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Health Encyclopedia

Inositol

General Description

Inositol is a nutrient that is loosely classified with the B-vitamin complex. It is closely associated with the nutrient choline because both are lipotropic agents that help the body emulsify fats. Inositol is both produced from glucose in the body and obtained through diet. Because inositol is produced and stored by the body and is available in many foods, deficiencies are rare.

Food Sources

Inositol is found in citrus fruits, whole unprocessed grains, brewer's yeast, wheat germ, egg yolk, green leafy vegetables, and legumes.

Health Applications

  • Stress/nervous tension
  • Mood

Functions and Uses

Inositol primarily functions in maintaining cell membrane structure and integrity in, for example, eye tissue and the intestine. It helps liquefy fats for transportation throughout the body. It may also affect nerve transmission and, with choline, may help in brain cell nutrition.

Dosage/Toxicity

There is no RDA for inositol. Inositol has no known toxicity, even at intakes as high as 50 grams per day, which are much higher than normal uses. There are no documented benefits from consumption of large amounts of this nutrient. Most people do not need additional inositol outside of dietary intake and normal bodily production.

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