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Inositol is necessary for the formation
of lecithin and functions closely with a B complex vitamin,
Choline. Since it is not essential in the human diet, it
cannot be considered a vitamin. Inositol is a fundamental
ingredient of cell membranes and is necessary for proper
function of nerves, brain, and muscles in the body. Inositol
works in conjunction with folacin, Vitamins B-6 and B-12,
choline, betaine, and methionine to prevent the accumulation
of fats in the liver. It exists as the fiber component phytic
acid, which has been investigated for its anti-cancer properties.
Inositol is primarily used in the treatment of liver
problems, depression, panic disorder, and diabetes. It also
aids in the breakdown of fats, helps in the reduction of
blood cholesterol, and helps to prevent thinning hair. A
diet low in Inositol may result in deficiency symptoms that
culminate in high blood cholesterol, constipation, eczema,
and hair loss. Neurotransmitters such as seratonin in the
brain depend on Inositol to function properly. Low levels
of this nutrient may result in depression and some research
has shown that increased levels of Inositol appear to be
a promising treatment for depression.
According to recent research, the abundance of Inositol
in fiber may explain in part why high fiber diets are often
associated with a lower incidence of certain cancers. Although
promising in the treatment of depression and high blood
cholesterol, there is no significant research available
to support the use of Inositol for weight loss.