An organic, glucose-like substance that facilitates the transmission of serotonin and other neurotransmitters. It is part of the membranes of all cells, and plays a role in helping the liver process fats as well as contributing to the function of muscles and nerves. Inositol crosses the blood-brain barrier in pharmacological doses.
Inositol is naturally present in foods like unprocessed whole grains, wheat germ, brewer’s yeast, fruits, beans, raisins, grains, nuts, brown rice, and liver.
Cerebrospinal fluid inositol has been reported as reduced in depression. In 1978, Barkai showed depressed patients had important reduced CSF levels of inositol as compared to healthy people. Later this finding was expanded to conclude that administration of high-doseinositol could increase CSF levels by as much as 70%. In one study conducted in Israel, demonstrated that individuals who were being treated for bipolar depression with Lithium were found to have up to an 80 percent reduction in normal Inositol levels. Clinical trials have reported that inositol is effectual in relieving symptoms of depression.
A double-blind study of 12 g daily of inositol in 28 depressed people for 4 weeks was conducted. Positive effect for inositol compared to placebo group was found at week four on the Hamilton Depression Scale. In a study 13 people with obsessive compulsive disorder completed a double-blind controlled crossover trial of 18 g inositol or placebo for 6 weeks each. Inositol significantly decreased scores of obsessive compulsive disorder symptoms compared with placebo.
In clinical trials, inositol dosages of up to 18 grams daily have been tried for different problems. For obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD); 18 g per day. For panic disorder; 12 to 18 g per day. It is taken in divided doses, 2 to 4 times a day.
Inositol supplements taken in high amount can cause nausea and vomiting. Also, inositol supplements may cause contractions in pregnant women.