Inositol is a naturally occurring compound synthesized in the human body and is also found abundantly in various foods. It is a glucose isomer and is said to be a member of vitamin B complex. Being a member of vitamin B complex, it is water soluble in nature and hence not stored in the body. It has a number of uses in the human body; it aids in the production of serotonin, prevents accumulation of fats in the liver, helps in the proper formation of cell membranes, promotes healthy hair growth, and many more. However, low levels of inositol in the body can cause several health problems in the individual. Recently, inositol powder is gaining more popularity, which can be used for treating various health conditions.
Inositol in powder form should not be confused with the supplement form, as the powder form is superior compared to inositol supplements. Powder form of inositol is water soluble and can be absorbed by the body very easily. In addition, it has a sweet taste when mixed with water, thus making it more palatable.
Inositol powder benefits
1. Mental health
Inositol is mainly used by people suffering from mental health disorders, such as anxiety, bipolar depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and depression. It is believed that depression and OCD are a result of low levels of serotonin in the body as well as reduced communication between the neurotransmitters. Since, inositol has the ability to interact with serotonin, it helps regulate the communication between neurotransmitters and promotes brain wellness and healthier brain activity. Inositol also has a calming activity on the nervous system and hence used in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease.
2. Polycystic ovarian syndrome
Inositol is known to improve conditions of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), which is a hormonal disorder that is often associated with menstrual irregularities, infertility, weight gain, and acne. Research studies conducted by the Universite De Sherbrooke in Canada have shown that women suffering from PCOS eliminate more inositol from the body compared to healthy women. Medical studies on 75 patients show that sufficient inositol intake can be very helpful in treating various PCOS related issues.
3. Hair growth and prevents hair loss
Powder form of inositol can help in the promotion of hair growth, while preventing hair loss. The main reason for hair loss is not getting sufficient nutrients to the scalp. However, taking inositol supplements allows proper nutrients to get dispersed and transported to the hair follicles, thus preventing further hair loss.
4. Metabolic syndrome
A research study conducted published in the journal “Menopause”, in the year 2011 assessed the effects of inositol along with diet regimen in women having metabolic syndrome which is characterized by insulin resistance, abdominal obesity, and high triglyceride levels. The study revealed the fact that, when it is taken along with diet it resulted in greater improvements in insulin sensitivity, blood pressure, triglycerides and cholesterol levels, than diet alone.
Inositol powder may have anti-cancer properties, suggests some research studies conducted and published in the “Biochemistry” journal, 2010. It is also thought that it can promote the death of cancer cells and prevents the spread of cancer. A study conducted on tissue culture, shows that inositol inhibits the formation of blood vessels and decreases cancer growth by means of inhibiting the activity of acidic fibroblast growth factor. Acidic fibroblast growth factor is a gene that can promote cancerous tumor growth and invasiveness.
6. Cholesterol levels
A research study conducted in the university of Ottawa and published in the journal, ” Journal of Lipid research” in 2004, found that administering 5.6 grams of phosphatidylinositol along with diet resulted in around 18 percent increase in HDL cholesterol (good cholesterol) in normal subjects. Additionally, it is considered to foster the solubility of cholesterol in high density lipo-proteins (HDL) and inhibit certain enzymes that convert cholesterol in to dangerous bad cholesterol (LDL). Thus inositol battles against high cholesterol levels in the body by combining with choline to produce lecithin, which in turn reduces the chances of heart diseases.
7. Prevents fatty liver
The accumulation of excessive quantities of cholesterol and triglycerides in the liver due to excessive alcohol consumption may lead to a condition called fatty liver. Researchers in eastern Washington University conducted an animal study to examine the effects of inositol in lab rats that were trained aerobically and had no inositol deficiencies. The findings were then published in the journal, “International Journal Of Sports medicine” in February 1995 which showed that inositol consumed rats had reduced liver fat without the loss of adipose tissue mass. This shows that this substance aids in weight loss by removing fatty deposits in the liver and by improving body metabolism.
8. Premature birth
Inositol benefits premature babies as well. Premature babies who suffer from respiratory distress symptoms may benefit from inositol. It has been found that the chances of disability in these babies are minimized by using inositol which also helps in the prevention of sudden death.
9. Helps diabetics
Chronically elevated blood sugar levels in the body can cause peripheral nerve damage. A health nervous system in an individual alerts them of any injury or damage caused to hands or legs through pain signals sent to the brain. In patients with peripheral nerve damage, these pain signals may not be sent to the brain effectively. According to John. D. Kirschmann, the author of journal “Nutrition Almanac” states inositol to be effective in improving nerve transmissions, which could ease out the problems associated with diabetic neuropathy, which is a serious diabetic health problem.
10. Other benefits
Inositol stimulates the muscular action of the alimentary canal and thus helps treat constipation. In addition to this benefit, it also helps treat skin conditions like eczema and treats eye problems too.
Inositol powder offers numerous health benefits to the user. It serves a number of key functions in the body including its ability to convert other substances in to usable energy, how liver interacts with fat compounds, hair growth, stimulate brain activity, and, many more. Though inositol is well known for its various health benefits, its use should be done cautiously because naturally occurring substances can also create certain side effects in the body.