What is INOSITOL?
Do we need to add one more supplement into our daily routine?
What is Inositol?
- You can think of Myo-Inositol as a second messenger in your body, found within cell membranes
- Sometimes referred to as Vitamin B-8, although it is not a true vitamin because our bodies can make their own and it is found in grains, beans, nuts, fruit
- Each kidney makes 2gm/day, and the liver and brain can also make inositol
- One stereoisomer of C-6 sugar alcohol and the most abundant, making up 95% of free inositol in the body
Inositol is a type of sugar that influences both the body’s insulin response and several hormones associated with mood and cognition. Inositol also has antioxidant properties that fight the damaging effects of free radicals in the brain, circulatory system, and other body tissues. Inositol plays a vital role in balancing neurotransmitters.
Inositol by Cynthia Thurlow is: ONE INGREDIENT!
Our Myo-Inositol is 100% PURE Myo-Inositol, which is the most abundant isomer found in cell membranes. Research has shown that myo-inositol helps you fall asleep faster, supports healthy neurotransmitters, including GABA and serotonin, and supports healthy blood sugar, which, in turn, supports metabolic flexibility.
- Extensive lab testing
- GMP certified facility, based in the US
- Multi-stage lab analysis
- Tested for purity, strength, composition, compliance and safety
- Climate controlled environment
Myo-Inositol is depleted with our modern-day lifestyles. What depletes it in our bodies?
- Insulin resistance
- Low sodium intake
- The aging process
- Antibiotic use
- Processed carbs
- Caffeine use, especially coffee
- Digestive issues/malabsorption
- Low magnesium levels
- Metabolic Flexibility
- Brain Health
- Sleep Enhancement
- Only 7% of adults are metabolically healthy
- Fewer than [1:15] have optimal metabolic health
- Inositol helps to promote insulin sensitivity and can be taken in conjunction with other medications, may help promote weight loss
- Enhances neurotransmitters, like serotonin, GABA, dopamine, Acetylcholine
- Reduces inflammation
- Facilitates communication between brain cells (cell signaling)
- Influences neuroplasticity
- Protects the blood brain barrier
- Comprises the phospholipid bi layer for brain cells
- Enhances alertness, concentration, cognition
- 40-60% of perimenopausal and menopausal women have issues with insomnia
- Overall 10-30% of the population (men and women) have issues with insomnia
- Inositol helps you to fall asleep faster and can help you stay asleep if you wake during the night
- Inositol impacts serotonin levels and induces a sense of calm and peace
- Inositol communicates with GABA receptors in the brain and helps support healthy function of this neurotransmitter
Inositol is one of the most important vitamins you may never have heard of!
Inositol is often promoted as a general health supplement for women. That’s because of its benefits to fertility and polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) and relieving symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS) and anxiety. (1)
However, inositol supplements help a wide array of conditions in women and men and have many other health-promoting effects.
In this article, I’ll talk about why inositol is so essential and how you can boost it in your body.
What is inositol?
Inositol is a vital nutrient produced naturally in the body and found in plants and animals.
Inositol plays a part in many bodily processes. However, one of the primary reasons we use inositol here at Human Performance Hub is its vital role in balancing neurotransmitters.
Inositol and neurotransmitters
Neurotransmitters relay messages between the billions of neurons or nerve cells in your brain. Neurotransmitters affect many aspects of your life, ranging from moods, productivity, stress management, memory and learning ability, sleep, food cravings, addictions, etc.
While all neurotransmitters are essential, the “big four” are:
- Dopamine – impacts energy, drive, focus and motivation
- Serotonin – affects mood, sleep, and immune function.
- Acetylcholine – influences memory and attention span.
- GABA – promotes calmness and contentment, optimal sleep and digestion
All major neurotransmitters rely on inositol to relay the messages between your brain cells. Like your phone needs a signal to work, neurotransmitters can’t do their thing without inositol.
Unfortunately, modern living with high-stress levels, inadequate sleep, and poor nutrition can rapidly imbalance your neurotransmitters. And to be physically and mentally healthy, you need a balance of neurotransmitters.
Inositol is an excellent balancer because it’s part of many brain chemical systems. As such, inositol can help a wide array of health conditions as well as boost good health. Inositol is one of the first supplements I recommend to new clients.
Health benefits of inositol
Here are five ways inositol can improve your health and wellbeing.
1. Inositol helps promote quality sleep
The great thing about inositol is that it works as an adaptogen – this means it promotes only what your body needs on an individual basis.
For example, GABA, an inhibitory neurotransmitter, slows down brain activity and puts your body in a calmer and more relaxed state. Low GABA activity in your body is linked to insomnia and disrupted sleep. Serotonin is another brain chemical that affects how you sleep. If serotonin is low, it can disrupt sleep.
So if you’re low in GABA and serotonin and struggle with sleep, inositol can help bring your levels back up. Alternatively, if you struggle to get out of bed in the morning due to low dopamine levels, inositol can help bring this up instead.
