Inositol, also known as myo-inositol, or cyclohexanol, is a water-soluble vitamin B complex that can be naturally found in foods like cantaloupe, most citrus fruits, corn, rice and beans. It is also classified as a sugar alcohol, with approximately 48% of the sweetness of sugar and a similar flavor profile.
When added to most food and beverage products, it has a clean taste, is water soluble, and is relatively heat-stable. It is commonly added into infant formulas, energy drinks, animal feed, cosmetics, and supplements, for its various health and wellness benefits.
As breast milk is naturally rich in inositol, manufacturers of infant formulas may be interested in adding inositol into their products to promote metabolism and to help babies sleep. It is also shown to improve hair growth. In formulation, 22mg or 100kcal could be used, which is the average amount found in breast milk.
Many popular energy drinks contain inositol, as it not only aids the nervous system, providing structure to cells, but also helps modulate serotonin levels. Serotonin is a key hormone that stabilizes our mood, feelings, and happiness. Some studies show that inositol may prevent neutral fat accumulation, helping the body to burn fat.
Studies have shown that inositol may have valuable benefits when taken as a supplement. It can affect the neurotransmitters in your brain, including serotonin, and may be beneficial for treating anxiety and panic disorders.
Inositol has been shown to have a positive impact in successfully treating various diseases, including cirrhosis, hepatitis, fatty liver, angiosclerosis, high cholesterol, and type-II diabetes.
In women, it may improve fertility for those with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), by assisting in balancing hormone levels. In pregnant women, inositol may reduce the risk of gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM).
Inositol may also reduce symptoms of depression. Typical usage levels for treatments are 2 – 18g or lower levels for supplementation.
Also known as rice water in some beauty products, inositol is known to be effective in preventing skin aging and hair loss. Inositol has been shown to have water-binding properties for skin and hair, resulting in improved moisture retention and reduced static electricity. It can also help maintain healthy cell membranes.
Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA):
There is no official Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA), but most sources suggest consuming 100 – 1000mg per day. For treatments of certain conditions, 1 – 12g may be needed. However, usages above 12g may exhibit side effects such as nausea, aches, tiredness, and dizziness.
CAS No.: 87-89-8
Chemical formula: C6H12O6
Molecular weight: 180.16
Dry and cool, avoid direct sunlight.