Inositol Benefits: Unlocking the Power of Vitamin B-8 Carbohydrate

| Modified on May 03, 2024
Inositol Benefits

Often dubbed as Vitamin B-8, inositol is a naturally occurring carbohydrate predominantly found in fruits, such as cantaloupe and oranges. But don't let its modest sweetness deceive you; inositol's real prowess lies in its diverse biological functions and promising therapeutic potential.

Earth Clinic readers have highlighted the multifaceted benefits of inositol supplementation; noticeable relief from depression, reduced withdrawal symptoms from medications, mitigation of menopausal weight gain, and decreased frequency and severity of hot flashes. Additionally, inositol has been credited for improving sleep patterns in those suffering from insomnia and significantly reducing heavy menstrual bleeding caused by fibroids.

What Is Inositol Made From?

While inositol is naturally present in various foods, especially in fruits, the commercially available inositol supplements predominantly come from manufacturing. The primary source for its commercial production is the phytic acid found in corn. When extracted from corn, this acid undergoes hydrolysis, a chemical process where it's broken down in the presence of an enzyme or acid, releasing inositol. The resultant inositol undergoes further purification and crystallization processes to ensure it meets the stringent quality and purity standards suitable for human consumption. As a result, the inositol produced for supplements is often identical in structure and function to the naturally occurring version, ensuring its effectiveness and safety for consumers.

Understanding Inositol's Core Functions

At the heart of its cellular role, inositol facilitates insulin signal transduction, a pivotal process responsible for insulin release, which is indispensable for blood sugar regulation. Moreover, it strengthens cellular structure and optimizes the blood's metabolism of fats and cholesterol.

The Health Horizons of Inositol

Mental Health and Mood Regulation

Panic Attacks and Anxiety

Studies indicate that inositol supplementation can lessen the frequency and intensity of panic attacks, fostering better mental equilibrium.1

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

Inositol has proven beneficial in significantly alleviating OCD symptoms, providing hope to many affected by the disorder. 2

Schizophrenia and Depression

While the research landscape is still evolving, initial findings, complemented by anecdotal evidence, spotlight the prospective advantages of inositol for individuals grappling with schizophrenia and depression.3

Reproductive Health

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)

Inositol, particularly in myoinositol form, is pivotal in ameliorating PCOS symptoms by enhancing insulin resistance and restoring hormonal harmony.4

Fertility Enhancement

Supplementing with inositol has been acknowledged to promote ovarian function and fertility, especially for those with PCOS.5

Menstrual Regularity

For individuals experiencing irregular menstrual cycles, inositol might offer a natural solution to establish regularity.6

Dermatological Health

Psoriasis and Lithium Therapy

Supplementing with inositol can alleviate psoriasis symptoms, especially in cases exacerbated by lithium drug therapy.7

Acne and Inflammation

Inositol's role in cell function and hormonal balance suggests potential efficacy in managing inflammatory skin conditions, including acne.8

Metabolic Efficiency

Insulin Response Enhancement

Inositol's contribution to insulin signal transduction augments the body's responsiveness to insulin, which is pivotal for those with type 2 diabetes or those on the cusp of it. 9

Fat and Cholesterol Metabolism

Inositol's active role in lipid metabolism aids in breaking down fats, facilitating cholesterol management, and bolstering cardiovascular health.10

Neurological Well-being

Addressing Diabetes-Related Nerve Complications

Emerging studies suggest that inositol can potentially mitigate nerve complications related to diabetes.11

Cognitive Enhancement and Neuroprotection

Inositol's influence on cellular structure may offer cognitive boosts, possibly protecting against neurodegenerative diseases.12

Dosing Considerations

The ideal inositol dosage hinges on individual requirements and specific health objectives. Here's a distilled guideline:

  • General Health: 500 mg to 2 grams daily suffices for general health maintenance.
  • Mental Health: For disorders like depression or OCD, dosages might fluctuate between 2 grams to 18 grams daily.
  • PCOS and Fertility: 2 grams to 4 grams daily is often recommended.
  • Neurological Concerns: For alleviating diabetic nerve discomfort, 500 mg to 2 grams daily is a typical range.
  • Skincare: Dosages for skin conditions can range from 2 grams to 6 grams daily.

