Inositol (Vitamin B7) - Benefits, Virtues, Dose
Inotsitol (vitamin b7)
Inositol is a cyclic organic molecule consisting of 6 carbon atoms, an essential component of phospholipids. It is sometimes mistakenly called vitamin B7.
Synthesized by the human body, it cannot belong to the vitamin family. Let's discover the uses of this molecule that plays a very important role in the transmission of cellular signals...
There are nine inositol isomers, the most common of which is myo-inositol.
It enters the structure of the cell membranes and helps to optimize the body's vital functions.
Inositol in the human body was identified over 150 years ago and myo-inositol was isolated in 1850 and purified in 1887.
It was then in the 1940s that Posternak determined the 9 isomers of inositol.
Although inositol is often associated with B vitamins, it can be synthesized by the body from glucose, which differentiates it from vitamins that, by definition, cannot be synthesized by the body in sufficient quantities to survive.
On the other hand, many recent studies have highlighted the value of inositol supplementation in the treatment of various pathologies.
Inositol is found naturally in some foods. The best sources of inositol are the liver and the heart of beef. It is also found in beef and pork.
Vegetable sources of inositol include oil seeds (fresh nuts, hazelnuts), legumes (lentils, beans), whole grains (oats, wheat, wheat germ, buckwheat, barley) and some fruits (oranges, grapefruit, strawberries) and vegetables (cauliflower, peas).
Benefits and virtues
This molecule, which is part of the composition of the cell membranes, seems to be very effective in treating many ailments or pathologies.
Known as the fertility molecule, inositol has recently been the subject of numerous studies aimed at highlighting its mode of action to improve the quality of women's eggs.
It was at the World Congress of Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology where the results of one of these studies were revealed: 88% of the patients examined returned to their regular cycles after 3 months, 7 out of 10 women returned to a normal menstrual cycle and became pregnant spontaneously.
The main cause of diagnosed infertility is polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), which affects 5-10% of women of childbearing age and is characterized by insulin resistance, among other things.
Inositol is said to act precisely on this insulin resistance, correcting the endocrine-metabolic disorders associated with PCOS.
For affected women, their diet is not sufficient to provide enough inositol to improve symptoms, and treatment with high doses of dietary supplements is required.
Because of its interaction with the central nervous system and neurotransmitters, inositol is an effective treatment for certain mental illnesses.
A double-blind study shows that 6g per day of myo-inositol is more effective than treatment with fluvoxamine (the basis of most antidepressants).
Another study shows an improvement in the symptoms of obsessive-compulsive disorders, bulimia, agoraphobia and depression with treatment at the same doses.
Other trials conducted in bipolar patients show a clear reduction in seizure episodes during treatment periods.
People with panic disorders also saw their number of panic attacks halved with inositol treatment.
Unlike conventional drug treatments, inositol takes three to five weeks to act on symptoms. Therefore, treatment should not be interrupted before this time, even if there is no improvement!
Hypercholesterolemia and cardiovascular disorders
Inositol improves lipid metabolism and is believed to increase the proportion of HDL cholesterol, considered the "good" cholesterol.
It is also believed to prevent the formation of atheromatous plaque through its lipotropic action, which removes lipid deposits from blood vessel walls and arteries.
Finally, inositol has vasodilatory properties, which are valuable in cases of hypertension or heart failure.
A 2011 study shows that a daily dose of 2 g of inositol powder significantly improves dysphoria (menstrual pain), as well as mood disorders and depression associated with PMS.
Inositol then acts as a second serotonin messenger, mimicking the effects of serotonin reuptake inhibitors.
The daily intake has not been officially determined since inositol is not really a vitamin. Recommended doses vary considerably according to the indications for taking inositol.
In the treatment of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), the recommended amounts range from 1500 mg to 4000 mg per day.
For the treatment of mental disorders, higher doses would be needed, about 6,000 to 18,000 mg daily.
Finally, to improve PMS symptoms, 2000 mg is sufficient to obtain convincing results.
Inositol-based food supplements are available in powder or capsule form, usually in a 500 mg inositol dosage.
Side effects and contraindications
Carlomengo and Unfer, two scientists who have studied the effects of inositol on fertility, have also investigated its possible side effects.
They found that, even in very high doses, their only effects are mild digestive disorders (nausea, flatulence and diarrhoea), but that the vast majority of inositol treatments are perfectly tolerated.
In the absence of studies on the subject, pregnant and nursing women should consult their physician before starting an inositol treatment.
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