Inositol is a natural carbohydrate that occurs in a variety of fruits and grains.
The human body makes use of it in several areas, including the nervous and reproductive systems as well as the brain and liver.
When taken at higher doses through a supplement, inositol can have a number of positive effects on those and other areas.
Benefits of Inositol Supplements
1. Diabetes Prevention
Insulin resistance, which is a major factor in type 2 diabetes, occurs when the body produces enough insulin but is not able to use it properly.
Instead of being absorbed by the cells that need it, the insulin becomes trapped in the blood where it increases blood sugar levels.
Research has shown that inositol corrects this by increasing the body’s insulin sensitivity. This effectively prevents type 2 diabetes.
2. Increased Fertility
In addition to preventing diabetes, proper insulin function is crucial for fertility.
When insulin resistance causes levels of the compound to skyrocket, too much winds up around the ovaries. This results in cyst formation and an increase in testosterone production, both of which reduce a woman’s ability to conceive.
That’s where inositol comes in handy.
Studies have shown that, in addition to reducing insulin resistance, inositol promotes healthy ovulation and lowers testosterone levels in women by as much as 73%.
3. Mental Illness Treatment
Most of the body’s inositol is found in the brain. There, it helps neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin (mood regulators) do their job.
Unsurprisingly, those with mental illnesses like depression tend to have lower levels of inositol in their brains.
Studies have shown that inositol works just as effectively as many anti-anxiety and antidepressant medications on the market. Remarkably, it does so without producing any side effects.
One study also found that inositol reduces symptoms of OCD by 50% in some patients.
4. Insomnia Treatment
In addition to regulating mood, neurotransmitters like dopamine also play a major role in sleep regulation.
The brains of insomnia sufferers tend to have reduced dopamine binding capabilities, which results in an excess of the chemical in their brains.
The excess dopamine overpowers the body’s melatonin (sleepy chemical), resulting in a poor night’s sleep.
Inositol restores proper balance to these chemicals and helps the brain power down when it needs to.
According to Examine.com, inositol is an extremely safe supplement to take. Side effects are limited to mild gastrointestinal discomfort, which occurs when the dosage is too high.
Still, it’s a good idea to check in with your doctor before taking inositol, particularly if you are taking it alongside any other medication.
Do not stop taking antidepressant or anti-anxiety medications in favor of inositol without speaking to your doctor. Abruptly stopping the usage of such medications can result in brain zaps (an electrical feeling in the brain), moodiness and flu-like symptoms.