Another supplement? Yes! Inositol is a natural carbohydrate that occurs in a variety of fruits and grains. And inositol supplements support many functions of your body.
The human body makes use of this nutrient in several areas, including the nervous and reproductive systems, along with 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. (1)
Benefits of Inositol Supplements
1. Diabetes Prevention
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 helps protect against type 2 diabetes. (3)
2. Increased Fertility
In addition to preventing diabetes, proper insulin function is crucial for fertility. (4)
When insulin resistance causes levels of insulin in the blood to rise, too much winds up around the ovaries. This may lead to cyst formation and an increase in testosterone production, both of which reduce a woman’s ability to conceive.
That’s where inositol supplements come in handy.
But in an even more impressive analysis of inositol supplementation, the effective of polycystic ovarian syndrom (PCOS) were reversed. You see, in addition to reducing insulin resistance, inositol promotes healthy ovulation and lowers testosterone levels in women. (5)
3. Mental Illness Treatment
Most of the body’s inositol is found in the brain. In fact, the body makes its own inositol to support brain function. 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. (6)
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. (7)
One study also found In addition to these mental health benefits, inositol also reduces symptoms of OCD by 50% in some patients, according to one study. (8)
4. Insomnia Treatment
In addition to regulating mood, neurotransmitters like dopamine also play a major role in sleep regulation. Specifically, the brains of insomnia sufferers tend to have reduced dopamine binding capabilities, which leads to an excess of the chemical in their brains. As a result, the excess dopamine overpowers the body’s melatonin (sleepy chemical), resulting in a poor night’s sleep. (9)
Inositol, which acts like a B vitamin, helps to restore proper balance to your brain chemicals. Thus, your brain can become calm and “power down” for a good night’s sleep. (10)
According to Examine.com, inositol is an extremely safe supplement to take. Indeed, side effects are limited to mild gastrointestinal discomfort, which occurs when the dosage is too high. (11)
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, though, without speaking to your doctor. For example, abruptly stopping the usage of such medications can result in brain zaps (an electrical feeling in the brain), moodiness, and flu-like symptoms. So yes, it is important to include your primary healthcare provider in any decision to stop prescribed medications.