If you’ve never heard of Inositol, maybe it’s time you learned more about it. From its usage to how much to take to benefits and side effects, here’s everything you need to know about Inositol and why we need it in our bodies.
Disclaimer: I love giving you the lowdown on health trends and supplements that make us all live our best lives. But only you know you best, so this post on Inositol and why it’s beneficial to all women is for informational purposes only and to give you the basics. If you have any additional questions or concerns about adding to your daily diet regimen, please contact your primary physician for further information.
Inositol is a sugar (a carbocyclic sugar specifically) that’s ever-present in our bodies, especially in the brain, and is made naturally from glucose.
It plays a big role in cell growth and function, influences how our bodies produce insulin, has antioxidant properties to fight free radicals in our bodies, and is correlated with mood hormones.
It can be found in plenty of fruits and foods rich in fiber, such as:
Fun fact: Inositol used to be commonly known as vitamin B8, but once learning it’s not actually a vitamin, it was renamed to better fit its make-up. Once considered an essential nutrient, it was discovered that the kidneys and liver make it from glucose. Additionally, Western diets tend to be high in sugar which can cause our naturally-occurring Inositol levels to drop—another reason we may need to supplement it.
In order to raise your Inositol levels, if you don’t want to change your diet, you can take a daily supplement (more on the dosage below) that’s easily purchased over the counter in health and supplement stores, online, and natural food shops. Quickly checking online, prices range anywhere from $5 to $70 per bottle, so feel free to shop around.
Side effects of taking an Inositol supplement can range anywhere from stomach pains, nausea, tiredness, dizziness, hypoglycemia, and headache. It goes without saying if you do hop on the Inositol train and have any of these side effects, stop immediately and talk to your doctor.
Several things can cause our Inositol levels to drop, including diet reduction, increased catabolism, and altered microbiota. Here are a few symptoms of a deficiency to be on the lookout for:
Note: the above symptoms can be correlated to a multitude of additional diseases and diagnoses, so if you have any of them once taking it, please reach out to your physician.
In a nutshell, it may help to give both your mood and metabolism a nice boost. Additionally, it could help to lower your cholesterol levels, lower anxiety and/or panic attacks by stimulating dopamine and serotonin, relieve symptoms of depression and PCOS, and reduce the chances of getting metabolic syndrome (a condition of high blood pressure and blood sugar and increased belly fat, especially in post-menopausal women).
Research has shown that Inositol may be beneficial for several issues, including Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), sleep problems, and bipolar disorder. And if that wasn’t enough, there are folks that are all in for the supplement as it may stifle the progression of Alzheimer’s disease and even stop cancer in its tracks. At this time, there’s not a ton of research around these claims, but it’s definitely worth noting.
Inositol is water soluble, so there’s not a huge risk of overdosing by taking too much. Having written that, there are some pretty nasty side effects from taking too much, including diarrhea, nausea, and gas, so stick to the dosage you need.
Depending on what you’ll be supplementing for, there are a few different dosage recommendations:
When starting an Inositol regimen, it’s best that you begin slowly and gradually work up to the maximum recommended dose if needed. Start with 500 mg (0.5 grams) once a day for the first three days, double to 1000 mg (1 gram) on days 4,5,& 6, and then continue to add an additional 500 mg until you reach the recommended dosage.
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