A conservative dose is recommended for best results, gradually incrementing based on bodily responses.

Recognizing Inositol's Potential Side Effects

While the health dividends of inositol are extensive, awareness of potential side effects is paramount. This includes symptoms like:

  • Drowsiness or fatigue
  • Gastrointestinal upsets, including nausea or diarrhea
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Headaches
  • Itching or skin irritations
  • Unanticipated blood sugar fluctuations

Final Thoughts

With its vast therapeutic landscape, Inositol has positioned itself as a powerhouse supplement, promising enhanced health across various fronts. While its potential is tantalizing, it's crucial to embrace it with a well-informed approach, heeding individual body responses and professional guidance. As research continues to expand, the horizon for inositol's applications seems limitless.

For those interested, firsthand feedback from individuals who've explored inositol as a supplement is available below. If you have an inositol experience to share, we'd love to hear from you!

Further Research

1. Inositol and Panic Attacks: Palatnik A, Frolov K, Fux M, Benjamin J. Double-blind, controlled, crossover trial of inositol versus fluvoxamine for the treatment of panic disorder. J Clin Psychopharmacol. 2001 Jun;21(3):335-9. doi: 10.1097/00004714-200106000-00014. PMID: 11386498.

2. Inositol and OCD: Fux M, Levine J, Aviv A, Belmaker RH. Inositol treatment of obsessive-compulsive disorder. Am J Psychiatry. 1996 Sep;153(9):1219-21. doi: 10.1176/ajp.153.9.1219. PMID: 8780431.

3. Inositol and Depression: Levine J. Controlled trials of inositol in psychiatry. Eur Neuropsychopharmacol. 1997 May;7(2):147-55. doi: 10.1016/s0924-977x(97)00409-4. PMID: 9169302.

4. Inositol and PCOS: Kalra B, Kalra S, Sharma JB. The inositols and polycystic ovary syndrome. Indian J Endocrinol Metab. 2016 Sep-Oct;20(5):720-724. doi: 10.4103/2230-8210.189231. PMID: 27730087; PMCID: PMC5040057.

5. Inositol and Fertility: Gambioli R, Forte G, Buzzaccarini G, Unfer V, Laganà AS. Myo-Inositol as a Key Supporter of Fertility and Physiological Gestation. Pharmaceuticals (Basel). 2021 May 25;14(6):504. doi: 10.3390/ph14060504. PMID: 34070701; PMCID: PMC8227031.

6. Inositol and Regulating Menstrual Cycles: Kachhawa G, Senthil Kumar KV, Kulshrestha V, Khadgawat R, Mahey R, Bhatla N. Efficacy of myo-inositol and d-chiro-inositol combination on menstrual cycle regulation and improving insulin resistance in young women with polycystic ovary syndrome: A randomized open-label study. Int J Gynaecol Obstet. 2022 Aug;158(2):278-284. doi: 10.1002/ijgo.13971. Epub 2021 Nov 10. PMID: 34624138.

7. Inositol for Psoriasis Caused by Lithium Therapy: Allan SJ, Kavanagh GM, Herd RM, Savin JA. The effect of inositol supplements on the psoriasis of patients taking lithium: a randomized, placebo-controlled trial. Br J Dermatol. 2004 May;150(5):966-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2133.2004.05822.x. PMID: 15149510.

8. Inositol for Acne and Inflammatory Skin Conditions: Zacchè MM, Caputo L, Filippis S, Zacchè G, Dindelli M, Ferrari A. Efficacy of myo-inositol in the treatment of cutaneous disorders in young women with polycystic ovary syndrome. Gynecol Endocrinol. 2009 Aug;25(8):508-13. doi: 10.1080/09513590903015544. PMID: 19551544.

