The Many Health Powers of Inositol, Part 5

Disclaimer: Results are not guaranteed*** and may vary from person to person***.

In the last part, I looked at inositol’s effects on panic attacks and depression. Here I continue on the psychiatric path into obsessive compulsive disorder, eating disorders and others.

Approximately 3.3 million U.S. adults have obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). Individuals with OCD have unreasonable thoughts or fears (obsessions) which lead them to do repetitive things (compulsions). The common obsessions include: sexual images or thoughts, fear of dirt, and the need for everything to be in perfect order. Compulsions commonly observed include: hand washing, demanding repeated reassurances, constantly checking and counting. Having family members with OCD and stressful events in life are major risk factors for OCD.

There are two studies with inositol in OCD:

1. In a small study conducted in Israel, 13 patients with OCD completed a double-blind, controlled crossover study with 18 grams of inositol a day or placebo for six weeks. Results showed that inositol treatment significantly lowered the Yale-Brown Obsessive Compulsive Scale but not with placebo treatment.

2. In another small study, 10 OCD patients for whom the powerful SSRIs were not successful were given inositol 18 grams a day on top of the drug. Results were mixed with inositol supplementation: seven failed to respond but three did.

About 1.5 million individuals in the U.S. – mostly women – have this disorder. It is characterized by restrained eating for a period of time followed by binge eating.

There is one small study showing a beneficial effect of inositol in this condition. In a study conducted in Israel, 12 patients with this disorder were randomized to receive either 18 grams of inositol or placebo for six weeks in the crossover design. Results showed that inositol treatment was significantly better than placebo treatment on several scales commonly used to assess the effectiveness of treatment in this disorder.

As for other disorders, inositol failed to show a beneficial effect in the following disorders: schizophrenia, electroconvulsive therapy-induced memory loss, autism and Alzheimer’s disease.