Inositol is an essential nutrient, that has been considered a component of the B vitamin complex, specifically B-8. It is needed for proper cell membrane functioning, a majority of which is necessary for hormone regulation.
Inositol is also known to support a healthy mood. Balanced mood, and increased feelings of overall subjective well-being can occur when a higher dose of inositol is taken daily.
Typically, lower doses of 2-4g are sufficient for treating most issues within the body. However, achieving neurological benefits requires higher doses in the 6-12g range. Smaller doses are safe when taken once a day, but higher doses need multiple, smaller daily doses in order to reduce possible gastrointestinal side effects.
Inositol Mode of Action
Inositol is a small molecule consisting of a carbon ring that is chemically similar to glucose. Being water soluble, it passes easily into the bloodstream, where it can travel throughout the body and be available wherever needed. Cell membranes have protein molecules that are able to transport these small molecules into the cell, in the same way they transport glucose, where it needs them. Once inside, the cellular mechanisms transform inositol to suit their current messaging needs.
Inositol Side Effects & Toxicity
People tend to tolerate inositol supplements well in doses up to around 12g. At that point, mild gastrointestinal symptoms may occur about 5% of the time. However, studies also show that up to 30g doses still only result in mild digestive distress. Due to the extensive research on inositol in the lab, scientists have been able to determine that its LD50, or median lethal dose in mice, is about 10g/kg of body weight.
Although there are no known harmful drug interactions involving inositol, there are a few beneficial ones. Lithium, a drug used to treat bipolar disorder, works by depleting the brain’s supply of inositol. Unfortunately, this depletion can result in psoriasis or polyuria. Supplements can negate these lithium effects in the body without interfering with its neural effects.