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)
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
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.