- Galzin (zinc) dosing, indications, interactions, adverse effects, and more
- Common Cold
- Wilson's Disease
- Manufacturer's dosing
- AASLD dosing
- Pregnancy Categories
- The Health Benefits of Phosphorus
- Zinc: An Essential Micronutrient
- 6 Reasons Not to Take Zinc for Your Cold
- Can Inositol Relieve Panic and Anxiety?
Galzin (zinc) dosing, indications, interactions, adverse effects, and more
RDA expressed as elemental zinc
Males (>14 years): 11 mg/day
Females (>19 years): 8 mg/day
Pregnancy: (14-18 years old): 12 mg/day; (>19 years): 11 mg/day
Lactation: (14-18 years): 13 mg/day; (>19 years): 12 mg/day
UL: (14-18 years): 34 mg/day; (>19 years old): 40 mg/day
Dose expressed as elemental zinc
4.5-23.7 mg zinc gluconate lozenge PO q2hr
Dose expressed as elemental zinc
Zinc acetate (Galzin): 50 mg PO three times daily
During pregnancy: 25 mg PO three times daily; may increase to 50 mg three times daily if inadequate response
Acute catabolic state: 4.5-6 mg/day added to TPN IV if metabolically stable
Metabolically stable: 2.5-4 mg/day; additional 12.2 mg per liter of small bowel fluid lost, or 17.1 mg per kilogram of stool or ileostomy recommended
Take Galzin capsules on empty stomach; swallow whole
- >10 years: 25 mg PO three times daily, may increase to 50 mg three times daily if inadequate response
- American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases
- >5 years and
- >50 kg and adolescents: 50 mg PO three times daily
Elevations of serum alkaline phosphatase, amylase, and lipase that may return to high normal within 1-2 years of therapy
Direct IV or IM solution
Not for direct injection into peripheral vein (may cause infusion phlebitis)
Injection contains aluminum, which may cause toxicity in prolonged parenteral administration if renal function impaired
Do not use zinc intranasally (as in Zicam)-risk of permanent loss of smell
Lozenges sweetened with citric acid, mannitol, or sorbitol have decreased efficacy; should only be sweetened with glycine
Pregnancy Category: A (Galzin); C (injction or gluconate)
Lactation: Present in breast milk, use caution
A: Generally acceptable. Controlled studies in pregnant women show no evidence of fetal risk.
B: May be acceptable. Either animal studies show no risk but human studies not available or animal studies showed minor risks and human studies done and showed no risk. C: Use with caution if benefits outweigh risks. Animal studies show risk and human studies not available or neither animal nor human studies done. D: Use in LIFE-THREATENING emergencies when no safer drug available. Positive evidence of human fetal risk. X: Do not use in pregnancy. Risks involved outweigh potential benefits. Safer alternatives exist. NA: Information not available.
Source: shellfish, fish, red meat; plant sources (whole grains, legumes, nuts) less bioavailable d/t phytic acid binding
Cofactor in over 100 enzymes; plays a role in DNA synthesis; supports a healthy immune system; helps maintain a sense of smell and taste; may assist in porper function of insulin
Half-life: 11 days following cessation of therapy (inhibition of copper uptake)
Absorption: pH dependent (enhanced at pH
Excretion: Feces (primarily)
Do NOT give undiluted as a bolus injection- acidic, may cause phlebitis & tissue damage
Dilute in at least 100 mL
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Medscape prescription drug monographs are FDA-approved labeling information, unless otherwise noted, combined with additional data derived from primary medical literature.
The Health Benefits of Phosphorus
Phosphorus is an essential mineral found in every cell of the human body. It is the second most abundant mineral next to calcium, accounting for roughly 1 percent of your total body weight. Phosphorus is one of 16 essential minerals. These are minerals that the body needs to function normally.
Although the main function of phosphorus is to build and maintain bones and teeth, it also plays a major role in the formation of DNA and RNA (the genetic building blocks of the body). Doing so helps ensure that cells and tissues are properly maintained, repaired, and replaced as they age.
Phosphorus also plays a key role in metabolism (the conversion of calories and oxygen to energy), muscle contraction, heart rhythm, and the transmission of nerve signals. Phosphorus is also considered a macromineral (alongside calcium, sodium, magnesium, potassium, chloride, and sulfur) in that you need more of it than trace minerals iron and zinc.
