Also known as
Myo-inositol, Vitamin B8
Myo-inositol, or simply inositol, is a carbocyclic sugar that is abundant in brain and other mammalian tissues, mediates cell signal transduction in response to a variety of hormones, neurotransmitters and growth factors and participates in osmoregulation. Inositol is a sugar alcohol with half the sweetness of sucrose and is made naturally in human beings from glucose, daily biosynthesis amounts averaging at 4g a day by the kidneys alone. The highest concentration is in the brain where it plays an important role in the creation of neurotransmitters.
Recommended amount per dose is 2-4 grams per day for normal supplementation. Higher doses (9-18 grams) have also shown promising results for certain mood imbalances.
Myo-inositol plays an important role as the structural basis for a number of secondary messengers in eukaryotic cells, the various inositol phosphates. In addition, inositol serves as an important component of the structural lipids phosphatidylinositol (PI) and its various phosphates, the phosphatidylinositol phosphate (PIP) lipids.
Inositol or its phosphates and associated lipids are found in many foods, in particular fruit, especially cantaloupe and oranges. In plants, the hexaphosphate of inositol, phytic acid or its salts, the phytates, serve as phosphate stores in seed, for example in nuts and beans. Phytic acid also occurs in cereals with high bran content. Phytate is, however, not directly bioavailable to humans in the diet, since it is not digestible. Some food preparation techniques partly break down phytates to change this. However, inositol in the form of glycerophospholipids, as found in certain plant-derived substances such as lecithins is well-absorbed and relatively bioavailable.
Myo-inositol (free of phosphate) was once considered a member of the vitamin B complex, called Vitamin B8 in this context. However, because it is produced by the human body from glucose, it is not an essential nutrient.
Do not consume without knowing an accurate dosage. A milligram scale is highly recommended.
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