Inositol is known as a Vitamin B, more particularly Vitamin B8. Inositol is a six-fold cyclic alcohol (poly-alcohol) which has an important role in the process of cell intracellular signals.
Inositol is like the other b-vitamins a member of the so-called B-complex and is part of the lecithin molecule.
It is the nerves that are most in need of inositol. This important messenger is involved actively in the nerves to send and receive signals. There are extensive clinical programs in which inositol is used to repair the damage and stimulate activity of neurons.
Good efficacy of inositol can be received in combination with ALC (Acetyl L-Carnitine), which stimulates the production of nerve transmitter acetyl-choline.
Inositol is involved in the synthesis of RNA in the cells and the synthesis of biotin in the intestine. It is also involved in the metabolism of fat and contributes in the lowering of blood cholesterol. During intake it achieves a relaxation of the nervous system and promotes normal skin and intestine function. It is vital for the synthesis of lecithin in the liver.
Inositol has in various American and British studies been proven useful for the treatment of depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder and panic disorder for instance.
A sign of deficiency of inositol may be circulatory problems caused by the high cholesterol. Other symptoms seem to be anxiety, insomnia, tension and stress. It is also a risk for high blood pressure, eczema, hair loss and constipation.
SUPPLEMENT & FOOD
Inositol is also used as a supplement to increase the amount of water in the muscles in the same way as Creatine, taurine and glutamine for instance.
Inositol is a sugar-like substance that is placed on the surface of the muscle cells. The purpose of inositol is to receive signals from the nerves and hormones and transport them into the muscle tissues. Inside the cell it will start a cascade of reactions with a large release of calcium. The high content of calcium releases more energy and mobilize more muscle fibers. The end result may be that you can exercise heavier and harder. Inositol can because of this also enhance the effects of many other supplements like Creatine and glutamine to receive even greater results.
Inositol occurs naturally in the food we eat. The richest sources of inositol are fatty foods as egg yolks and soybeans. However, the amount found in food is very low and therefore supplement may be to consider if you're having risk for deficiency.
Generally, since most of the vitamins in the B-complex are found in animal-food sources it is always a higher risk for vegetarians and vegans to get lack of some of the B-vitamins.