Inositol is considered a non-essential nutrient since it can be synthesised in your digestive system by good bacteria. It works closely with choline and combines with it to form lecithin. Inositol is vital for healthy nervous system function and plays a role in neurotransmitter activity.
Why you may need inositol
Panic disorder and agoraphobia (fear of public and open spaces) – studies have found that taking inositol for 4 weeks reduced the severity and duration of panic attacks and the severity of agoraphobia.
High cholesterol – inositol is a component of the phospholipid, lecithin, which is important for the metabolism of fats.
How much do you need?
A RDI has not been established.
Symptoms of deficiency
Deficiency is associated with hair loss, constipation, high cholesterol and eczema.
The best dietary sources include beans, rockmelon, citrus fruits, corn grains, organ meats and nuts.
Other reasons why you may need more
Excessive alcohol, lactation, diabetes and stress can increase your demand for inositol.
Orally, inositol is generally well tolerated but overdosing can cause nausea, tiredness, headache and dizziness.