The history of Inositol
Are your primary complaints are related to poor overall health, low energy levels, and a constant battle with concentration and weight management? You mustn’t qualify for all, these categories. At least one is enough.
Would you be surprised to know that you are among two-thirds of Americans facing the same issues?
Here’s the good news; the solution is not spending hours of weightlifting or starvation. The first place you should consider is providing your body with the appropriate nutrients to help you cope with the hassles accompanied by day-to-day endeavors.
Enter Inositol. This chemical compound has been flaunted to play a crucial role in numerous bodily processes. Research findings show that it can contribute to the treatment of specific medical conditions, including some fertility and mental disorders. What’s more, it has gained massive popularity in the fitness community for its weight loss benefits and aid to athletes and fitness enthusiasts.
Sounds like a magic ingredient? Well, there’s only one way to find out. The following is a comprehensive breakdown, detailing all there is to know regarding Inositol.
What is Inositol?
Surprisingly, it is a naturally occurring substance, commonly found in citrus fruit, cantaloupe, and various fiber-rich foods (e.g., corn, sesame seeds, brown rice, and wheat bran).
There are nine various molecular forms of inositol, although inositol hexaphosphate (commonly referred to as IP6) and the compound myoinositol are the most used variations. Inositol is mostly referred to as Vitamin B8, although technically, it is not a vitamin. However, it demonstrates properties consistent with B-complex vitamins, which is how it earned the title.
Essentially, this compound is a sugar. It plays a crucial role in the phospholipids responsible for exchanging impulses, absorption mechanisms, and homeostatic regulations. It is also essential to the nervous system as it provides a soothing effect on the nerves. What’s more, it also plays a crucial role in the digestive system.
This simple carbohydrate influences the insulin response and several other hormones linked with cognition and mood. Furthermore, it also has antioxidant qualities that combat the harmful effects of free radicals in the circulatory system, brain, and other body tissues and organs.
Inositol is a crucial factor for oxygen to combine with hemoglobin. As a result, competitive athletes and other people under significant physical stress, particularly where increased oxygen supply is necessitated may benefit considerably from supplementing with inositol.
Moreover, this supplement plays a crucial role in preventing fat from accumulating in the body, particularly in the liver. Again, it is included in sports and energy drinks because of its knack to convert nutrients into energy.
That said, let’s explore the benefits of this supplement in more detail.
What Are the Benefits of Inositol?
This molecule is responsible for multiple functions in the body. Consequently, it avails a broad range of benefits, both healthy and aesthetic. They include:
- Weight Loss
Given the positive effect, this sugar has on the body’s hormones; it can help you to lose more weight. This is particularly more effective on a calorie-controlled diet. Some people report using inositol when they hit a plateau phase during their weight loss regime. Others had supplemented when they seemed to have added weight despite following a strict weight loss diet and exercising regularly.
In conjunction with helping to regulate the primary hormones involved in weight loss, satiety, and appetite, this supplement may also help you eat less. Partly, this impact is due to its effect on mood and emotional wellbeing. When one is feeling better about themselves, they have fewer cravings, allowing them to make better food choices.
Another factor is attributable to the fact that it prevents the accumulation of both visceral and adipose fat.
- Promoting Sleep
Over-thinking is one of the reasons why people find it difficult to sleep at night. One’s brain is unable to rest as it is continuously bombarded with thoughts. Serotonin plays a crucial role in the thought process. When serotonin is low, sleep becomes evasive. Inositol helps to optimize the levels of serotonin in the brain, allowing you to sleep deeply and soundly.
Again, this supplement also communicates with the GABA (Gamma-Aminobutyric acid) receptors in the brain. These receptors help to promote feelings of relaxation even during stressful scenarios. By ensuring that the GABA receptors are working optimally, inositol enables you to relax and boosts the quality of your sleep.
- Relieving Anxiety
This supplement affects the mechanisms that make neurotransmitters, the molecules that relay information within the brain. Serotonin, for instance, is one of the molecules affected by this compound. Another one is dopamine. These two chemicals are usually known as feel-good hormones, and when they are released, the nerves are soothed, and a state of calm is realized.
