Saturday, March 25, 2017
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Inositol is uncontrolled in the United States.

Addictive Potential: None

Emergency Room Visits Yearly: No recorded hospital visits

Mandatory Minimum Sentence: None

Mechanism of Action: plays an important role as the structural basis for a number of secondary messengers in eukaryotic cells, including inositol phosphates, phosphatidylinositol (PI) and phosphatidylinositol phosphate (PIP) lipids.


Inositol or cyclohexane-1,2,3,4,5,6-hexol is a chemical compound with formula C6H12O6 or (-CHOH-)6, a six-fold alcohol (polyol) of cyclohexane. It exists in nine possible stereoisomers, of which the most prominent form, widely occuring in nature, is cis-1,2,3,5-trans-4,6-cyclohexanehexol, or myo-inositol. Other naturally occurring isomers (though in minimal quantities) are scyllo-, chiro-, muco-, and neo-inositol. The other possible isomers are allo-, epi-, and cis-inositol.

Myo-inositol plays an important role as the structural basis for a number of secondary messengers in eukaryotic cells, including inositol phosphates, phosphatidylinositol (PI) and phosphatidylinositol phosphate (PIP) lipids. It is found in many foods, in particular, in cereals with high bran content, nuts, beans, and fruit, especially cantaloupe melons and oranges. Inositol is not considered a vitamin itself because it can be synthesised by the body.

Myo-Inositol was classified as a member of the vitamin B complex (often referred to as vitamin B8), but was found to be synthesized by the human body. It should be noted, however, that substances such as niacin and choline can also be synthesized in the body, but are not made in amounts considered adequate for good health, and are classified as essential nutrients.

Different Forms of Inositol:

Psychiatric Conditions

Patients suffering from clinical depression generally have decreased levels of inositol in their cerebrospinal fluid. Some preliminary results of studies on high dose inositol supplements show promising results for people suffering from problems such as bulimia, panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and unipolar and bipolar depression.

Myo-inositol has been found, in a single double-blind study on 13 patients, to significantly reduce the symptoms of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) with effectiveness equal to SSRIs and virtually without side-effects. In a double-blind, controlled trial, myo-inositol was superior to fluvoxamine for decreasing the number of panic attacks and had fewer side effects. A double-blind, placebo-controlled study of depressed patients showed that a high dose of inositol (12 grams daily) resulted in significant improvement of symptoms, with no changes noted in liver, kidney, or hematological function.

Research suggests that lithium functions primarily by decreasing myo-inositol concentrations in bipolar patients.  Other studies suggest that lithium treatment may further inhibit the enzyme inositol monophosphatase leading to higher intracellular levels of inositol triphosphate, an effect which was enhanced further by administration of an inositol triphosphate reuptake inhibitor.

Other Conditions

D-chiro-inositol (DCI) has been found in two double-blind studies to be an effective treatment for many of the clinical hallmarks of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), including insulin resistance, hyperandrogenism, and oligo-amenorrhea.  The impetuses for these studies were the observed defects in DCI metabolism in PCOS and the implication of DCI in insulin signal transduction. Animal studies suggest inositol reduces the severity of the osmotic demyelination syndrome if given prior to rapid correction of chronic hyponatraemia. Further study is required prior to its application in humans for this indication. Studies from in vitro experiments, animal studies, and limited clinical experiences, claim that inositol may be used effectively against some types of cancer, in particular, when used in combination with phytic acid.


Inositol as a treatment for psychiatric disorders: a scientific evaluation of its clinical effectiveness

Bipolar disorder and myo-inositol: a review of the magnetic resonance spectroscopy findings

Lithium and bipolar mood disorder: the inositol-depletion hypothesis revisited

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