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Inositol, also known unofficially as vitamin B8, is part of the outer coverings of all cells in your body. Your body converts inositol into compounds that your body uses to help muscles and nerves to function properly, break down fats, and utilise minerals.



There is ongoing research into the roles of inositol in the body and its potential use in the treatment or management of various medical conditions such as depression and anxiety, other psychological and nerve-related conditions, insulin resistance, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and cancer.



Many high-fibre foods contain a substance called phytic acid (also known as IP6) which releases inositol when acted on by bacteria in your digestive tract. Good food sources include:

  • nuts, seeds and legumes,
  • whole grains such as brown rice, and
  • fruit such as such as rockmelon and citrus.



Inositol is not considered as an essential nutrient because it is made by your body and transported around the body as needed. However, if you eat a diet high in sugar, it can make it more difficult for inositol to be transported to where it is needed in your body, therefore creating a deficiency.



Inositol in moderate amounts appears to be safe, with no serious side effects reported. However, further studies need to be done to work out whether it is safe for all people (such as children and pregnant or breastfeeding women) and if long term intake from supplementation is safe.



The content displayed on this webpage is intended for informational purposes and is a guide only. It does not replace or substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Information contained on this webpage must be discussed with an appropriate healthcare professional before making any decisions or taking any action based on the content of this webpage.



American Cancer Society


Integrative Psych MD


IP-6 Research, Inc


NYU Langone Medical Centre



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