inositol - Vitamin B8

inositol – Vitamin B8

Description and Chemistry

Inositol is water soluble and part of the B – complex group. It is closely associated with choline and biotin.

Inositol like choline is found in high concentrations in lecithin.

Vitamin B6, folic acid, pantothenic acid and PABA also have a close working association with inositol.

Both animal and plant tissues contain inositol.

In animal tissues it occurs as a component of phospholipids, substances containing phosphorus, fatty acids and nitrogenous bases. In plant cells it is found as phytic acid ( an organic acid that binds calcium and iron preventing their absorption.

There is disagreement as to whether inositol is synthesized by intestinal flora. One source indicates it is, another claims synthesis occurs within the individual cell rather than by the intestinal organisms. Or can be synthesized by both.


Promotes bodies functioning of lecithin

Aids in the metabolism of fats-  fats are moved from the liver to the cells with the aid of lecithin).

Prevents the build- up of fats in the liver, kidneys and heart.

Helps reduce blood cholesterol levels – in combination with choline it prevents fatty hardening of the arteries,

Helps in brain cell nutrition

Vital for hair growth – can prevent baldness and thinning

Improves muscular tone and growth

Necessary for the growth and survival of cells in bone marrow, eye membranes and GI tract

Large quantities of inositol are found in the spinal cord nerves, in the brain and cerebral spinal fluid

Necessary for reproduction and lactation

Natures tranquillizer, very reliable in helping people sleep

Has a mild anti-anxiety effect

Stops lipids co-agulating, help in density of HDL (good cholesterol)

Deficiency Effects

Inositol deficiency may cause:

Constipation, eczema, abnormality of the eyes, hair loss, high blood cholesterol levels – contributing to artery and heart disease

Diabetes excretes more inositol – due to malfunctioning pancreas

Can cause lactation failure

To lower blood pressure take 1gm morning and evening

Toxicity Effects

There is no known toxicity of inositol.

RDA – not yet established

Most authorities recommend consuming equal amounts of inositol and choline. Daily consumption in food is about 1 gm. The human body contains more inositol than any other vitamin except niacin.


Caffeine, Alcohol, Contraceptive pill, food processing, sulphur drugs

Medicinal and therapeutic Uses

Therapeutic doses range from 500 – 1000mg daily. When taking lecithin supplement chelated calcium to maintain phosphorus and calcium balance. Both inositol and choline appear to raise phosphorus levels.

Inositol may be beneficial to the following ailments: Arteriosclerosis, Atherosclerosis, high cholesterol levels, hypertension, hypoglycaemia, stroke, constipation, dizziness, schizophrenia, glaucoma, baldness, cirrhosis of the liver, asthma, gastritis, insomnia, overweight and obesity.

Studies by Dr. Carl Pfeffier at his brain bio centre have shown inositol to have a similar effect to Librium. He believes people who take Valium or Librium can discontinue their use if sufficient inositol is taken.

Good Food Sources

Brewers yeast, wheat germ, lecithin granules, liver, beef brains and heart, raisins, peanuts, molasses, citrus fruit, milk, bran, wholegrains, vegetables, dandelions, oats, parsley – any source containing B-complex vitamins.

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Deborah Harper

Article by Debbie Harper

Debbie Harper is a self-published author and an accomplished blogger. She's the founder of and the author of the book “The Number #1 Rule for a Long and Healthy Life”. If you like this post, you can stay up to date with the latest information from by subscribing via RSS, or receive articles directly in your inbox. Then click here to download a free report on "The Number #1 Rule for a Long and Healthy Life".