Bipolar Disorder and Inositol
Inositol, unofficially referred to as "vitamin B 8 ," is present in all animal tissues, with the highest levels in the heart and brain. It is part of the membranes (outer coverings) of all cells, and plays a role in helping the liver process fats as well as contributing to the function of muscles and nerves.
Effect of Inositol on Bipolar Disorder
Inositol may be used to help treat bipolar disorder, and may also be prescribed to reduce psoriasis symptoms caused by lithium.21
Side Effects and Warnings
No serious ill effects have been reported for inositol, even with a therapeutic dosage that equals about 18 times the average dietary intake. However, no long-term safety studies have been performed.
Although inositol has sometimes been recommended for bipolar disorder, there is evidence to suggest inositol may trigger manic episodes in people with this condition. ^ If you have bipolar disorder, you should not take inositol unless under a doctor's supervision.
Safety has not been established in young children, women who are pregnant or nursing, and those with severe liver and kidney disease. As with all supplements used in very large doses, it is important to purchase a reputable product, because a contaminant present even in small percentages could add up to a real problem.
- Allan SJ, Kavanagh GM, Herd RM, et al. The effect of inositol supplements on the psoriasis of patients taking lithium: a randomized, placebo-controlled trial. Br J Dermatol. 2004;150:966-969.