Inositol benefits cover supporting immune health, cardiovascular health and blood sugar level maintenance. Inositol is a naturally-occurring nutrient found in certain dietary fibers and food sources of inositol include grain (rice, wheat, oat, corn), legumes, nuts and seeds.
An alternative source of inositol can also be available through taking supplements. Since it has not been linked with any of the usual niacin flush symptoms, some doctors have recommended inositol niacinate for people who need large amounts of niacin to help regulate cholesterol.
But what is inositol? What are the basic inositol facts? It is a sugar-like nutrient made from glucose and part of the vitamin B complex along with its close ally acetylcholine. Inositol is water-soluble, not able to be stored by the body, needing to be regularly replenished through the diet to avoid depletion and deficiency symptoms.
Inositol benefits are vital for healthy cell membranes, forming part of one of the phospholipids in the membranes of cells in the brain, intestines, eyes and bone marrow.
It is involved in the metabolism of cholesterol, fats and calcium. Along with acetylcholine, inositol is necessary for the formation of lecithin in the body.
Inositol benefits are vital for hair growth and promotes healthy hair. Men taking extra inositol have reported that their hair loss slowed, with less hair falling out.
Its involvement with the metabolism of cholesterol means that inositol may be beneficial in reducing cholesterol levels.
Inositol side effects include a calming effect, relaxing nervous tension and improving sleep, and helping to alleviate severe anxiety, panic attacks, and depression. It also helps prevent eczema.
Inositol Side Effects of Deficiency
Factors that may increase inositol deficiency include alcohol consumption, too much processed food, and coffee.
Inositol side effects of deficiency may lead to increased hair loss, eye problems, high cholesterol, constipation, eczema, sleeplessness and anxiety. Coffee destroys it, so you may experience deficiency symptoms if you drink a lot of coffee.
Recommended Inositol Dosage
There’s no official recommended dietary allowance for inositol dosage, but supplements often provide a daily inositol dosage of 500 mg.
There are no known toxic effects of high inositol dosage, but you may experience inositol side effects like skin reactions or diarrhea.
Food Sources of Inositol
Here are examples of where to find animal best food sources of inositol and plant inositol rich foods :
Animal best food sources of inositol : Brewer’s yeast, liver, milk.
Plant inositol rich foods : Wholegrain products, vegetables, brown rice, oats, nuts, citrus fruits, unrefined molasses, legumes, raisins, bananas.
So now we know which food sources of inositol to include in our diet to achieve the above inositol benefits.