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Supplement Forms/Alternate Names:
IP6;Inositol Hexaphosphate;Myoinositol;Phytic Acid; Vitamin B 8
Principal Proposed Uses
Other Proposed Uses
Alzheimer's Disease ; Attention Deficit Disorder ; Bipolar Disorder ; Bulimia ; Cancer Treatment Support ; Cancer Prevention ; Diabetic Neuropathy ; Metabolic Syndrome ;Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder; Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) ; Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) ; Psoriasis Caused by Treatment With Lithium
Inositol, unofficially referred to as "vitamin B 8," is present in all animal tissues, with the highest levels in the heart and brain. It is part of the membranes (outer coverings) of all cells, and plays a role in helping the liver process fats as well as contributing to the function of muscles and nerves.
Inositol may also be involved in depression. People who are depressed may have lower than normal levels of inositol in their spinal fluid. In addition, inositol participates in the action of serotonin, a neurotransmitter known to be a factor in depression. (Neurotransmitters are chemicals that transmit messages between nerve cells.) For these two reasons, inositol has been proposed as a treatment for depression, and preliminary evidence suggests that it may be helpful.
Inositol has also been tried for other psychological and nerve-related conditions.
Inositol is not known to be an essential nutrient. However, nuts, seeds, beans, whole grains, cantaloupe, and citrus fruits supply a substance called phytic acid (inositol hexaphosphate, or IP6), which releases inositol when acted on by bacteria in the digestive tract. The typical American diet provides an estimated 1,000 mg daily.
Last reviewedSeptember 2014by EBSCO CAM Review Board
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.