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What does inositol do?

Inositol is part of the vitamin B-complex. It is required for proper formation of cell membranes.

Inositol affects nerve transmission and helps in transporting fats within the body. Inositol differs from inositol hexaniacinate, a form of vitamin B3.

Where is inositol found?

Nuts, beans, wheat and wheat bran, cantaloupe, and oranges are excellent sources of inositol. Most dietary inositol is in the form of phytate.

Rating Health Concerns
Obsessive-compulsive disorder
xz Bipolar disorder/manic depression
Reliable and relatively consistent scientific data showing a substantial health benefit.
Contradictory, insufficient, or preliminary studies suggesting a health benefit or minimal health benefit.
For an herb, supported by traditional use but minimal or no scientific evidence. For a supplement, little scientific support and/or minimal health benefit.



Who is likely to be deficient of inositol?

Clear deficiency of inositol has not been reported, although people with diabetes have increased excretion and may benefit from inositol supplementation.

How much inositol is usually taken?

Most people do not need to take inositol. In addition, the small amounts commonly found in multivitamin supplements are probably unnecessary and ineffective. Doctors sometimes suggest 500 mg twice per day. For depression, anxiety, and obsessive-compulsive disorder, 12–18 grams per day has been shown to be effective in double-blind trials.1 2 3 4
Are there any side effects or interactions with inositol?

Toxicity has not been reported, although people with chronic renal failure show elevated levels and should not take inositol, except under medical supervision.

Large amounts of phytate, the common dietary form of inositol, reduce the absorption of calcium, iron, and zinc. However, supplemental inositol does not have this effect.

One review article suggested that inositol may stimulate uterine contractions.5 While no research has demonstrated that inositol actually has this effect, women who are or could become pregnant should consult a doctor before taking inositol.

Are there any drug interactions?
Certain medicines may interact with inositol. Refer to drug interactions for a list of those medicines.