Inositol - action, occurrence, properties

Inositol - action, occurrence, properties

Inositol is one of the many vitamins that support our body. It is often referred to as the 'fertility vitamin', as it has a positive effect on the reproductive system in both women and men. Calling this compound a vitamin is not quite right, as it has been confirmed that it is produced by the body. Its presence has been detected in the brain, liver and kidneys. Inositol is part of the B vitamins and is designated as vitamin B8. It is not as well-known as the other vitamins in this group, but it is just as important because of the role it plays.

Inositol - effects

The presence of inositol increases the sensitivity of serotonin receptors, and thus influences well-being, improves mental condition, controls negative thoughts and prevents stressful states. It helps us to feel free from bothersome anxiety and depression. It helps people who suffer from insomnia because it relaxes the body and mind perfectly. This effect of vitamin B8 helps to improve thought processes. Studies also show that B vitamins can cure schizophrenia, with many patients finding better effects of these vitamins than pharmacological substances.

Studies show that supplementation of B vitamins together with medications used to treat schizophrenia in some patients has better effects than drug therapy alone.

Inositol is used by people with diabetes - it makes insulin work more strongly, so that blood glucose levels stabilise. Vitamin B8 itself has a beneficial effect on the nerve diseases that accompany diabetics. Inositol, together with choline, participates in the metabolism of cholesterol, protecting the body from arteriosclerosis. It is involved in the production, transport and action of lipids.

Vitamin B8 is of great importance in the treatment of cancer. Its potent action allows it to be used as a drug and not just as a preventative. However, inositol is still not recognised by oncologists as a drug, as it may take a long time to be patented and will not necessarily be recognised as effective, as this may disrupt the activities of other pharmaceutical companies. The salutary effects of vitamin B8 mainly concern lung cancer, so every smoker should consume this vitamin.

Inositol - occurrence

Drinking coffee and large amounts of water leaches out this valuable vitamin. Do not be concerned about overdosing as it is water soluble, so excess is removed from the body through urine and sweat. Inositol is found in:

  • beer yeast,
  • citrus fruits,
  • whole grain products,
  • peanuts,
  • legumes,
  • eggs,
  • vegetables and sprouts.

Inositol deficiencies may manifest as muscle atrophy, infertility, stunted growth, atherosclerosis, diabetes mellitus, impaired lung surfactant production or impaired urination.

Inositol how much per day?

The standard daily dose of inositol is assumed to be 500 - 2000 mg. This dose can be divided into several portions, consumed between meals. In most cases, our daily diet provides the body with about 1 gram of inositol, which is a sufficient dose and does not lead to deficiencies. If vitamin B8 is taken as a supplement to support the treatment of depression, nervous system diseases or polycystic ovary syndrome, the daily dose increases and should be determined together with the treating physician. In addition, inositol is also used as a supportive treatment for schizophrenia, bulimia, insomnia, infertility and menstrual disorders in women. For each of these conditions, the applicable patient dose is determined individually by the treating physician. Recent studies also suggest that inositol intake may prevent folic acid-resistant neural tube defects in the developing foetus. In such cases, the minimum daily dose of this vitamin is 1 g and sometimes as much as 2 - 4 g. Supplementation should begin at least three months before trying to have a baby. However, in order to start it, it is necessary to consult a doctor, who, especially if polycystic ovary syndrome is diagnosed, may recommend taking inositol in support of pharmacotherapy. A similar amount of inositol - 2 to 4 grams per day - is also recommended for people exposed to severe stressful situations. 

Inositol - properties

Vitamin B8 is a chemical compound from the sugar alcohol group. The most common forms found in nature are myo-inositol and chiro-inositol. In our body it is found in the heart, blood, brain, kidneys and muscles. They are an essential vitamin for us because of their properties in our body:

  • is a component of body fluids,
  • increases the action of insulin,
  • regulates the metabolism of fats and sugars,
  • is essential for muscle development and for sperm production,
  • prevents cirrhosis of the liver, kidneys and heart,
  • proves heart function and peripheral circulation,
  • makes hair less likely to fall out and healthier (sometimes reverses baldness),
  • removes iron ions, which cause cellular ageing,
  • prevents tyrosinase processes, thus preventing hyperpigmentation,
  • strengthens blood vessels, preventing the formation of "spider veins",
  • improves thought processes and strengthens memory,
  • regulates intracellular calcium metabolism,
  • is an antioxidant that gets rid of active oxygen from cells,
  • helps lower blood pressure.

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