February 20, 2002 by  
Filed under Database

Vitamin-like substance

  • Component of cell plasma membranes
  • Lipotropic (helps to remove fat from the liver)
  • Fat metabolism
  • May be involved in neurotransmitter function

Good food sources

  • Beans
  • Citrus fruit
  • Grapefruit juice
  • Lecithin
  • Liver
  • Wheat germ
  • Whole grains

Deficiency symptoms

No known specific symptoms of deficiency

Preventing deficiency

As with all other nutrients, a wide variety of foods, preferably for the most part unrefined, is the best health protection. It would be difficult to develop an inositol deficiency without also developing a number of other deficiencies.


Inositol is found in cereals (particularly the bran portion) and vegetables in the form of phytic acid, a combination of inositol with phosphorus.


In research studies, inositol supplements have been found to:

  • Improve diabetic neuropathy
  • Reduce symptoms of clinical depression and anxiety

Preferred form and suggested intake

The usual form of inositol supplementation is lecithin, which contains large amounts of inositol. Lecithin can be bought in granules and sprinkled on food or in hot drinks. The usual dosage is 1-2 tablespoons per day.


There is no known unsafe dosage of lecithin.

Linda Lazarides is Course Director of the School of Modern Naturopathy and author of eight books on health, nutrition and naturopathy.

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