What is Inositol?

Inositol is a naturally occurring isomer of glucose, found in various forms.  It is a member of the “B Complex” group of vitamins, though it is not a vitamin in itself. The most common form of inositol is myo-inositol. The nutrient is a direct precursor of phospholipids, a major component of cellular membranes, which helps to maintain proper transfer of electrical energy and nutrient transfer across the cell membrane. In essence, inositol helps to facilitate healthy cell membranes, which in turn, facilitate nerve impulse in the brain.

Inositol also participates in the action of serotonin, a neurotransmitter possessing effects known to be beneficial in battling depression and anxiety. Inositol is said to influence increased serotonin production. This is different than most SSRIs or anti-depressants, which simply protect serotonin from being absorbed and depleted. Inositol, however, should not be stacked with convention SSRIs or anti-depressant medications, as it could potentially result in serotonin poisoning.

Inositol is present in a typical North American adult diet, though Yk11 Before and After Results only in amounts of about 1 gram daily (or less). A single gram represents a fairly small amount of inositol, thus, supplementation is typically necessary to receive therapeutic effects for depression, anxiety, and/or OCD. Inositol can be found as a naturally occurring nutrient in seeds, nuts, citrus fruits, cereals and legumes.

Inositol as a Medication for Depression

Many individuals seek the treatment of depression. Natural remedies for depression, including herbs for depression, and, herbs as an anxiety disorder treatment have long been sought. Though not an herb, so to speak, inositol has been reported decreased in those suffering from depression. In a double-blind controlled experiment, participants were given 12 grams of inositol daily for a period of four weeks. At the four week mark, participants who had been administered the inositol treatment had benefited significantly on the Hamilton Depression Scale; especially when compared to those who had been given a placebo.

Inositol seems to work for anxiety, panic attacks, and OCD, additionally. In a different study, participants were administered up to 18 grams of inositol daily for a 12 week period. This experiment was a double-blind, controlled, random order crossover study. Significant reductions to OCD severity and anxiety followed the treatment. Notable improvements on the Hamilton Rating scale for Anxiety scores, agoraphobia scores, and Clinical Global Impression Scale scores were seen following the Inositol treatment.