A deficiency of phosphorus is usually accompanied by hypophosphatemia, or low blood phosphate levels, which can affect every organ system of the body and may lead to muscle weakness, bone pain, fractures, seizures, and respiratory failure.
Un certain micronutrients, the body cannot produce phosphorus on its own. You need to obtain it from food and, if needed, a dietary supplement (phosphate is the drug form of phosphorus).
The best food sources for phosphorus are meat, dairy, oily fish, and seeds.
Verywell / JR Bee
A phosphate supplement is typically used to prevent a phosphorus deficiency, a condition considered rare in the United States outside of certain high-risk groups. According to a study from Harvard Medical School, phosphorus deficiency is most commonly seen in:
- people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (affecting 21.5 percent)
- chronic alcoholics (up to 30.4 percent)
- people in intensive care units (up to 33.9 percent)
- people involved in major trauma, such as a severe burn (75 percent)
- people with sepsis (up to 80 percent)
Beyond the prevention or treatment of phosphorus deficiency, a phosphate supplement may offer specific health benefits, particularly in older adults and people prone to urinary tract infections (UTIs). It is also believed to enhance athletic performance and strength, although there is little clinical evidence to support this claim.
Around 85 percent of phosphorus in the human body is stored in bone. The rest is freely circulating in the bloodstream to facilitate other biological functions.
Phosphorus works with calcium to help build healthy bone and teeth. These minerals are converted in the body into calcium phosphate salts that stiffen and strengthen bones.
Phosphorus also regulates how much calcium is in the body and how much is excreted in urine. Doing so prevents excess calcium from being deposited in blood vessels, which can increase the risk of atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries).
In the past, there was a concern that consuming too much phosphate could throw off this fine-tuned balance, drawing calcium from bone and increasing the risk of osteoporosis (bone mineral loss). A 2015 study published in the Nutrition Journal proved this wasn't the case.
According to the current research, high doses of phosphate increase bone mass density (BMD) and bone mass content (BMC) while decreasing the risk of osteoporosis in adults with adequate calcium intake.
Moreover, increased phosphate intake was not associated with toxicity. Any excess phosphate in the blood is excreted either in urine or stool.
Phosphate supplements are sometimes used to make the urine more acidic. It has long been presumed that doing so can help treat certain urinary tract infections or prevent the formation of kidney stones. Recent studies, however, suggest that this may not be the case.
According to a 2015 study in the Journal of Biochemical Chemistry, urine with a high pH (meaning that it is less acidic) exerted stronger antimicrobial effects compared to urine with low pH/high acidity.
However, UTIs are more common in women with hypercalcemia (abnormally high calcium) as the increased urinary calcium promoted bacterial growth. Phosphate supplements may help reverse this risk by binding with free-circulating calcium and clearing it in the stool.
Similarly, kidney stones composed of calcium phosphate tend to develop when the urine pH is over 7.2 (meaning that it is alkaline). By lowering the pH (and increasing the acidity), phosphate may able to prevent kidney stones in high-risk individuals.
Though this is not true with all stones. Kidney stones composed of calcium oxalate develop when the urine pH is less than 6.0 (meaning that it is acidic). Increasing the acidity with phosphate may only promote, rather than inhibit, their growth.
Phosphate supplements are considered safe if taken as prescribed. High doses can lead to headaches, nausea, dizziness, diarrhea, and vomiting.
Allergies to phosphate are rare, but it's still important to call your doctor or seek emergency care if you experience rash, hives, shortness of breath, rapid heartbeat, or swelling of the face, throat, or tongue after taking a phosphate supplement. These could be signs of potentially life-threatening, whole-body reaction known as anaphylaxis.
The excessive intake of phosphate may interfere with the body's ability to use iron, calcium, magnesium, and zinc. Due to this, phosphate is rarely taken on its own but rather as part of a multivitamin/mineral supplement.
People with chronic kidney disease may need to avoid phosphate supplements. Since the kidneys are less able to clear phosphate from the body, the mineral may accumulate and lead to hyperphosphatemia (excessively high phosphorus levels). Symptoms may include rash, itching, muscle cramps, spasms, bone or joint pain, or numbness and tingling around the mouth.
Excess phosphorus can also affect urine acidity and lead to the dislodgement of a previously undiagnosed kidney stone.
Outside of severe kidney dysfunction, hyperphosphatemia is extremely rare. it is more associated with the failure to clear phosphorus from the body rather than with the use of phosphate supplements.
