as suggested and see what happens. I started the 5 HTP at 50 mg, and found that it was very helpful. I then increased to 100 mg after 3 months.. now that I have been taking 100 mg for three months I find that I am slipping back into my old ways, so I was hoping that by combining the two nutrients I good get some benefits from both. I frequently visit your web site, as I find that it has great 'no nonsense' information.

Interactions with prescription drugs and antidepressants
I take Zoloft and 18 grams of Inositol for my ocd and have been helped tremendously by them. The only problem is that I sweat so badly on them! I am at a loss as to how to stop the sweating as I have tried Sage (made me depressed due to the anti-dopaminergic properties) and other remedies to no avail! Do you recommend any supplements that are safe with anti-depressants to help curb sweating?
    I am not aware of any. Perhaps a lower dosage of the medications may be tried.

Can you please tell me if inositol is compatible with the use of mao inhibitors? Also what dose would you recommend.
    I have not seen studies regarding the combination of this nutrient with MAO inhibitors. Each person is different in the dosage that is of benefit to them.

Is there a relationship with testosterone?
   Not that I am aware of.

D- chiro- Inositol - Galactosamine
Natural carbohydrate can help lower blood sugar, Joseph Larner, M.D., Ph.D., professor emeritus and former chairman of the department of pharmacology at the University of Virginia Health System, has conducted research on a carbohydrate isolated from the liver that lowers blood sugar levels after it is injected into diabetic rats: "Our team believes this compound, called D-chiro- Inositol -Galactosamine, or INS2, acts as a messenger inside cells to switch on enzymes that regulate blood sugar, taking glucose from the bloodstream into the liver and muscles where it is stored. INS2 is naturally occurring in the body and is found in human blood. Our findings could lead to new drugs to treat Type 2 diabetes, the most common form of the disease. Diabetes is a known risk factor for nerve and kidney damage, stroke, heart disease and blindness, among other complications. Some scientists think the complications are due to modifications in certain proteins and in how genes respond to insulin. We believe this molecule works by sending a message inside the cell to respond to insulin, which helps cells dispose of excess glucose."

D Chiro Inositol
Effects of d-chiro- inositol in lean women with the polycystic ovary syndrome.
Endocr Pract. 2002.
To determine whether the administration of D chiro inositol, a putative insulin-sensitizing drug, would affect the concentration of circulating insulin, the levels of serum androgens, and the frequency of ovulation in lean women with the polycystic ovary syndrome. In 20 lean women who had the polycystic ovary syndrome, treatment was initiated with either 600 mg of D chiro inositol or placebo orally once daily for 6 to 8 weeks. We performed oral glucose tolerance tests and measured serum sex steroids before and after therapy. To monitor for ovulation, we determined serum progesterone concentrations weekly. In the 10 women given D-chiro- inositol, the mean area under the plasma insulin curve after oral administration of glucose decreased significantly in comparison with no significant change in the placebo group. Concomitantly, the serum free testosterone concentration decreased by 73%, a significant change in comparison with essentially no change in the placebo group. Six of the 10 women (60%) in the D-chiro- inositol group ovulated in comparison with 2 of the 10 women (20%) in the placebo group. Systolic and diastolic blood pressures, as well as plasma triglyceride concentrations, decreased significantly in the D-chiro- inositol group in comparison with the placebo group, in which these variables either increased (blood pressure) or decreased minimally (triglycerides). We conclude that, in lean women with the polycystic ovary syndrome, D-chiro- inositol reduces circulating insulin, decreases serum androgens, and ameliorates some of the metabolic abnormalities (increased blood pressure and hypertriglyceridemia) of syndrome X.

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Press release, 2010
Jarrow Formulas, Inc., a global wellness and nutritional product company headquartered in Los Angeles, CA, has announced that its Inositol capsules were displayed on NBC’s hit syndicated talk show “The Today Show” that aired April 8, 2010. “The Today Show” report explored lung cancer genes, Inositol, and its ground-breaking applications for lung health. The “Today’s Health” segment that featured Jarrow Formulas’ Inositol capsules was reported on by NBC’s Chief Science Correspondent Robert Bazell with a follow-up interview by NBC’s Chief Medical Editor Dr. Nancy Snyderman. The Today Show segment can be viewed at jarrow dot com. Inositol is present in all animal tissues, with the highest levels in the heart and brain. It is part of the membranes (outer coverings) of all cells, and plays a role in helping the liver process fats and contributes to the function of muscles and nerves. This nutrient is readily absorbed and is active in cell-to-cell communication (e.g., transmission of nerve impulses) and is an indirect source of glucoronic acid, which is essential to liver detoxification. Jarrow Formulas offers the following Inositol products:* Inositol capsules, 100 vegetarian capsules, 750 mg (as seen on The Today Show)* Inositol powder, 227 grams/8 ounces. The “The Today Show” is a four-hour live broadcast that provides the latest in domestic and international news, weather reports and interviews with newsmakers from the worlds of politics, business, media, entertainment, health and sports. The program is unparalleled in its ratings dominance in the morning news arena, serving as America’s overwhelming favorite for 11 consecutive years.