Inositol, or vitamin B7, is a substance that is being studied a lot by scientists. Inositol is indeed beneficial on health, in particular it seems that it is able to keep at bay cholesterol, and on fertility, especially in case of polycystic ovarian disease (PCOS) in women. In the last year several works have been released that seem to confirm these properties of inositol, we can mention the research published in the journal Trends in Endocrinology and Metabolism by an Italian team of the Universities of Verona and Varese for what concerns fertility (Laganà et al, Nov 2018) and the Iranian and Canadian study published in the journal Lipids in Health and Disease (Tabrizi et al, May 2018) on the effect of inositol on the lipid profile.
The scientists have observed that in women with PCOS inositol is useful to improve the metabolism and the hormonal state and to restore spontaneous ovulation. For what concerns the effect on the fats in blood, the studies have shown that inositol, in patients with metabolic diseases such as gestational or type 2 diabetes and obesity, is able to reduce total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol and triglycerides while it doesn’t have any effect on HDL cholesterol. The studies have focused on the effects of inositol-based supplements with an amount of inositol that ranges from 688 to 4000 mg per day, a threshold considered safe. However, other studies will be needed in order to understand exactly the mechanisms of action and possible interactions. In any case, while we are waiting that science will clarify these aspects, we can introduce inositol through diet. Inositol indeed, although is also produced by body, is water soluble and isn’t stored in the body but should be absorbed regularly through foods. Sources of this vitamin are dried plums (2 dried plums bring about 100 mg of inositol), the legumes (100 grams of canned beans contain 400 mg of inositol, the same amount of canned peas 235 mg), oat (half a tablespoon contains 42 mg inositol), bran (half a tablespoon has 55 mg of inositol), fruit (cantaloupe is rich in inositol, indeed, 100 grams of this fruit contain 355 mg, an orange little more than 300 mg, 100 grams of grapefruit about 200 mg, a kiwi fruit 136 mg, 200 grams of watermelon about 60 mg) and vegetables(100 grams of eggplant about 80 mg, the same portion of broccoli sprouts about 80 mg, the cabbage 70 mg and the peppers about 60 mg). The data of inositol contents in food are from Clements et al, The America Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Sep 1980.