Phosphate may interact with some pharmaceutical and over-the-counter medications. Certain drugs may cause decreases in phosphorus levels in the blood, including:
- angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors Lotensin (benazepril), Capoten (captopril), or Vasotec (enalapril)
- antacids containing aluminum, calcium, or magnesium
- anticonvulsants phenobarbital or Tegretol (carbamazepine)
- cholesterol-lowering drugs Questran (cholestyramine) or Colestid (colestipol)
- diuretics Hydrodiuril (hydrochlorothiazide) or Lasix (furosemide)
Other drugs may cause phosphorus levels to rise excessively, including:
- corticosteroids prednisone or Medrol (methylprednisolone)
- potassium supplements
- potassium-sparing diuretics Aldactone (spironolactone) and Dyrenium (triamterene)
If you are being treated with any of these medications, you should not take phosphate supplements without first speaking with your doctor. In some cases, separating the drug doses by two to four hours will help overcome the interaction. In others, a dose adjustment or drug substitution may be needed.
Phosphate supplements are available in tablet or capsule form under various brand names. Phosphate is also included in many multivitamin/mineral supplements as well as co-formulated supplements designed specifically for bone health. Doses tend to range from 50 milligrams (mg) to 100 mg.
- children zero to six months: 100 milligrams per day (mg/day)
- children seven to 12 months: 275 mg/day
- children one to three years: 460 mg/day
- children four to eight years: 500 mg/day
- adolescents and teens nine to 18 years: 1,250 mg/day
- adults over 18: 700 mg/day
- pregnant or lactating women 18 and under: 1,250 mg/day
- pregnant or lactating women over 18: 700 mg/day
Dosages exceeding 3,000 to 3,500 mg/day are generally considered excessive and may adversely affect the balance of macro and trace minerals in your blood.
Injectable phosphate is sometimes used to treat severe hypophosphatemia. Injections are generally indicated when the blood phosphorus level drops below .4 millimoles per liter (mmol/L). The normal range is .87 to 1.52 mmol/L.
Phosphate injections are only given in a healthcare setting under the direction of a qualified specialist.
Dietary supplements are largely unregulated in the United States and are not subject to the rigorous testing and research that pharmaceutical drugs are. Therefore, the quality can vary—sometimes significantly.
To ensure quality and safety, only buy supplements that have been voluntarily submitted for testing by an independent certifying body the United States Pharmacopeia (USP), ConsumerLab, of NSF International.
Phosphate supplements are vulnerable to extreme heat, humidity, and ultraviolet (UV) radiation. It is always best to store the supplements in their original light-resistant container in a cool, dry room. Never used expired supplements or supplements that are discolored or deteriorating, no matter the “use-by” date.
Do I need a phosphate supplement?
Most people get all the phosphorus they need from diet. Unless you have a medical condition that requires supplementation, alcoholism or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), you would be better served to eat a healthy, balanced diet rich in macro and trace nutrients.
Foods especially rich in phosphorus include:
- Pumpkin or squash seeds: 676 mg per 1/4-cup serving
- Cottage cheese: 358 mg per 1-cup serving
- Sunflower sees: 343 mg per 1/4-cup serving
- Canned sardines in oil: 363 mg per 2.5-ounce serving
- Hard cheese: 302 mg per 1.5-ounce serving
- Milk: 272 per 1-cup serving
- Lentils (cooked): 264 mg per 3/4-cup serving
- Canned salmon: 247 mg per 2.5-ounce serving
- Yogurt: 247 mg per 3/4-cup serving
- Pork: 221 mg per 2.5-ounce serving
- Tofu: 204 mg per 3/4-cup serving
- Beef: 180 mg per 2.5-ounce serving
- Chicken: 163 mg per 2.5-ounce serving
- Eggs: 157 mg per two eggs
- Canned tuna in water: 104 mg per 2.5-ounce serving
Zinc: An Essential Micronutrient
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3. Microminerals In: Groff JL, Gropper SA, eds. Advanced Nutrition and Human Metabolism. 3rd ed Belmont, Calif: West/Wadsworth; 2000:401–470.
4. Timbo BB, Ross MP, McCarthy PV, Lin CT. Dietary supplements in a national survey: prevalence of use and reports of adverse events. J Am Diet Assoc. 2006;106(12):1966–1974.
