Often mentioned together under the vitamin B complex group and classified as vitamin B8, Inositol is a water soluble nutrient that plays important roles in breaking down fats, enhancing moods, improving memory and brain functions. The vitamin is also a precursor of phospholipids, a major component of all cell membranes that is necessary for proper function of nerves, brain, and muscles in the body. Most importantly, this nutrient has known to assist in preventing hair loss.
Inositol shares a rather similar molecular structure with glucose (sugar) as it carries a little sweetness in its taste. Your body is able to produce some amount of inositol on its own and due to that, it’s not considered as an essential nutrient.
Inositol and Choline
The vitamin has a very special working relationship with a micronutrient known as Choline. Together they are crucial components for forming a fatty acid known as lecithin that helps break fats into smaller particles. This helps reduce cholesterol levels and prevent fat build-ups on the arteries and reduces heart diseases risk. Choline is also needed in producing acetylcholine, a chemical that transmit messages between the nerves and muscles and also helps with improving memory, mood and athletic performance.
Many researchers have placed special interest in the nutrient for treating a wide range of neurological disorders like bulimia, panic attacks, obsessive-compulsive disorder, agoraphobia and depression. Trials had shown that people suffering from nervous disorders have lower amounts of Inositol in their cerebral spinal fluid. By replenishing the vitamin, researchers found a substantial reduction in the symptoms of these conditions.
Inositol can also assist in many other conditions like reducing the symptoms of numbness, tingling and burning sensations in the fingers of diabetics. These conditions are often caused by the nerves known as peripheral neuropathy, it can help repair and reduce the symptoms by promoting nerves conduction. It’s also widely used for treating alcoholism, repairing the liver, hepatitis, vertigo and many other conditions.
Main functions of Inositol
- Reduces cholesterol levels
- Treat liver problems
- Boost memory and concentration
- Maintain healthy nervous system
- Prevent hair loss and eczema
Now, this particular nutrient has been building up its reputation as a hair loss supplement for many sufferers. While there has yet to be any studies on whether the vitamin grows hair or not, there are results showing in labs that mice deprived of the vitamin will lose all their hair with the male mice losing their hairs twice as fast as their female counterparts. Upon supplementing with the vitamin, both male and females have their hair restored completely. This might indicate the vitamin’s importance in sustaining normal hair production.
It stabilizes the cell membranes, and its antioxidant property safeguards the hair follicles from damage. It also promotes the growth of healthier and stronger hair.
It’s also widely known that by supplementing with inositol, patients with Trichotillomania, a hair pulling impulse control disorder is able to reduce the symptoms dramatically. Take a look at the articles below.
- Abnormal platelet aggregation
- Heart problems
- Liver disease
- Memory loss
- Panic/anxiety attacks
- Hair loss
Facing deficiency is quite uncommon since it’s available in a wide variety of food sources and your body also can generate some of them. The body is also capable of storing high amounts of the nutrient. People who are risk are mainly alcoholics and coffee drinkers which can deplete inositol storage. Diabetics might also be recommended to further take supplementations.
Recommended Daily Allowance for Adults
Main Food Sources
- Egg yolks
- Brewer’s yeast
Although no side effects have been reported in taking high dosages of Inositol, there is a possible chance of stomach upset and diarrhoea in some users.