(Natural News) Inositol is often mistaken as a B-vitamin, but it is actually a type of sugar. While the body produces inositol from carbohydrate-rich foods, it can also be obtained from natural sources like beans, fruits, nuts, and grains. Many people believe that an inositol-rich diet can manage a wide range of mental health problems.
Inositol may improve mental health
Inositol is an essential micronutrient for proper brain function. It regulates hormones associated with mood and cognition, such as dopamine and serotonin. Research suggests that increasing one’s intake of inositol can help treat mental illnesses like panic attacks, bipolar and obsessive-compulsive disorders, depression, and bulimia, as well as manage hormonal imbalances.
Inositol reduces panic attacks
People with panic disorders may benefit from inositol supplementation. This nutrient affects molecules that relay information across the brain called neurotransmitters. Serotonin is one such neurotransmitter and plays a key role in the regulation of mood and behavior.
Studies suggest that supplementing with inositol can decrease the symptoms of mental conditions involving serotonin regulation, such as panic attacks.
Inositol reduces mania in bipolar disorder
While research linking inositol and bipolar disorder is limited, some studies show that inositol decreases symptoms of mania in children with bipolar spectrum disorders. Moreover, research shows that daily supplementation of 3-6 g of inositol reduces the symptoms of psoriasis, a common side effect of drug medication used for treating bipolar disorder.
Inositol decreases symptoms of OCD
Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a chronic mental illness characterized by unwanted recurring thoughts, behaviors and urges (obsession) that a patient tries to suppress by doing repetitive actions and behaviors (compulsions).
Research suggests that inositol may reduce such symptoms if taken daily for six weeks. Better still, this nutrient works well with OCD medication and does not have any side effects.
Inositol decreases symptoms of depression
Studies reveal that people suffering from depression have lower levels of inositol in their brain. This led researchers to believe that inositol supplementation can be an alternative treatment for depression. In a study published in The American Journal of Psychiatry, researchers found that regular intake of inositol improved the mental health of people with depression.
Inositol mitigates symptoms of bulimia
Bulimia nervosa or simply bulimia is a serious eating disorder characterized by a cycle of binging on food, then purging through self-induced vomiting.
Research suggests that a high intake of inositol can reduce the symptoms of bulimia, such as binge-eating, anxiety, and depression.
Inositol improves symptoms of PCOS
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) causes hormonal imbalance in women and affects their mental health. Supplementing with inositol has been found to reduce PCOS-related mood swings, depression, and anxiety.
Moreover, women with PCOS often experience irregular menstruation and infertility. They may also encounter health issues such as hypertension and diabetes.
Studies suggest that inositol, combined with folic acid, can reduce levels of triglycerides in the blood, improve insulin function, and promote ovulation.
Other health benefits of inositol
Aside from mental health, inositol is also known to manage various conditions such as respiratory distress syndrome and Type 2 diabetes. (Related: Inositol is a vital nutrient for your body that could prevent and heal cancer.)
- Respiratory distress syndrome: Preterm infants with underdeveloped lungs could be treated with inositol to help them breathe better.
- Type 2 diabetes: Research suggests that people with Type 2 diabetes can benefit from taking inositol and folic acid for six months to help regulate blood sugar levels.
SupplementsReport.news has more about inositol and its positive effects on mental health.