5. Cousins RJ. Systemic transport of zinc. In: Mills CF. Zinc in Human Biology. New York, NY: :Springer-Verlag; 198979–93.
6. Iwata M, Takebayashi T, Ohta H, Alcalde RE, Itano Y, Matsumura T. Zinc accumulation and metallothionein gene expression in the proliferating epidermis during wound healing in mouse skin. Histochem Cell Biol. 1999;112(4):283–290.
7. Cario E, Jung S, Harder D'Heureuse J, et al. Effects of exogenous zinc supplementation on intestinal epithelial repair in vitro. Eur J Clin Invest. 2000;30(5):419–428.
8. Mocchegiani E, Santarelli L, Muzzioli M, Fabris N. Reversibility of the thymic involution and of age-related peripheral immune dysfunctions by zinc supplementation in old mice. Int J Immunopharmacol. 1995;17(9):703–718.
9. Grahn BH, Paterson PG, Gottschall-Pass KT, Zhang Z. Zinc and the eye. J Am Coll Nutr. 2001;20(2 suppl):106–118.
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11. Brown KH, Peerson JM, Rivera J, Allen LH. Effect of supplemental zinc on the growth and serum zinc concentrations of prepubertal children: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Am J Clin Nutr. 2002;75(6):1062–1071.
12. Lukacik M, Thomas RL, Aranda JV. A meta-analysis of the effects of oral zinc in the treatment of acute and persistent diarrhea. Pediatrics. 2008;121(2):326–336.
13. Aggarwal R, Sentz J, Miller MA. Role of zinc administration in prevention of childhood diarrhea and respiratory illnesses: a meta-analysis. Pediatrics. 2007;119(6):1120–1130.
14. Age-Related Eye Disease Study Research Group. A randomized, placebo-controlled, clinical trial of high-dose supplementation with vitamins C and E, beta carotene, and zinc for age-related macular degeneration and vision loss: AREDS report no. 8 [published correction appears in Arch Ophthalmol. 2008;126(9):1251]. Arch Ophthalmol. 2001;119(10):1417–1436.
15. Evans JR. Antioxidant vitamin and mineral supplements for slowing the progression of age-related macular degeneration. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2006;(2):CD000254.
16. Johnson AR, Munoz A, Gottlieb JL, Jarrard DF. High dose zinc increases hospital admissions due to genitourinary complications. J Urol. 2007;177(2):639–643.
17. The effect of vitamin E and beta carotene on the incidence of lung cancer and other cancers in male smokers. The Alpha-Tocopherol, Beta Carotene Cancer Prevention Study Group. N Engl J Med. 1994;330(15):1029–1035.
18. Evans JR, Henshaw K. Antioxidant vitamin and mineral supplements for preventing age-related macular degeneration. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2008;(1):CD000253.
19. Chong EW, Wong TY, Kreis AJ, Simpson JA, Guymer RH. Dietary anti-oxidants and primary prevention of age related macular degeneration: systematic review and meta-analysis. BMJ. 2007;335(7623):755.
20. Tan JS, Wang JJ, Flood V, Rochtchina E, Smith W, Mitchell P. Dietary antioxidants and the long-term incidence of age-related macular degeneration: the Blue Mountains Eye Study. Ophthalmology. 2008;115(2):334–341.
21. Jackson JL, Lesho E, Peterson C. Zinc and the common cold: a meta-analysis revisited. J Nutr. 2000;130(5S suppl):1512S–1515S.
22. Prasad AS, Fitzgerald JT, Bao B, Beck FW, Chandrasekar PH. Duration of symptoms and plasma cytokine levels in patients with the common cold treated with zinc acetate. A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Ann Intern Med. 2000;133(4):245–252.
23. Turner RB, Cetnarowski WE. Effect of treatment with zinc gluconate or zinc acetate on experimental and natural colds. Clin Infect Dis. 2000;31(5):1202–1208.
24. Prasad AS, Beck FW, Bao B, et al. Zinc supplementation decreases incidence of infections in the elderly: effect of zinc on generation of cytokines and oxidative stress. Am J Clin Nutr. 2007;85(3):837–844.
25. Mossad SB. Effect of zincum gluconicum nasal gel on the duration and symptom severity of the common cold in otherwise healthy adults. QJM. 2003;96(1):35–43.
