Inositol might balance certain chemicals in the body to help with mental conditions such as panic disorder, depression, and obsessive-compulsive disorder. It might also help insulin work better.
People use inositol for metabolic syndrome, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), and for reducing the risk of preterm birth. It's also used for insomnia, bipolar disorder, PTSD, and many other conditions, but there is no good scientific evidence to support most of these uses.
Don't confuse inositol with inositol nicotinate or IP-6. These are not the same.
Uses & Effectiveness
Possibly Effective for
- A grouping of symptoms that increase the risk of diabetes, heart disease, and stroke (metabolic syndrome). Taking inositol by mouth, with or without alpha-lipoic acid, seems to improve insulin resistance, cholesterol, triglycerides, and blood pressure in people with metabolic syndrome.
- A hormonal disorder that causes enlarged ovaries with cysts (polycystic ovary syndrome or PCOS). Taking inositol by mouth seems to lower triglyceride levels, decrease blood pressure, and improve blood sugar, ovulation, and pregnancy rates in people with PCOS.
- Preterm birth. Taking inositol with folic acid by mouth during pregnancy seems to lower the risk of preterm birth in those who have a higher chance of developing diabetes during pregnancy.
Possibly Ineffective for
- A sudden and serious lung condition (acute respiratory distress syndrome or ARDS). Giving myo-inositol by IV to premature babies with ARDS doesn't seem to help. In fact, it might be harmful. IV products can only be given by a healthcare provider.
- Anxiety. Taking inositol by mouth doesn't seem to improve symptoms of anxiety.
- Depression. Taking inositol by mouth doesn't improve symptoms of depression.
- Nerve pain in people with diabetes (diabetic neuropathy). Taking inositol by mouth doesn't seem to improve the symptoms of nerve pain caused by diabetes.
- An eye disorder in premature infants that can lead to blindness (retinopathy of prematurity). Giving myo-inositol by IV or by mouth to premature babies doesn't seem to lower the chance of developing retinopathy. In fact, it might increase the risk of death. IV products can only be given by a healthcare provider.
When applied to the skin: There isn't enough reliable information to know if inositol is safe or what the side effects might be.
Special Precautions and Warnings
When applied to the skin: There isn't enough reliable information to know if inositol is safe or what the side effects might be. Pregnancy: Inositol is possibly safe when taken by mouth, short-term. Doses of up to 4000 mg of myo-inositol daily have been used with apparent safety.
Breast-feeding: There isn't enough reliable information to know if inositol is safe to use when breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.
Children: Inositol is possibly safe when taken by mouth for up to 12 weeks in children ages 5-12 years old.
Medications for diabetes (Antidiabetes drugs) interacts with INOSITOL
Inositol might lower blood sugar levels. Taking inositol along with diabetes medications might cause blood sugar to drop too low. Monitor your blood sugar closely.
Be cautious with this combination
As medicine, inositol has most often been used by adults in doses of 1-4 grams by mouth daily. It's often taken together with 200-400 mcg of folic acid daily. Speak with a healthcare provider to find out what dose might be best for a specific condition.
You Might Also Like
CONDITIONS OF USE AND IMPORTANT INFORMATION: This information is meant to supplement, not replace advice from your doctor or healthcare provider and is not meant to cover all possible uses, precautions, interactions or adverse effects. This information may not fit your specific health circumstances. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your doctor or other qualified health care provider because of something you have read on WebMD. You should always speak with your doctor or health care professional before you start, stop, or change any prescribed part of your health care plan or treatment and to determine what course of therapy is right for you.
This copyrighted material is provided by Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Consumer Version. Information from this source is evidence-based and objective, and without commercial influence. For professional medical information on natural medicines, see Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Professional Version.
© Therapeutic Research Faculty 2020.