See also: The Brain Chemicals that Boost Sleep and Recovery and the Science and Sensibilities of sleep.
2. Inositol helps improve PMS and PCOS symptoms
Inositol helps diminish the mood swings, depression, and anxiety of premenstrual syndrome (PMS) and the more severe premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD). (1)
Taking inositol supplements can also positively improve polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) symptoms like menstrual irregularities, infertility, weight gain, high blood sugar, and unhealthy cholesterol and triglyceride levels. (2)
Several studies found that daily doses of inositol reduced blood triglyceride levels, improved insulin function, lowered blood pressure, and promoted ovulation in women with polycystic PCOS. (3, 4, 5, 6) Inositol supports ovarian function so well that some nutritional supplements specifically designed to encourage fertility contain inositol.
Inositol also shows potential in boosting fertility for men. One study of 194 men showed that inositol supplementation improved sperm quality, sperm count, and fertility after three months. ( 7)
3. Inositol helps lessen anxiety
Several mental health disorders such as anxiety, panic attacks, OCD, and depression are linked to lower levels of inositol in the brain. (8, 9)
Inositol affects neurotransmitters, so low inositol levels may contribute to decreased serotonin activity in your brain and impact behaviour and mood. Research on inositol supplementation showed improved symptoms associated with conditions affecting serotonin and the brain.
In some instances, inositol was more effective than the most commonly prescribed medications. For example, one study found that people taking inositol had fewer panic attacks per week compared to those taking SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor) anxiety medication. (10)
4. Inositol helps reduce depression
Like anxiety, inositol has benefits for depression. That’s because inositol levels are lower than average in people with depression. (11)
Inositol increases serotonin and creates SSRI effects, similar to antidepressant drugs like Prozac. 14 In one study of 28 people with depression, high doses of inositol (12 g/day) improved mood and all symptoms after four weeks. (12)
These studies suggest that inositol can be as effective, if not more, when compared to SSRI antidepressant drugs for different conditions.
5. Inositol helps weight loss
Inositol can encourage weight loss by improving how the body responds to insulin.
Insulin is a critically important hormone for controlling blood sugar levels. When your body has a problem responding to insulin, the resulting insulin resistance causes blood sugar fluctuations. This can lead to impulsive overeating and cravings for sugary foods in many people.
Inositol helps reduce insulin resistance by improving the body’s sensitivity to insulin. In one study, women supplemented with 4 grams of inositol per day showed improved insulin sensitivity. (14)
It’s best if you build up your inositol levels steadily. I recommend taking 2-4 grams every night over at least one month.
The product I prefer is YPSI Inositol Plus Magnesium. Each serving has 2 grams of inositol with 400mg of magnesium glycinate – great for promoting healthy sleep and the amino acids L-glycine and L-taurine. The water-soluble powder easily dissolves into water or juice and has a naturally sweet flavour. Most people find this the most convenient and economical way to take inositol.
Inositol has tremendous health benefits due to its many roles in the body. Inositol helps with stress, anxiety, hormonal issues, PCOS, acne, trouble with focus and sugar cravings, and metabolic conditions such as diabetes, autoimmune disorders, and neurodegenerative diseases.
If you have any of these issues or want to help prevent them, you should add inositol to your health toolkit.
Always speak with your physician or other healthcare professionals before making any nutritional & lifestyle changes or before taking any nutritional supplement. For more information, please view our terms & conditions.
- Human Performance Hub Magnesium Bisglycinate
- Human Performance Hub Taurine
- Human Performance Hub Glycine Powder
- Zinc and Magnesium: Essentials for stress-busting, immunity-boosting, and so much more
- Myo-inositol in the treatment of premenstrual dysphoric disorder
- PCOS | Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
- Ovulatory and metabolic effects of D-chiro-inositol in the polycystic ovary syndrome
- Comparison of two insulin sensitizers, metformin and myo-inositol, in women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
- Myo-inositol administration positively affects hyperinsulinemia and hormonal parameters in overweight patients with polycystic ovary syndrome
- Ovulation induction with myo-inositol alone and in combination with clomiphene citrate in polycystic ovarian syndrome patients with insulin resistance
- Myoinositol improves sperm parameters and serum reproductive hormones in patients with idiopathic infertility
- Reduced myo-inositol levels in cerebrospinal fluid from patients with affective disorder
- Reduced frontal cortex inositol levels in postmortem brain of suicide victims and patients with bipolar disorder
- Double-blind, controlled, crossover trial of inositol versus fluvoxamine for the treatment of panic disorder
- Myo-inositol, Glutamate, and Glutamine in the Prefrontal Cortex, Hippocampus, and Amygdala in Major Depression
- Frontal Cortex Myo-Inositol Is Associated with Sleep and Depression in Adolescents: A Proton Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy Study
- A meta-analysis of inositol for depression and anxiety disorders
- The effect of myoinositol supplementation on insulin resistance in patients with gestational diabetes