9. Inositol and Insulin: Bevilacqua A, Bizzarri M. Inositols in Insulin Signaling and Glucose Metabolism. Int J Endocrinol. 2018 Nov 25;2018:1968450. doi: 10.1155/2018/1968450. PMID: 30595691; PMCID: PMC6286734.

10. Inositol's Impact On Cholesterol and Fat Metabolism: Tabrizi R, Ostadmohammadi V, Lankarani KB, Peymani P, Akbari M, Kolahdooz F, Asemi Z. The effects of inositol supplementation on lipid profiles among patients with metabolic diseases: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Lipids Health Dis. 2018 May 24;17(1):123. doi: 10.1186/s12944-018-0779-4. PMID: 29793496; PMCID: PMC5968598.

11. Inositol and Diabetic Neuropathy: Salway JG, Whitehead L, Finnegan JA, Karunanayaka A, Barnett D, Payne RB. Effect of myo-inositol on peripheral-nerve function in diabetes. Lancet. 1978 Dec 16;2(8103):1282-4. doi: 10.1016/s0140-6736(78)92043-3. PMID: 82784.

12. López-Gambero AJ, Sanjuan C, Serrano-Castro PJ, Suárez J, Rodríguez de Fonseca F. The Biomedical Uses of Inositols: A Nutraceutical Approach to Metabolic Dysfunction in Aging and Neurodegenerative Diseases. Biomedicines. 2020 Aug 20;8(9):295. doi: 10.3390/biomedicines8090295. PMID: 32825356; PMCID: PMC7554709.


1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Granny Laura (Waco, Tx Usa) on 08/25/2011

I am elated to report that after taking inositol for about 2 months I do not have the big, black, depression I've had for the last 2 years! I had read about inositol for depression while researching Pyroluria and Histadelia and decided to try it. I ordered the powdered product, and began taking 1/4 teaspoon 4 times a day. After about a week I started going up on the dose until I was taking 1/2 teaspoon 3-4 times a day. That dose works out to 1200 mg 4 times a day. There was very little change at first but gradually I found that if I hadn't taked a dose that the depressive thoughts would start. After about 2 months I noticed that my mood had smoothed out so I waited about a week and cut my dose in half. That has worked just fine so far.

The powder is relatively inexpensive, and easy to take. The label says there is nothing in the powder but inositol. It is very sweet and I found I like it just fine dumped as a powder into my mouth from the measuring spoon. It would be fine to mix into anything that you drink as it has no taste except for being very sweet. I will try to remember to update if I have any changes in dose. I've never had anything for depression that didn't have really bad side effects so saying I'm very pleased would be an understatement.

Replied by Debra
(North Carolina)

We're you on any antidepressant &or anxiety meds while taking inositol? I'm on effexor & klonopin for years, can't get off it I'm addicted & too scared to do another synthetic drug. I've spent 40 years on a variety of drugs, acupuncture, TMS.I've spent Most of my life with severe depression & chronic anxiety, OCD ADHD. Now I'm 71, Pretty much given up.

Helps Withdrawal from Meds

1 User Review
4 star (1) 

Posted by Denise (Oregon, Usa) on 03/19/2015

I am new here, but I just start Inositol after quite a bit of research. I am using it to get off 3 months of using Lexapro as I've heard you can be very addicted to Lexapro. The Lexapro helped me, amazingly, but there were side-effects that scared me like headaches, tinnitus, stomach cramps, and increased tremor I have always had.

I will keep posting here on my progress. If I am understanding Inositol, you can take it just when you feel depression, anxiety or panic attack. But someone mentioned taking it every day. I know I have to see how much works for me, so I started with 1000 mg (1 g) as I was a bit nervous. Feedback very welcome;) Denise

Hot Flashes

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Vitaminjunkie (Marietta, Georgia) on 08/17/2015

Inositol has greatly relieved my hot flashes! I am 52, and I started having perimenopausal hot flashes about a year ago. Mine are related to estrogen dominance and falling progesterone levels, so any estrogenic substances (i.e. black cohosh, flax seed, etc.) only made things worse.

