Inositol, is it necessary to acquire this nutrient via supplements?
The current society lives very worried about its aesthetic aspect, prioritizing this objective in front of health in many cases. Thus, we see that hundreds of thousands of people go to gyms, crossfit boxes, train independently or practice sports looking for an improvement in their physical appearance: reducing those extra pounds, achieving a flat stomach , define your muscles ... and leaving aside what is really important, enhance health through physical activity.
A clear example of this is the immense supply of nutritional and sports supplements that we find for sale in large establishments, parapharmacies, herbalists, sports nutrition and nutrition stores and of course the internet.
The study "Food supplements in elite athletes", Prepared by the Sports Support Service of the Technology Center of Alicante and that was published by the EFDeporte magazine of Buenos Aires concludes that many of the ergogenic aids have a doubtful beneficial effect and in some cases they may even have associated ergolytic effects, that is, be detrimental to physical performance.
The legal and administrative flexibility regarding the sale of these products it causes many of them to be offered for sale practically without any control and that, in some cases, substances are promoted that only have a placebo effect on the organism or that, directly can be synthesized internally, without needing to resort to supplements nutritional
The question we ask ourselves is, Is inositol a nutrient to go through supplements or can we synthesize it naturally? What are their capabilities?
What is inositol?
Inositol, also called vitamin B8, is a natural compound present in all animal tissues, but more present in the heart and brain. This compound, like many others, we can obtain it from the diet, mainly protein foods; but it is also synthesized naturally in the intestinal flora from the glucose cycle.
It is a Water-soluble vitamin that is part of cell membranes and that its main function is to help the liver to process fats, as well as to contribute to the functioning of muscles and nerves.
It's important pointing that This compound is very present in breast milk, to the point that is essential in the case of babies. Adults can synthesize this nutrient from dextrose, a sugar that is formed in the glucose cycle.
What are the functions of inositol in the body?
The liver system is one of the great beneficiaries of the presence of this compound. Inositol is a fundamental component for guarantee the health of cell membranes, which are the structures that give cells consistency and structure of the human body. Further, This vitamin prevents fat from being deposited in the cells and distributed by the body where it is most needed, eliminating it from the places where it tends to accumulate. In the case of the liver, this allows a detoxifying effect.
Its effect against fats is associated with a reduction in LDL cholesterol, the so-called bad cholesterol, reducing the chances of large accumulations of fat being deposited in places where excess can be dangerous, such as arterial walls.
A third positive effect of this substance is its relation with the aesthetic aspect. Like other B vitamins, This compound is used for beauty treatments, as it directly affects the health of the nails, hair and skin, avoiding skin diseases.
Finally, it is also remarkable its possible ergogenic effect, because Many inositol-based supplements are promoted as ideal products to provide extra energy to the muscles during exercise.
As for the supplements, it is usual to find this product combined with choline. Choline is another vitamin B group with similar properties and whose deficiency is associated with conditions such as high cholesterol, liver disorders and diseases related to memory loss.
The combined supplements of choline and inositol present a powerful fat burning function and they are useful for regulating cholesterol levels.
Inositol and Alzheimer's
Although there are incomplete and, in some cases, inconclusive studies, treatments from inositol can be effective for mental ailments such as bipolar disorder, panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder or Alzheimer's disease.
A study in 1996 in which 11 individuals with Alzheimer's disease participated and which consisted in the consumption of 6 grams of inositol daily with a placebo showed that the disposition of inositol produced a cognitive increase of 9 points on the scale, for only 4 of the placebo.
The improvements focused mainly on orientation and language.
Foods rich in inositol
Once the positive effects of inositol on the body are known, it is time to question whether it is necessary to go to supplements or maintain a healthy diet and that the organism works correctly to synthesize it naturally.
Going to the diet, the richest foods in this nutrient are the liver, the veal meat, the milk and the dairy products, vegetables like the lentils and the peas and soy lecithin, which are all very protein foods.
To these we can add others like Whole grains, sesame seeds, sunflower and flax, walnuts, vegetables like celery and asparagus and fruits like banana or citrus.
An important advice when consuming meats and, especially viscera, is, whenever possible, buy organic products and proximity, as industrial livestock has many toxic (hormones, drugs, pesticides ...) to ensure rapid growth.
Is it necessary to go to inositol via supplements?
There are no recommended doses for inositol, although many specialists agree that the body requires about 1 gram daily. The dose as the most common supplementation can range between 0.5 and 2 grams per day.
However, Some medical treatments for depression include a dose of up to 12 grams a day of this compound, but always under medical prescription.
By means of a healthy and balanced diet it is not difficult to reach that dose of 1 gram daily of inositol, so that, once again, the key is to enhance the diet.
In case of poor nutrition, such as diets based on processed and industrial foods, Yes, supplementation of this compound may be useful.
Regarding the side effects, there are no serious ailments as long as moderate doses are taken. Studies in humans indicate that taking 18 grams a day for 3 months or 2 grams a day for a year are well tolerated and safe.
Side effects, if they occur, are not serious and are limited to ailments related to the gastrointestinal system (nausea, flatulence and diarrhea).
Inositol-based supplements are contraindicated for children and pregnant or lactating women. In some children with attention deficit or hyperactive disorder, this compound administered externally can worsen some symptoms of their disease. Women during pregnancy can stimulate uterine contractions if they ingest inositol