Inositol is a nutrient that is classed as a dietary phenol. When consumed inositol is used for a number of purposes including the synthesis of phosphoinositides in cell membranes which help with cell communication and cell structure. Inositol is also converted into phosphatidylinositol, which is important as an intracellular second messenger. Evidence suggests that dietary administration of inositol can cause a reduction in anxiety after administration in the diet and this has been evidenced in animal experiments. Lithium is an antidepressant that may work by altering inositol metabolism in the central nervous system. In humans an antidepressant effect for inositol was found at 12 mg daily over four weeks using a double blind study. Another study administered 18 mg per day of inositol and found a significant reduction in obsessive compulsive disorder, a form of anxiety. Therefore evidence from human and animal studies suggess that inositol may have a significant mood elevating effect when administered as part of a healthy diet.
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