Inositol Supplement Review

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  Evaluated for:
Effectiveness Rating Effectiveness Rating
+1 (Slight Evidence)
+1 (Slight Evidence)
Insulin regulation
+1 (Slight Evidence)
+1 (Slight Evidence)


  • Inositol is made in the body from the action of gut microbes on phytic acid, which is found in beans, nuts, seeds, whole grains and cantaloupe. It exists in highest levels in the brain, where it helps the body process fats.
  • Inositol may lower insulin levels and increase insulin sensitivity in PCOS and metabolic syndrome, similarly to chromium.
  • Inositol works with serotonin, norepinephine and other neurotransmitters to improve symptoms of anxiety and depression.
  • In one small study where inositol was given in combination with folic acid to subfertile women, most responded well to the treatment with normal ovulation, healthier eggs, and 40% became pregnant.
  • Evidence suggests that inositol has a beneficial effect on cholesterol levels, gestational diabetes, peripheral vascular disease, and psoriasis.
  • Inositol is generally regarded as safe.


  • There is some concern that excessive consumption of inositol may exacerbate bipolar disorder.
  • Side effects are uncommon but may include nausea, tiredness, headache, dizziness, flushing, and increased blood sugar levels.

Patients with bipolar disorder should use caution because inositol may trigger mania.

DOSAGE:Inositol dosing ranges from 2 to 12 g in split doses 2-3 times daily.

CONCLUSION:We conclude that while inositol shows early evidence for insulin regulation and treating anxiety, depression, and infertility, it is not sufficient enough for us to recommend its use. If you do elect to try it, remember to include it in your list of medications when you visit your doctor or other health care providers.

“Inositol Hexaniacinate.” Natural Standard –The Authority on Integrative Medicine. Natural Standard, 2013.
“Inositol.” Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database. Therapeutic Research Faculty, 2013. 8 November 2013.
Inositol. EBSCO Publishing (2011) 1-5
Head, K.A. et al. Inositol Hexaniacinate A Safer Alternative To Niacin. Alternative Medicine Review (1996) 1(3): 176-184
Inositol Hexaphosphate. Alternative Medicine Review (2002) 7(3): 244-248
Corrado, F. et al. The effect of myoinositol supplementation on insulin resistance in patients with gestational diabetes. Diabetic Medicine (2011) 972-975

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