Inositol

Summary

Although inositol has many uses for the brain, this supplement is predominantly useful for decreasing symptoms related to anxiety [1]. The drug is also useful as an antidepressant and has evidence suggesting it can prevent panic attacks.

Other studies of inositol suggest the drug could be potentially useful in combating signs of Alzheimer’s disease [2], but the evidence thus far is inconclusive. There are a host of other benefits related to general health (such as female fertility or insulin sensitivity).

Inositol is a molecule that typically refers to myo-inositol, which is involved with cellular signaling and has a significant amount of scientific evidence to back the claims. Side effects are moderate to light and occur only in rare occasions.

Also Known As

Myoinositol, Cyclohexanehexol, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6-cyclohexanehexol

Editors’ Thoughts on Inositol

I have never tried inositol so I don’t have an informed opinion on it. I’d be curious to see the brain related benefits on someone who improves insulin sensitivity over time. I imagine it would be beneficial for their body and their brain to use inositol to get that under control.

If my late grandfather were still alive, I’d suggest he use this to treat his poor insulin sensitivity and cognition.

Mansal Denton, Nootropedia Editor

inositol

Benefits of Inositol

The main benefits of inositol in a clinical sense are related to the treatment of PCOS and blood glucose levels [4], but the neurological benefits are related to anxiety and feelings of depression. One study noted that 12 grams of inositol over 4 weeks was associated with reduced symptoms of anxiety and panic disorder [5]. Another study reduced symptoms of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) through use of inositol [6], but all of these anxiety related solutions require a much higher dose than if using the drug for other purposes.

Another benefit of inositol, which is rare among any nootropic or supplement, is a decrease in panic attacks. In fact, a month long study showed that 18 grams of inositol (a large dose) was more effective than the currently prescribed drug, fluvoxamine [7].

Beyond the unique benefit of inositol for panic attacks, there are some benefits of the drug for treating symptoms of depression. While there are not statistically significant results across the board, one study suggests that patients struggling from bipolar disorder were able to reduce their symptoms while using doses of inositol [8].

For those who are struggling with physical ailments related to insulin sensitivity (such as diabetes and obesity), inositol also has many interactions with this system that might prove useful. For example, obese women struggling with PCOS could improve the glucose metabolism and were far healthier after using only 2 grams of inositol over eight weeks [9].

Side Effects of Inositol

The side effects of inositol are rare and typically related to dosage-based gastrointestinal distress. This is particularly significant in people who are using inositol in the dosages required to treat anxiety, symptoms of depression, and panic disorders. One study showed mild gastrointestinal distress in around 5% of people who take doses of 12 grams [10] (the starting dose for anxiety related ailments).

Also, many tests have included inositol in pregnant women with no clinically significant adverse side effects [11]. This suggests that pregnant women can take the drug (at least up to 4 grams) without fear of significant side effects.

Anecdotal reports suggest inositol can cause headaches or fatigue and even mania, but there are no significant scientific studies to suggest any of these side effects. To be on the safe side, make sure you take a recommended dose before moving too high beyond that.

Inositol Dosage

The inositol dosage is going to vary widely depending on the needs and goals of the user. For women with PCOS, the recommendations are 200 – 4000 mg once daily. For people using inositol to overcome anxiety and feelings of depression, it is better to start with doses of 14 – 18 grams daily. Some studies note antidepressant effects at 6 grams so it might be best to start there.

How and Where to Buy Inositol

Despite the fact inositol is not a highly recognizable supplement, it is relatively easy to find compared to other nootropics. There may be sources in your local grocery store or health foods shop, but it is best to search online for the drug as you’ll get the most affordable and quality product in that way. You can buy inositol from a local store, but your wallet will appreciate the internet more.

Even though the highly reputable Nootropics Depot and Pure Nootropics do not carry inositol, there are brands on Amazon that do. One brand, Jarrow Formulas inositol powder is our recommendation based on the brand quality.

Your inositol purchase will be different than some other nootropics because it is not well known, but is considered to be a popular over the counter supplement. In the United States it is regulated by the Food and Drug Administration as a supplement so it is safe to take without repercussions.

Finally, before you buy inositol, make sure you know what type you are using. The soft gel formulation only requires 30% of the dose than the powder. This means a inositol powder dose of 14 – 18 grams only requires 4.2 – 5.4 grams in softgel form.

Selected Community Experiences

I’ve been regularly taking inositol for at least about four weeks now. I had two purposes for it: To help with my anxiety and mild depression (neither diagnosed, just my own labels), both improving my quality of life and reducing worry-based procrastination. To work as a social lubricant without the negative effects of alcohol.” [12] – capsikin

Can’t say I’m bi-polar (though I’ve suspected it at times), however I did try it out with OCD, and found that it helped quite a bit with my OCD and anxiety. It really helped me to catch myself when I was going into an obsessive cycle and pull myself out. That being said, the side-effects are…. rough. If you do decide to go this way, be prepared to be close to a toilet at all times. Ultimately it’s why I stopped.” [13] – Icthysia

References (Click to Expand)
  1. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11386498
  2. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17279347
  3. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22774396
  4. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7793450
  5. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7793450
  6. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8780431
  7. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11386498
  8. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16449473
  9. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22612517
  10. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16896044
  11. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21414183
  12. https://www.reddit.com/r/Nootropics/comments/1w04s1/inositol_selfreport_after_a_few_weeks/
  13. https://www.reddit.com/r/Nootropics/comments/48e2nv/any_bipolar_people_here_use_inositol/
Other Scientific Resources (Click to Expand)
  1. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9493009
  2. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3017301
  3. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15468140
  4. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21917766
  5. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/6278902
  6. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/838172
  7. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7416064
  8. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20460718
  9. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16461542
  10. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19447884
  11. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18355727
  12. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17412958
  13. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11282453
  14. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15860522
  15. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11331907
  16. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23764390
  17. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16542185
  18. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3600356
  19. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23132282
  20. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8392181
  21. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2370888
  22. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17956457
  23. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16443877
  24. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18375940
  25. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18940392
  26. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8720541
  27. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23467955
  28. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23708322
  29. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12133831
  30. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8626564

Author

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