26. Kurugöl Z, Akilli M, Bayram N, Koturoglu G. The prophylactic and therapeutic effectiveness of zinc sulphate on common cold in children. Acta Paediatr. 2006;95(10):1175–1181.
27. Macknin ML, Piedmonte M, Calendine C, Janosky J, Wald E. Zinc gluconate lozenges for treating the common cold in children: a randomized controlled trial. JAMA. 1998;279(24):1962–1967.
28. Rojas AI, Phillips TJ. Patients with chronic leg ulcers show diminished levels of vitamins A and E, carotenes, and zinc. Dermatol Surg. 1999;25(8):601–604.
29. Wananukul S, Limpongsanuruk W, Singalavanija S, Wisuthsarewong W. Comparison of dexpanthenol and zinc oxide ointment with ointment base in the treatment of irritant diaper dermatitis from diarrhea: a multicenter study. J Med Assoc Thai. 2006;89(10):1654–1658.
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31. Agren MS, Ostenfeld U, Kallehave F, et al. A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled multicenter trial evaluating topical zinc oxide for acute open wounds following pilonidal disease excision. Wound Repair Regen. 2006;14(5):526–535.
32. Jones CY, Tang AM, Forrester JE, et al. Micronutrient levels and HIV disease status in HIV-infected patients on highly active antiretroviral therapy in the Nutrition for Healthy Living cohort. J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. 2006;43(4):475–482.
33. Bobat R, Coovadia H, Stephen C, et al. Safety and efficacy of zinc supplementation for children with HIV-1 infection in South Africa: a randomised double-blind placebo-controlled trial. Lancet. 2005;366(9500):1862–1867.
34. Villamor E, Aboud S, Koulinska IN, et al. Zinc supplementation to HIV-1-infected pregnant women: effects on maternal anthropometry, viral load, and early mother-to-child transmission. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2006;60(7):862–869.
35. Czlonkowska A, Gajda J, Rodo M. Effects of long-term treatment in Wilson's disease with D-penicillamine and zinc sulphate. J Neurol. 1996;243(3):269–273.
36. Brewer GJ, Dick RD, Johnson VD, Brunberg JA, Kluin KJ, Fink JK. Treatment of Wilson's disease with zinc: XV long-term follow-up studies. J Lab Clin Med. 1998;132(4):264–278.
37. Dreno B, Moyse D, Alirezai M, et al. Multicenter randomized comparative double-blind controlled clinical trial of the safety and efficacy of zinc gluconate versus minocycline hydrochloride in the treatment of inflammatory acne vulgaris. Dermatology. 2001;203(2):135–140.
38. Fosmire GJ. Zinc toxicity. Am J Clin Nutr. 1990;51(2):225–227.
39. Leitzmann MF, Stampfer MJ, Wu K, Colditz GA, Willet WC, Giovannucci EL. Zinc supplement use and risk of prostate cancer. J Natl Cancer Inst. 2003;95(13):1004–1007.
40. Walravens PA, Hambidge KM, Koepfer DM. Zinc supplementation in infants with a nutritional pattern of failure to thrive: a double-blind, controlled study. Pediatrics. 1989;83(4):532–538.
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6 Reasons Not to Take Zinc for Your Cold
Does your co-worker’s first explosive sneeze or your child’s burgeoning cough send you to the store for zinc supplements to protect yourself from catching their cold? It’s true that some studies have found that zinc supplements may shorten the duration of a cold, but there’s no proof that it will prevent one, or ease symptoms such as your runny nose or aching head.
And beware: Zinc has side effects, too. Nevertheless, consumers spent about $108 million on zinc supplements in 2014, according to the Nutrition Business Journal.
Here are six reasons to keep the cash in your pocket and skip the zinc this cold season.
1. Zinc Won’t Relieve Your Cold Symptoms
Zinc is no magic bullet.
Research published in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology found that regularly sucking on high doses of zinc lozenges (totaling 80 to 90 mg per day) throughout a cold may shorten it by almost three days, but other research has not been nearly as positive. And, says Consumer Reports' chief medical adviser Marvin M. Lipman, M.D., “Zinc won't ease cold symptoms.”
This Supplement Has Side Effects
While slicing a few days off your suffering may sound great—and there is evidence that zinc ions have an antiviral effect, at least in a petri dish—the reality is that taking zinc can have some pretty unpleasant side effects. These include leaving a foul taste in your mouth, vomiting, stomach cramps, diarrhea, and other problems—which may make the treatment worse than the disease, Lipman says.
