If you’ve searched the web for a way to approach mood swings or hormonal imbalance, you may have come across inositol. The potential inositol benefits may sound impressive – but how can you separate fact from hype? Read on to learn about how this molecule works, and the potential health benefits.
What Is Inositol?
Inositol, sometimes called vitamin B8, is a member of the B-complex family. Although it’s known as vitamin B8, it’s not a vitamin at all. It’s a type of sugar. Inositol naturally occurs in animal and plant food sources, such as vegetables, fruits, beans, grains, nuts, and meats. The human body can also produce inositol from glucose from the diet.1,2,3,4
Beyond these dietary sources, some research suggests that ingesting additional inositol through supplements may have additional health benefits.5
What Does Inositol Do?
Inositol plays a structural role in your body – it’s a major component of cell membranes. It’s especially abundant in the brain and central nervous system, where it supports the activity of the brain’s chemical messengers.6,7,8
Inositol also collaborates with choline to support normal fat metabolism, and has antioxidant properties, which can support the body’s natural defense against free radicals.9,10,11,12,13 Read on for specific potential benefits.
The Potential Benefits Of Inositol
It May Support A Positive Mood
Researchers have found that low levels of inositol in the blood may be a marker for a negative mood, stressful thoughts, and unhealthy feelings.14,15,16,17,18,19 Ensuring your body has enough inositol through your diet or a dietary supplement may support a more positive mood.
It May Support Feelings Of Calmness
One study found that supplementing with myo-inositol helped patients reduce periods of acute nervousness in a given week.20,21
It May Support Already-Healthy Blood Sugar Levels
Some research suggests that inositol may support insulin in your body. This, in turn, may support already-healthy blood sugar levels.22,23,24
It May Support Blood Pressure Already Within Normal Range
Some research suggests that supplementing with inositol may support healthy blood pressure levels already within a normal range.25,26
It May Support Healthy Hormonal Balance
Early studies show that myo-inositol supplementation may support healthy ovarian function and hormonal balance.27,28,29,30
What Is The Recommended Dosage?
Inositol is found naturally in many foods you are likely already eating – like fruits, vegetables, beans, grains, and nuts. Depending on your diet, you are likely eating about ¼ gram to 1½ gram of inositol a day.31
As a supplement, scientists have designed studies with inositol dosage ranging from 2 grams to 18 grams per day.32,33 It is always recommended that you speak with your doctor before taking any new supplement.
When To Talk To Your Doctor
If you’d like to learn more about the potential benefits of inositol, speak with your doctor. Healthcare providers are the best resource to get personalized recommendations and health advice.
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