What are Inositol Supplements?

Nicole Madison
Nicole Madison
Nicole Madison
Nicole Madison
Cantaloupe, which contains inositol.
Cantaloupe, which contains inositol.

Inositol supplements are substances, usually in pill, tablet, or powder form, a person consumes in order to get more inositol into his body. Inositol is a molecule that is naturally present in the human body and often linked to good mental health, among other conditions. It can also be consumed by eating a wide variety of food sources that contain it, such as bananas, citrus fruits and nuts. It has been related to the B vitamins, but is not a vitamin itself. Instead, it is often referred to as a vitamin-like substance.

Inositol supplements might hold some promise for treating insomnia.
Inositol supplements might hold some promise for treating insomnia.

There are many conditions for which inositol supplements are said to be helpful. Among them are those that affect mental health, such as depression, schizophrenia, and anxiety disorder. They have also been linked with improvement of such conditions as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). These supplements are also said to help people prevent or treat hair loss, polycystic ovarian disorder, and high cholesterol. Some sources report that inositol supplements may prove helpful for bipolar patients, and they may even provide some help for those struggling with insomnia.

Inositol supplements purportedly help alleviate depression and anxiety.
Inositol supplements purportedly help alleviate depression and anxiety.

There are many food sources a person may use to get inositol in addition to taking supplements. It can be found in both plant and animal sources. An individual can find significant amounts of it in such plant sources as cantaloupe, cabbage, bananas, and citrus fruits. It is also found in seeds, nuts, wheat, brown rice, and legumes. As far as animal sources are concerned, a person may find the organ meat of animals a significant source.

Often, inositol supplements are referred to as no-flush niacin. This is because an individual may take inositol and enjoy many of the benefits of taking niacin, such a lowered cholesterol, without having to deal with the flushing niacin supplements can cause. Additionally, another one of niacin’s potential side effects is liver damage. While this is only a risk when niacin is taken in high doses, a person who takes inositol supplements does not usually have this side effect as a concern.

Most people who take inositol supplements can do so without any significant side effects or safety concerns. Some people have reported such issues as nausea and dizziness. Headaches and fatigue may occur as well. Pregnant women and those who are breastfeeding are often advised to avoid taking inositol unless their doctors approve its use. As with all types of supplements, it’s a good idea to ask a doctor’s advice before supplementing with inositol.

Nicole Madison
Nicole Madison

Nicole’s thirst for knowledge inspired her to become a wiseGEEK writer, and she focuses primarily on topics such as homeschooling, parenting, health, science, and business. When not writing or spending time with her four children, Nicole enjoys reading, camping, and going to the beach.

Nicole Madison
Nicole Madison

Nicole’s thirst for knowledge inspired her to become a wiseGEEK writer, and she focuses primarily on topics such as homeschooling, parenting, health, science, and business. When not writing or spending time with her four children, Nicole enjoys reading, camping, and going to the beach.

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    • Cantaloupe, which contains inositol.
      Cantaloupe, which contains inositol.
    • Inositol supplements might hold some promise for treating insomnia.
      Inositol supplements might hold some promise for treating insomnia.
    • Inositol supplements purportedly help alleviate depression and anxiety.
      Inositol supplements purportedly help alleviate depression and anxiety.