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Re: Inositol, Part II

Posted by Adam on December 9, 1999, at 23:02:56

In reply to Re: Inositol, Part II, posted by Noa on December 9, 1999, at 19:13:53

Hey, Noa,

The substance in question is actually referred to as myo-inositol, which is one of a few possible isomers of inositol that
exist. It's chemical formula (C6H12O6) is the same as that of glucose and many other monosaccharides, though it has some
important structural differences. I guess a lot of myo-inositol is found in the heart (hence the name). Another name is
vitamin B8.

I've known about the use of inositol in OCD and other disorders for only a few days, so I'll post more info. as I dig it up.
I came across it as I was learning about the importance of the 5-HT2C receptor and OCD. What is really kind of cool (for
me) is I used to work a little with inositol! I've done experiments with it to study intracellular free calcium and its
role in the growth and differentiation of skin cells. A modified form of it belongs to a group of molecules referred to as
"second messengers", which help carry chemical signals (like serotonin) from the outside of a cell to other receptors on the
inside of a cell. For some reason, addition of plain old myo-inositol triggers some of the events that occur downstream
of the initial signal. I think its lack of adverse effects vs. some antidepressants may be related to the fact that
its action is relatively targeted. Or, perhaps, because exogenous inositol just doesn't do all that much. I hope it's the
former and not the latter.

Here is a review of inositol in some psychiatric disorders...

Eur Neuropsychopharmacol 1997 May;7(2):147-55

Controlled trials of inositol in psychiatry.

Levine J

Ministry of Health Mental Health Center, Faculty of Health Sciences, Ben Gurion University of the Negev, Beersheva, Israel.

Inositol is a simple polyol precursor in a second messenger system important in the brain. Cerebrospinal fluid inositol has been reported as decreased in
depression. A double-blind controlled trial of 12 g daily of inositol in 28 depressed patients for four weeks was performed. Significant overall benefit for inositol
compared to placebo was found at week 4 on the Hamilton Depression Scale. No changes were noted in hematology, kidney or liver function. Since many
antidepressants are effective in panic disorder, twenty-one patients with panic disorder with or without agoraphobia completed a double-blind,
placebo-controlled, four week, random-assignment crossover treatment trial of inositol 12 g per day. Frequency and severity of panic attacks and severity of
agoraphobia declined significantly with inositol compared to placebo. Side-effects were minimal. Since serotonin re-uptake inhibitors benefit obsessive compulsive
disorder (OCD) and inositol is reported to reverse desensitization of serotonin receptors, thirteen patients with OCD completed a double-blind controlled
crossover trial of 18 g inositol or placebo for six weeks each. Inositol significantly reduced scores of OCD symptoms compared with placebo. A controlled
double-blind crossover trial of 12 g daily of inositol for a month in twelve anergic schizophrenic patients, did not show any beneficial effects. A double-blind
controlled crossover trial of 6 g of inositol daily vs. glucose for one month each was carried out in eleven Alzheimer patients, with on clearly significant therapeutic
effects. Antidepressant drugs have been reported to improve attention deficit disorder (ADDH) with hyperactivity symptomatology. We studied oral inositol in
children with ADDH in a double-blind, crossover, placebo-controlled manner. Eleven children, mean age 8.9 +/- 3.6 years were enrolled in an eight week trial of
inositol or placebo at a dose of 200 mg/kg body weight. Results show a trend for aggravation of the syndrome with myo-inositol as compared to placebo. Recent
studies suggest that serotonin re-uptake inhibitors are helpful in at least some symptoms of autism. However a controlled double-blind crossover trial of inositol
200 mg/kg per day showed no benefit in nine children with autism. Cholinergic agonists have been reported to ameliorate electroconvulsive therapy
(ECT)-induced memory impairment. Inositol metabolism is involved in the second messenger system for several muscarinic cholinergic receptors. Inositol 6 g daily
was given in a crossover-double-blind manner for five days before the fifth or sixth ECT to a series of twelve patients, without effect. These results suggest that
inositol has therapeutic effects in the spectrum of illness responsive to serotonin selective re-uptake inhibitors, including depression, panic and OCD, and is not
beneficial in schizophrenia, Alzheimer's ADDH, autism or ECT-induced cognitive impairment.

I imagine none of this stuff is new to some here.

I hope inositol is as effective as some suggest. It seems to be one of my only options at this point.




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