3. Zinc Can Be Toxic
A healthy adult woman should get a minimum of 8 milligrams (mg) of zinc per day, and adult men 11 mg, but that amount is easily obtained through a healthy diet that includes zinc-rich foods such as poultry, red meat, and fortified breakfast cereal.
In fact, the National Institutes of Health advises that unless you’re taking zinc for medical reasons under the care of a doctor, the maximum daily limit you should get is 40 mg. Too much can cause side effects.
4. It Can Interact With Your Other Meds
Zinc has been shown to interact with various prescription medicines.
For example, take it with tetracycline or quinolone antibiotics such as ciprofloxacin (Cipro and generic) and you’ll reduce the amount of both the zinc and the antibiotic that your body absorbs.
It can also interfere with the absorption of penicillamine (Cuprimine, Depen), a drug used to treat rheumatoid arthritis and Wilson’s disease (a rare genetic disorder).
Tell us in the comments below.
5. Zinc Can Cause Health Problems
Getting too much zinc may increase the risk for prostate cancer, lead to copper deficiency and neurological problems, and reduce levels of HDL (good) cholesterol.
What’s more, zinc products may also contain cadmium (another metal that is chemically similar and occurs alongside zinc in nature), and long-term exposure to high levels of cadmium can lead to kidney failure.
6. You Might Lose Your Sense of Smell
Avoid using zinc in the form of nasal preparations, which can make you lose your sense of smell. Several years ago, the Food and Drug Administration took several zinc nasal products off the market after receiving more than 130 reports from people who had used certain nasal Zicam Cold Remedies and lost their sense of smell—some permanently.
On balance, staying hydrated and getting plenty of rest will do more to help you recover than any supplement—and a bowl of chicken soup won’t hurt either.
Can Inositol Relieve Panic and Anxiety?
Inositol is a substance found naturally in cantaloupe, citrus fruit, and many fiber-rich foods (such as beans, brown rice, corn, sesame seeds, and wheat bran). It is also sold in supplement form and used as a complementary therapy to treat a wide range of medical conditions, including metabolic and mood disorders.
Inositol is often referred to as vitamin B8, but it is not actually a vitamin. It's a type of sugar that influences the insulin response and several hormones associated with mood and cognition. Inositol also has antioxidant properties that fight the damaging effects of free radicals in the brain, circulatory system, and other body tissues.
D-chiro-inositol, inositol hexaphosphate (often referred to as “IP6”) and the compound myo-inositol are the most widely used inositol supplements. They are generally considered safe if taken appropriately.
- inositol hexaphosphate (or “IP6”)
Verywell / Cindy Chung
Alternative health providers recommend inositol supplements for a wide range of health conditions, including:
In addition, inositol is believed by some to slow the progression of Alzheimer's disease and prevent certain cancers. Some people also use inositol to promote hair growth or overcome insomnia. Research, however, is lacking.
According to the latest research, inositol may be beneficial for some disorders, including mental health issues, PCOS, and metabolic disorders. Here's a closer look at the science.
Inositol is believed to improve depression, anxiety, and other mental disorders by stimulating the production of the “feel-good” hormones serotonin and dopamine. The hypothesis is largely supported by research in which myo-inositol concentrations in blood is suggested a reliable marker for clinical depression.
The benefits have mostly been seen in people with panic disorder (PD) in whom depression is common. A small study published in the Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology investigated the effect of myo-inositol on 20 people with PD.
After being provided a daily 18-gram dose of myo-inositol for four weeks, the participants were given a daily 150-mg dose of Luvox (fluvoxamine)—a commonly prescribed psychiatric drug—for the four weeks. When compared to a matched set of individuals not given myo-inositol, those who did had an average of 2.4 fewer panic attacks per week.
A number of other studies have investigated the use of inositol with selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) used to treat a variety of depressive and anxiety disorders. The results have thus far been inconclusive.
While an earlier double-blind study found that a daily 12-gram dose of inositol improved depression scores compared to people provided a placebo, the results have not been replicated elsewhere.
There is evidence to suggest inositol can correct may metabolic disorders that contribute to the development of high blood pressure, diabetes, and metabolic syndrome.