I used a DIM supplement, which is made from cruciferous vegetables and helps convert estradiol to estriol, very successfully for a year and this kept the flashes and being too hot at night at bay. Then the flashes came back. Mine are not as severe as many people's are, but they were only happening at night and really interfering with my sleep.

I started using a popular brand of an over the counter progesterone cream, along with Vitex (chasteberry) which helps the body favor the production of progesterone over estrogen to help boost my levels. This also helps some, but as far as the cream, I really don't like using hormones at all, even in a low dose. And the flashes weren't gone, they were still happening far too much in frequency and intensity at night.

I began giving my mother some inositol because it is relaxing to many people and helps them sleep. I took some myself one night (1000 mg.) to see if it would perhaps help me sleep through the hot flashes. Well, it had the reverse effect on me and kept me alert and awake for half the night, but I had zero hot flashes! I decided to mete out my dose throughout the day, and yesterday I took 1500 mg. altogether spread out over three 500 mg. doses. I took the last 500 mg. before bed, this smaller amount doesn't keep me awake, esp. if I take it with magnesium. I deliberately did not use the progesterone cream last night and did not have a single flash!

Ladies, I think inositol is definitely worth trying, you can find it at your local vitamin store and it is very inexpensive! I've seen very little research on it for hot flashes, but it works well for me.

Lastly, I eat a pretty low carb diet, favoring seafood. I take antioxidants, high doses of DHA, I drink a gallon of water per day, limit my coffee to two cups per day, and avoid sugars and grains. My diet is mostly Paleo, I guess, although I do eat a small amount of organic/raw dairy. The B vitamin complex I take, however, did not include any inositol, as many of them don't. Inositol is formed by the body from glucose, and I don't eat too many foods that favor glucose production, so I possibly had a deficiency. I also recommend taking the supplement cholin along with the inositol as these two work well together. I hope this works for some of you. Bear in mind that no one supplement works the same for everyone, but at the low price - inositol is definitely worth trying!


1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Gary (Oregon, US) on 04/05/2015

I have had Insomnia for more than 20 years. I have been taking Unisom every night for 20 years, finally I started trying everything, Nothing worked for sleep, till I looked up Insomnia in the Nutritional Healing book, it said Inositol was one of the items as it helps you to fall asleep and get you into REM deep sleep. I have been taking it every night with great success, 7-1/2 hours of deep restful sleep, No more Unisom or the Unisom's terrible side effects.

Inositol has changed my life for the better, or should I say the Best.

Joint Pain, Mood Improvement, Weight Loss

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Hollyhock (America ) on 05/03/2024

Inositol and my observations

I had been taking inositol for a few months and then ran out. I went without it for over a month and began noticing things going downhill. My joint pains returned with a vengeance, my mood started sinking, and was hungrier than normal. I will be getting my inositol today in the mail and will return to adding it to my bottled water, its the powder form. I can only say high praises for it! Must be something I needed. By the way, I was losing weight, while also doing intermittent fasting, much quicker on the inositol than I am during this month without it.

Multiple Cures

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Nat (Brooklyn, Ny) on 09/25/2013

Inositol helps with seratonin. In some cases, low levels of inositol can cause constipation.

Israeli research found it as effective as prozac or luvox for some problems, such as OCD.

Dr. Mendel Fux (Israeli researcher) uses up to 18 grams - 6 teaspoons of the powder daily. (can be bought at a reasonable price on Amazon. ) Some people are helped with as little as 2 grams (less than a teaspoon a day.)

It can take, for many people, up to six weeks or more to see benefits.


Inositol helps with depression, anxiety, ocd, trichotillomania, fatty liver, pcos, metabolic syndrome.

It is being studied also for bipolar, neuropathy, attention deficit disorder, adhd, alzheimers, resperatory problems in babies, and more.

Experimentally, inositol dosages of up to 18 g daily have been tried for various conditions.

see -

One can try using it with some Vitamin C powder.

It might be better to start slowly and build up gradually.

Weight Loss, Excessive Bleeding

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by HisJewel (New York) on 08/09/2023

I have mentioned something about Inositol in a post or two.

