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Inositol - Benefits, Deficiency Symptoms And Food Sources

Alternative name :: Misoinositol

Inositol is a vitamin that is utilized by the body for a variety of metabolic processes. It is a simple carbohydrate and is essential to human health.

Inositol is a member of the b-complex family of vitamins, but is not the same as inositol Hexaphosphate or inositol hexaniacinate.

Inositol also known as myo-inositol; misoinositol; lipotropic factor. A water soluble member of the vitamin B complex. Not a true vitamin because the body can manufacture it. Present in cereals and vegetables as Phytic acid, a combination of inositol and phosphorus.

Benefits of Inositol

Inositol plays an important part in the health of cell membranes especially the specialized cells in the brain, bone marrow, eyes and intestines. The function of the cell membranes is to regulate the contents of the cells, which makes effective functioning possible.

Inositol is also vital for hair growth, and, as a component of lecithin, helps to prevent high cholesterol and the hardening of the arteries caused by cholesterol buildup. It has also been said to have a calming effect on the nervous system, and is being studied as a possible treatment for depression, panic attacks, and even Alzheimer's disease.

Recommended Dosage of Inositol

While most people do not need to take supplemental inositol, doctors sometimes suggest 500 mg twice per day in connection with depression, anxiety, and obsessive-compulsive disorder. While no recommended dosages are available, 12 to 18 grams per day appeared to be effective in double-blind trials.

Rich sources of Inositol

Dietary sources of inositol include nuts, beans, wheat and wheat bran, beef brain, raisins, cantaloupe, cabbage and oranges.

Deficiency Symptoms of Inositol

Symptoms of inositol deficiency includes :-

  • Alopecia
  • Hypertension
  • Constipation
  • Eczema
  • Raised cholesterol
  • Gastritis
Inositol Side Effects

Though few side effects have been reported from taking supplements, diarrhea is a possible side effect of large doses of inositol. In addition, pregnant women and people with chronic renal failure should consult a physician before using it.

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