Researchers have found that inositol supplements can improve symptoms associated with low serotonin levels. Consequently, findings reveal a substantial potential for this supplement to cure anxiety disorders such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), panic disorder, and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).
- Supporting Hair Care and Growth
Remember when this supplement was referred to as vitamin B8 in the beginning. Well, here’s one of the benefits it shares with the B-complex family.
This supplement, like other B-vitamins, promotes healthy hair growth, promotes hair loss, and promotes overall growth. Many conditions can lead to hair loss, stunted hair growth, or unhealthy hair.
However, in most cases, it boils down to nutrient deficiency or accumulation of free radicals. Inositol can help with either, as it a vital nutrient for proper health and growth of your hair, and can also fight the free radicals.
Moreover, males experiencing hyperandrogenism may experience hair loss. However, this supplement can also combat DHT-provoked hair loss.
- Regulating Blood Sugar
As a natural sugar, this supplement helps to control blood sugar by enhancing insulin sensitivity. Insulin is a crucial hormone responsible for regulating blood sugar levels.
Insulin resistance occurs when the body fails to respond to insulin, causing issues such as metabolic syndrome.
Studies have shown that inositol produces molecules that are involved in the functioning of insulin in the cells.
- Improving Fertility in Women with PCOS
PCOS, post-cystic ovarian syndrome is a hormonal disorder that mostly affects women of reproductive age. Such women may have excess androgens (male hormones), or infrequent or prolonged menstruations. As a result, their ovaries may develop numerous follicles, causing them not to release eggs regularly, sometimes leading to infertility.
However, research findings have shown that Inositol is a promising compound to enhance various aspects of reproductive function in women with PCOS, including ovulation, the regularity of their menstrual cycle and fertility.
Other potential benefits of supplementing with this compound may include:
- Improvement in blood circulation
- Liver detoxification when stacked with choline
- Possible cancer treatment (Inositol hexaphosphate)
Is Inositol Safe?
This compound is usually considered to be safe and well-tolerated by adults. Side effects, although uncommon, are mild, and may include the following.
- Stomach upsets
It has been reported that most side effects occur when one exceeds 12 milligrams per day.
The metabolic impacts of this natural sugar may not be ideal for everyone. Even in people with diabetes, the extended use of this compound may lead to low blood sugar (hypoglycemia).
Concerns also exist that the stimulation of serotonin may not be suitable for individuals with bipolar disorder. It is possible that such provocation may inadvertently trigger a hypomanic or manic episode.
Experts also express concerns that high doses of this substance may lessen the body’s ability to absorb calcium, zinc, iron, and other essential minerals, prompting a nutritional deficit in spite of eating a balanced diet.
All that said, you should always note as a rule of thumb that taking any supplement, including this one with another, or when on medication may have some effects. They could be positive, negative, or neutral. Therefore, to err on the side of caution, it is crucial to consult with your doctor before beginning supplementation.
Inositol supplements are usually sold in capsule and tablet form. Notably, there is no recommended daily allowance for the supplement, and a standardized dosing schedule does not exist.
- However, the following dosages are recommended to support specific conditions.
- Metabolic syndrome: two grams taken twice a day
- PCOS: two grams are taken twice daily
- Lithium-related Psoriasis: Up to six grams once every day
- Anxiety disorder, including panic attacks: up to 12 grams daily.
The best part is that inositol supplements are widely available online and can also be found in natural food stores, particularly those specializing in dietary supplements.
You can guarantee the safety and quality of the product by observing whether the product is verified and approved by an independent third-party such as ConsumerLab, U.S. Pharmacopeia (USP) or the NSF International.
Overall, Inositol is a carbohydrate that naturally occurs in the body, and specific foods as well. It plays multiple crucial roles, including affecting the levels of various neurotransmitters, not to mention how the body handles glucose. Moreover, research indicates the potential for managing some anxiety disorders and the body’s sensitivity to insulin.
Additionally, it avails several benefits to women with PCOS, including enhancing fertility and enhancing menstrual activity.
The substance has an excellent safety record, and few severe side effects have been observed, both at moderate and high doses.
So, what did you make of it? Is it what you’ve been looking for? If you think so, ensure to grab your bottle and start reaping the benefits straight away.