A 2016 pilot study published in the International Journal of Endocrinology reported that people with type 2 diabetes given myo-inositol and d-chiro-inositol daily along with their anti-diabetes drugs had a significant drop in their fasting blood glucose (192.6 mg/dL down to 160.9 mg/dL) and A1C (8.6 percent down to 7.7 percent) after three months.
Another small study published in the journal Menopause suggested that myo-inositol may aid in the treatment of metabolic syndrome in postmenopausal women. According to the research, women assigned to six months of myo-inositol supplements experienced significantly greater improvements in blood pressure and cholesterol levels than women provided a placebo.
When treated with myo-inositol, women with metabolic syndrome experienced an 11 percent drop in diastolic blood pressure, a 20 percent drop in triglycerides, and a 22 percent increase in “good” high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol.
All of these values translate to an improvement of metabolic syndrome as well as a decreased risk of cardiovascular disease.
D-chiro-inositol may help manage PCOS, according to a small study published in Endocrine Practice. For this study, 20 women with PCOS were given either a placebo or 6 grams of D-chiro-inositol once daily for six to eight weeks.
The results revealed that D-chiro-inositol helped treat several abnormalities associated with PCOS, including high blood pressure and elevated levels of blood fats. In addition, elevated testosterone levels (consistent with PCOS-related hormone imbalances) decreased by 73 percent compared to 0 percent for those given a placebo.
Generally speaking, a normalization of hormonal balances translates to an improvement of PCOS symptoms.
Inositol has also been found to reduce psoriasis symptoms in people taking lithium, a drug commonly prescribed to treat bipolar disorder, depression, schizophrenia, and eating disorders. Depending on the usage, lithium-induced psoriasis can affect anywhere from 3 percent to 45 percent of users.
Inositol is generally considered safe in adults. Side effects, if any, tend to be mild and may include nausea, stomach pain, tiredness, headache, and dizziness. Most side effects occur with doses greater than 12 g per day.
The metabolic effects of inositol may not be appropriate for everyone. Even in people with diabetes, the prolonged use or overuse of inositol may lead to hypoglycemia (low blood sugar).
Although there are some studies to suggest inositol may be helpful in bipolar disease, there is also concern about it possibly causing a manic or hypomanic episode. A current NIH study is evaluating the effect of inositol hexaphosphate in subjects with bipolar disorder.
There is also some concern that high doses of inositol hexaphosphate may reduce the body's ability to absorb zinc, calcium, iron, and other essential minerals, triggering a nutritional deficiency even if you're eating a balanced diet.
As a dietary supplement, inositol products are not tested for safety, and its effect on pregnant women, nursing mothers, and children has not been established. As such, it is best to speak with your doctor before trying this or any other natural remedy.
Inositol supplements are sold as tablets and capsules. There is no recommended daily allowance for inositol and there is no standardized dosing schedule.
Manufacturers recommend the following doses for supporting individual conditions:
- Metabolic Syndrome: 2 gram twice daily
- PCOS: 2 gram twice daily
- Lithium-Related Psoriasis: up to 6 grams once daily
- Anxiety and Panic Attacks: up to 12 grams daily
Widely available for purchase online, inositol supplements can also be found in natural foods stores and those specializing in dietary supplements. To ensure quality and safety, always look for products tested and approved by an independent certifying body the U.S. Pharmacopeia (USP), NSF International, or ConsumerLab.
If you decide to take an inositol supplement, speak with your doctor to ensure that it's appropriate your health and medical history.
Can I get inositol from food?
Yes! Foods rich in inositol also offer fiber and nutrients needed for good, long-term health. This includes fruits, beans, grains, and nuts. Cantaloupe, oats, bran, and citrus fruits (other than lemons) are especially rich in myo-inositol. Cooking or freezing fruits and vegetables reduces their inositol content. There is very little inositol in milk or yogurt.
Can inositol cure autism?
While inositol is sometimes touted as a treatment for autism, there is no scientific evidence to support those claims. It may, however, help to ease symptoms of anxiety, a common co-morbidity of autism.
Will inositol regrow hair?
The supplement is often touted as a cure for thinning hair and balding, but the research is lacking. There is some evidence that inositol helps to reduce testosterone and balance hormones in women with PCOS, which may help reverse thinning hair associated with the condition.
Due to the lack of quality research, it is too soon to consider inositol supplements as an effective, standalone treatment for any health condition. With that being said, inositol is generally well tolerated if taken in moderation.