Inositol, also referred to as vitamin B8, naturally occurs in foods such as fruit, beans, grains and nuts. Your body creates it from the carbohydrates you consume. However, evidence indicates that additional inositol in the form of supplements can have many health benefits.

What Do Studies Say about Inositol?

Inositol was shown to be effective in the treatment of generalized anxiety disorder in adults. In a placebo-controlled trial it was shown to be successful in the treatment of posttraumatic stress in adults.  Likewise, inositol has some value in the treatment of other popular psychiatric conditions such as panic disorder and obsessive-compulsive disorders.

One study in particular demonstrated the potential of inositol to prevent the development of extreme depression in patients diagnosed with borderline personality disorder, a medical disorder characterized by a combination of inositol deficiency and antidepressant drugs. In addition, it has been shown to be effective in treating anxiety disorders in children and in treating patients with depression and mood disorders. It has also been shown to be effective in treating depression in pregnant women in a meta-analysis. In a second meta-analysis, it was also shown to be effective in the treatment of chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS).

Inositol therapy has some beneficial effects in people with moderate depression and other mood disorders. These findings have been documented in a large placebo-based drug trial conducted by investigators in Milan. In addition to these positive effects, several other studies have concluded that it has some effectiveness in the treatment of psychological conditions such as major depression, dysthymia and bipolar disorder.

Inositol Benefits

Other mental health disorders in which inositol has some effectiveness include attention deficit disorder, migraine headache, mania, and seasonal affective disorder. In addition, it has been documented to be successful in the treatment of other common neurological conditions such as diabetic retinopathy, migraine, peripheral neuropathy, and central nervous system disorders. Inositol has also been reported to be successful in the treatment of alcoholism and drug abuse. In certain cases, it has been shown to enhance the quality of life of patients with Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease.

Many physicians agree that inositol has a beneficial impact on patients who are slightly depressed or have other mood problems such as anxiety and obsessive-compulsive disorders. In addition, it has some value in the treatment of postmenopausal women suffering from hot flashes. It is also believed to boost mood in patients with cystic fibrosis. Many supplements are available on the market and are sold under various brand names in many countries.


Before taking inositol, you should know that it cannot be converted to DHA and EPA, two of the body’s main essential amino acids. Therefore, it can only assist cellular membrane function in a restricted way. Inositol supplements are only intended to improve the energy needs of the body at a low level. A good amount of inositol in your diet is not necessary for your health; inositol supplements are simply a modern way to get inositol from natural sources in a regulated manner.


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