Inositol has many important functions in the body, including:
Inositol plays an important part in the health of cell membranes, especially the specialized cells in the brain, bone marrow, eyes and intestines. The function of the cell membranes is to regulate the contents of the cells, which makes effective functioning possible. A fair concentration is found in the lens of the human eye as well as the heart. Inositol is said to help in controlling estrogen levels and may assist in preventing breast lumps. High doses of inositol may help in the treatment of depression, obsessive/compulsive disorder, anxiety disorders, bulimia, panic disorder, and bipolar depression without the side effects of medications.
- being vital for healthy hair and hair growth
- having a calming effect
- helping to reduce cholesterol
- helping to prevent hardening of the arteries
- being important in the formation of lecithin
- being important in the metabolism of fat and cholesterol
- helping to remove fats from the liver
Inositol can be found in cereals with high bran content, nuts, beans, and fruit, especially cantaloupe melons and oranges. It is also found in brewer's yeast, lecithin, meats, milk, unrefined molasses, raisins, vegetables and whole grains.
A deficiency can lead to arteriosclerosis, constipation, hair loss, high blood cholesterol, irritability, mood swings, skin eruptions.