|Advanced Health & Life Extension||
Inositol is a naturally occurring isomer of glucose. It exists in nine possible stereoisomers, of which the most prominent form is myo-inositol. Myo-Inositol was initially classified as a member of the vitamin B complex (B8). Because the human body has some ability to synthesize inositol, it is no longer classified as a vitamin.
Inositol is a key intermediate in the intracellular phosphatidyl inositol second messenger pathway activated by numerous serotonergic, cholinergic, and noradrenergic receptors. Additional biological processes include:
Inositol and Phytates
Phytic acid (known as inositol hexakisphosphate (IP6), or phytate when in salt form) is a strong chelator and is the principal storage form of phosphorus and other minerals and trace minerals in many plant tissues. Phytic acid is found within the hulls of nuts, seeds, and grains. Phytic acid can have a negative nutritional effect in that it may interfere with the absorption of calcium, zinc, iron and magnesium as well as other minerals and the vitamin niacin. Inositol is released from phytic acid through the digestive process.
Probiotic lactobacilli, and other species of the endogenous digestive microflora as well, are an important source of the enzyme phytase which catalyses the release of phosphate, mineerals and trace minerals, rendering them more soluble and improving their intestinal absorption. This emphasizes the importance of maintaining a healthy intestinal flora, especially with a diet that emphasizes grains.
Simply cooking the food will reduce the phytic acid to some degree. More effective methods are lactic acid fermentation, and sprouting.
The potentially negative nutritional effects of phytic acid in food is also strongly influenced by the availability of minerals in the diet and in the soil upon which the food crops are grown.
Given the positive therapeutic benefits of phytic acid and the potentially negative impact of phytic acid on nutrient absorption, it is advisable to take any IP6 product alone rather than combining them with food. It is also advisable to use a good mineral and trace mineral supplement. Taking Inositol as a supplement does not appear to adversely affect mineral absorption.
Inositol in Depression, Panic Disorder, Agoraphobia, and Bulimia
Patients suffering from clinical depression have been found to have decreased levels of inositol in their cerebrospinal fluid.
Large doses of inositol (12 grams per day) have yielded promising results in patients with bulimia, panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, agoraphobia, and unipolar and bipolar depression.
Researchers theorize that inositol produces positive clinical results in patients with depression due to intracellular phosphatidyl inositol serving as a second messenger for serotonin receptor signaling mechanisms. It is therefore possible that inositol may serve as a synergist to 5HTP or SSRI class drugs.
The results of the studies using inositol with bulimia, panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, agoraphobia, and depression are very positive and the side effects are minimal to non-existant. Nevertheless, these disorders are complex entities and any use of Inositol as a treatment modality should be considered under a physicians advice.
Inositol and Cancer
Inositol Hexaphosphate, IP6, or phytic acid, is one form of inositol. IP6 forces malignant cells to revert to a non-cancerous state, a phenomenon observed in human colon cancer cells and other cell lines.
Using Inositol in combination with IP6 is considered more effective than using IP6 alone.
IP6 is a powerful antioxidant and cancer-modulating agent, but when taken with food, IP6 binds with proteins, forming insoluble complexes less readily metabolized and absorbed compared to when it is taken alone. For therapeutic effect, using supplements is more effective than whole foods.
IP6 reduces the rate of cellular proliferation, both in vivo and in vitro and reduces DNA synthesis. IP6 actions include boosting natural defense mechanisms through the augmentation of natural killer (NK) cells, blocking PI-3 Kinase, an enzyme necessary for tumor promotion, altering cellular communication necessary for tumor growth, stimulating tumor suppressor gene, and by inhibiting metastases and blocking angiogenesis (the process of forming new blood vessels that feed tumors).
An additional possibility is the role of IP6 as a chelating agent. Iron and other minerals are important in gene regulation. Studies have shown a possible link between excess iron and an increased risk of cancer in animals and humans, particularly colon cancer. IP6 has been shown to interfere with iron absorption and reverse iron-dependent augmentation of colorectal tumor initiation. IP6 also suppresses iron-caused free radical, and inhibits iron-caused lipid peroxidation.
The use if IP6 as an anti-cancer agent has been tested in vitro (in the laboratory) and in animals. Its use in humans has not been rigorously tested in clinical trials. While the results are promising and adverse effects are negligible to non-existent, one should only use it for cancer treatment under the care of a physician.
Inositol Osteoporosis and Mineral Nutrition
There is a chemical difference between the inositol found in supplements and mineral binding phytic acid found in plants. The impact of phytic acid and phytates on mineral nutrition is influenced by a number of variables. Those variables include the abundance of minerals in the diet, the state of probiotic bacteria in the human digestive tract and the use of food processing practices like lactic fermentation and sprouting. While phytic acid is a strong chelator of iron, there has been no evidence linking phytic acid with iron deficiency anemia. While phytic acid can bind with calcium and other minerals, there has been no evidence linking phytic acid consumption with osteoporosis. In fact, there has been some evidence reported that inositol and the phytate complex may decrease the incidence of osteoporosis.
Phytic Acid (IP6) as a Chelating Agent
Phytic Acid (IP6) is a chelating agent. Clinically it has been used as a chelating agent to remove uranium from the body.
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