History of Inositol
Inositol, often referred to as vitamin B8, has a rich history rooted in the world of nutrition and health. Although not a true vitamin, its importance was recognised in the early 20th century when it was first isolated from muscle tissue.
Historically, it was believed to be an essential B vitamin until researchers discovered the human body could synthesise it.
Over the years, its significance in various physiological processes has been extensively studied, making it a sought-after ingredient in the supplement industry.
Chemically, inositol is a carbocyclic sugar, a member of the vitamin B complex group. It exists in nine possible stereoisomers, with myo-inositol being the most prevalent and biologically active form.
Structurally, it resembles glucose but has six hydroxyl (OH) groups, making it a polyol. Its unique structure allows it to play a pivotal role in cellular signalling and lipid metabolism.
Benefits of Inositol
Inositol boasts a plethora of health benefits:
- Mental Health: Studies have shown that inositol can be beneficial for mood disorders, potentially aiding in the treatment of depression, panic disorder, and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) .
- Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS): It has been observed that inositol can improve insulin resistance and fertility in women with PCOS.
- Lipid Metabolism: Inositol plays a role in breaking down fats, potentially assisting in the prevention of fatty liver disease and promoting overall metabolic health.
- Neurological Function: It aids in nerve signal transmission, making it essential for optimal brain function.
Forms of Consumption
Inositol can be consumed in various forms, catering to diverse consumer needs:
- Powders: Often mixed with beverages or smoothies for easy consumption.
- Liquid Formulations: Ideal for those who prefer not to swallow pills.
Safety + Dosages
Generally, inositol is well-tolerated and considered safe when consumed within recommended dosages. Typical dosages range from 500mg to 18g daily, depending on the condition being addressed.
However, excessive intake may lead to gastrointestinal issues. It’s always advisable to consult with a healthcare professional before starting any supplement regimen.
Use and Legality in UK, EU, US and Globally
In the UK and EU, inositol supplements are legally available and widely used for various health conditions. In the US, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recognises inositol as Generally Recognised As Safe (GRAS), allowing its use in food and supplements.
Globally, its status varies, but in most countries, it’s available as an over-the-counter supplement. However, regulations can change, so it’s essential to stay updated with local guidelines.
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