Inositol is a member of the Vitamin B Complex and is found in a variety of forms naturally found in our bodies. Even though it is may be classified, as a member of the Vitamin B Complex, Inositol itself is not a vitamin. The common form of Inositol is known as myo-inositol. As a nutrient, it is a direct precursor of phospholipids, which are main components of cellular membranes. These membranes are essential in maintaining a proper transfer of nutrients and electrical energy transfer across the cell membrane. What this means is that Inositol aids healthy membranes that in turn aid in nerve impulses to the brain.
Inositol also helps with the action of serotonin, a neurotransmitter, by manipulating the production of serotonin, to help with anxiety and depression. Inositol is different that the majority of anti-depressants and SSRI’s as these products only protect serotonin from being depleted or absorbed.
One thing to remember is that if you are taking anti-depressants or SSRI’s at this time, then you should not begin a regimen of Inositol as it can result in serotonin poisoning.
Most adults receive a small amount of Inositol in their diet in the US; however, it is usually not enough to help provide any therapeutic effects for OCD, anxiety or depression. Naturally, Inositol is found in cereals, legumes, citrus fruits, nuts, and seeds.
Today, more individuals are looking for natural remedies for anxiety and depression. The main reason people are looking for natural remedies are due to the fact that most medications often have side effects that are worse than their depression. Natural remedies including herbs have been proven to aid individuals suffering from anxiety and depression.
In a recent clinical double blind controlled study, 12 grams of Inositol were given to participants each day for four weeks. At the end of the four weeks, those that had been taken Inositol showed significant benefits on the Hamilton Depression Scale when compared to the other participants that had been taking placebo.
In another clinical study, participants were given 18 grams of Inositol each day for 12 weeks. This study was a controlled, double blind, random order crossover study. In this study, reduction in the severity of anxiety and OCD was noted in participants that were given Inositol with improvements noted on the Hamilton Rating scale for Anxiety scores, Clinical Global Impression Scale scores, and agoraphobia scores.
From these studies, one can see that Inositol aids those with OCD, depression, panic attacks, and anxiety.
When it comes to side effects, Inositol only has been reported to cause mild side effects such as diarrhea and gas in some patients. Before starting any new type of treatment, it would be a good idea to speak with your physician to ensure other medications will not cause a problem with the daily intake of Inositol.