Do you know about inositol? This little-known nutrient can provide the body with multiple health benefits


An obscure nutrient lifts moodiness, reduces cholesterol levels, makes women more fertile, and ensures the brain is working right. It is called inositol, a “vitamin” that is vital to healthy cognition and stable mood.

Its other name of “vitamin B8” is a misnomer. Inositol is actually a sugar-based alcohol that can be absorbed from eggs, fruits, meat, and vegetables. It is found in many cells and serves as a source of energy for the body.

Most importantly, inositol serves as a “second messenger” for neurons and other types of cells when the latter are talking with each other. It ensures that the messages sent by dopamine, serotonin, and other neurotransmitters are actually sent to their targets. In essence, it acts as the activation switch for the communication process.

A deficiency in inositol can disrupt the balance of important chemicals that govern the proper function of the brain. Insufficient amounts of the nutrient will alter the levels of hormones in the body. It will also lead to the onset of depression and other mood-related disorders. (Related: Expectant moms may prevent neural tube defects in their babies by supplementing with inositol plus folic acid.)

Four reasons why you should get as much inositol as you can

There are many reasons to ensure sufficient levels of inositol in the body.

First, inositol can prevent the onset of depression and other mood disorders. One of the major factors in these disorders are the levels of dopamine and serotonin in the brain. Inositol balances out the chemicals in the brain that affect the two neurotransmitters.

Next, it can increase the fertility of women, especially those suffering from polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). Inositol can return the ovulation cycle to its normal state. In addition, it also reduces blood pressure and lowers triglyceride levels in PCOS patients.

Third, inositol can raise the sensitivity of the hormone insulin. It prevents people from developing a resistance to insulin, which would disastrous for blood sugar levels and the ability to use and store glucose. A lack of inositol is linked to insulin resistance, which in turn eventually leads to diabetes.

The fourth reason is that insulin blocks the onset of metabolic syndrome. It manages many of the risk factors that comprise the syndrome, including blood sugar, blood pressure, total cholesterol, triglycerides, and obesity. Notably, metabolic syndrome opens the door to diabetes and heart diseases. So inositol can indirectly prevent these dangerous complications by stopping the rise of the syndrome.

The best natural sources and recommended doses of inositol

You can get a lot of natural inositol from fruits and vegetables like asparagus, bananas, bell peppers, cantaloupe, oranges, peaches, pears, tomatoes. Large amounts of the nutrient are also found in eggs and beef from grass-fed cattle.

For patients who have been diagnosed with mood disorders, PCOS, insulin resistance, or metabolic syndrome, it is recommended to take inositol as a supplement. Encapsulated tablet and powder forms of inositol are available.

The suggested daily dose for women with PCOS-related infertility is 4,000 milligrams per day, which should be consumed before eating breakfast. People suffering from depression, meanwhile, are recommended to take just 12 grams of inositol supplement each day.

Hopefully, inositol will emerge from the shadows of obscurity to receive recognition for the many important functions it fulfills in the body. This is a nutrient that can restore good moods, maintain the clarity and sharpness of the brain, boost fertility and resolve infertility, and ensure a healthy metabolism.

Sources include:

Blog.PaleoHacks.com

NCBI.NLM.NIH.gov



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