Mental Health Home > Inositol Benefits
There are many claimed benefits of inositol, but very little scientific evidence to support these claims. For example, inositol supplements are often said to be useful for treating obsessive-compulsive disorder, psoriasis, insomnia, and numerous other conditions. Children should not be given this supplement; any benefits are likely to be outweighed by the potential risks, as children are more susceptible to the toxicities of dietary supplements.
Inositol is a naturally occurring molecule used as a structural component in numerous other molecules found throughout the human body. Although the body can make its own inositol (and many foods contain it), inositol is also available in supplement form.
Inositol supplements are sometimes claimed to be beneficial for the following conditions:
- Panic disorder
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
- Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
- Nerve problems due to diabetes (diabetic neuropathy)
- Alzheimer's disease
- Side effects of lithium treatment
- Respiratory distress syndrome in premature infants
- Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
- Hair loss
- High cholesterol.
There is some evidence that inositol may be beneficial for some of these uses, although many reported inositol uses have absolutely no scientific evidence to suggest any benefit.
(Click Does Inositol Work? for more information.)
Inositol is a molecule that is an important structural component of cell membranes and molecules that serve as messengers within the body. It is not known how inositol might work for various conditions. Certain medical conditions could be associated with lower-than-normal levels of inositol, and supplements could help boost levels in the body.