In four months, it took 20 pounds off me, it is still off. It helped my daughter's excess heavy bleeding from a fibroid to regulate.

Here is some basic information on this supplement. You will learn the different types of Inositol and take your pick for your health and situation.

Replied by Hollyhock


I am going to give it a try, I need to lose weight and another posted about it helping him sleep, which would be wonderful! I will update after maybe a month or two of using it.

Replied by HisJewel
(New York)

O' Great Hollyhock,

I do pray it works good for you too.

2022 was the first time I tried Inositol.

The other things I took for weight loss : Vanadyl sulfate, Chromium Picolinate and Super Digestive Enzymes, I have tried before with little or no weight loss. So I concluded that the inositol was the hero for my weight loss. I was twenty pounds down in 4 months after starting it.

The best thing is the weight stays off. This is amazing.

I am Past Menopause. So see how it works for you. My daughter has only gone down about 3 pounds; however, she does not take the Chromium. She was just happy that she found out that inositol made a difference with how her monthly flowed.

This is what I still take.

Inositol two 500mg capsules
One 200 mcg Chromium Picolinate

You Go Girl,



Do you take the both Inositol 500mg caps together? And what time of day do you take them? Do you find Inositol causes diuresis? Thanks in advance for your reply

(New York)

Greetings Nanatte,

I do Not know if inositol causes diuresis because I drink coffee and tea, they send me looking for the restroom when I am out shopping. However, to make sure it does not add to the situation, I take mine after dinner.

I take two Inositol capsules of whichever brand I buy. I started with “Now” which works very well, however because I often go with the sales, I have also used Vytalife which says use three, however I still only take two capsules. They have more Inositol and have also contributed to my weight loss.

When I first started taking inositol it kept me regular, guaranteed extra BM's, not anymore. The weight loss averaged out at about 5 pounds a month; in four months I lost 20 pounds. I eat two meals a day, breakfast and an early dinner around 2pm, I take the two Inositol capsules when I am at home after dinner.




Hello, Just curious to the weight-loss obtained while you've been using Inositol. How did you start and at what dosage? Have you finished loosing the weight you've wished to loose and if yes, how did you stop taking Inositol? I don't really like taking meds of any kind but really need to loose weight or be at risk for weight related illnesses. I have 35 LBs to loose. Are you still taking this;

Inositol two 500mg capsules

One 200 mcg Chromium Picolinate (what is this for?)

Are there other supplements recommended to take along with Inositol? Thank you in advance for any answers you may share. All the best to you.

Cheers, Be

(New York)

Hello Be of France,

I have no idea why Inositol works for weight loss, but it did for me. Some people on Amazon reviews said they had Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) and they lost weight while supplementing with it. So I tried it.

Different companies had different dosages on the bottle. However, whatever the dosage, I stick with two capsules a day. I aim at 1000mgs daily or a little over depending on how much is in each capsule. Some brands say take four a day, I still only use two. My favorite company was Vytalife they are no longer available.

I was taking the Chromium and a few other supplements to help keep my blood sugar regulated. I had heard that Chromium may also help lose weight. I have never had any maintainable weight loss while taking chromium, but felt it was worth mentioning just in case some how they work better with the Inositol.

Interestingly, I lost no more extra weight after the 20 pounds disappeared. I am grateful that the twenty pounds stayed off whatever it was. I do more walking these days, however, I have no extra weight loss to report.

It is really easy to take inositol. You can open the capsule and put in your coffee or tea. Inositol also comes in power form, check on Amazon.

Yes, I still take inositol; I have not tested to see if the weight will come back if I stop. However, that would be an interesting experiment.



(New York)

My search to find out how Inositol helps to lose weight did not reveal much.

I could not find any to the point studies; however, I found a video lecture by Dr. Westin Childs that was quite clear, and addresses the subject, and gives a suggested dosage.

He said. Myo-inositol works by balancing hormones.

Following is his YouTube video.

I hope this video answers Inositol weight loss questions.