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Small warning about Inositol


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#1 brainslugged

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Posted 02 December 2012 - 06:13 PM


DISCLAIMER: As far as I can tell, this is causation. Since, however, my mood is not stable, and there are always confounding environmental variables, I cannot be sure that it is not just correlation. Do not let this story discourage you from taking inositol if you think you need it, but just be warned and try to schedule your experiment with it away from anything important.

About a 2 months ago, I started taking inositol to help with anxiety. I was only taking a moderate amount every day, about 2.5g, and I was planning on working my way up to 18g. I only took it for about a week before I quit.

I made a huge mistake in doing this. I normally attempt to thoroughly research my supplements before I take them, but Inositol looked like some sort of miracle drug. I looked through several sources, and all I could find was overwhelmingly positive reviews. People were saying "this cured my OCD!" "This cured my agoraphobia!"; I even saw one 'doctor' talking about how it was wonderful, and he always give it as the first line treatment against anxiety and OCD and that it was well tolerated. They were citing studies about how helpful it was to OCD, but I never actually read the studies. Not only did it help with mental problems, but it helped with skin and hair texture, two things that I am more than eager to improve.

So, I ordered some from Jarrow's formula on amazon.

What I failed to do was look up negative effects. Unfortunately, I soon found out.

The first day, I didn't feel much. I was a bit more sweaty than normal, but I didn't think it was a major problem.

As the week progressed, however, the sweating became more of an issue, and behavioral changes were setting in.

I did not keep a log, so I can't tell you exactly how long they took to set in, but these are a general overview of the symptoms and effects (as they were by the end of the week:
  • It DID help with anxiety in a sense. Social anxiety was pretty much gone. As a result, I talked to people a lot more. For the first time in my life, I initiated conversations with professors. Getting my schedule set up for next semester was very easy.
  • Lack of caring about others.
  • Dampening of reflective and deep thought. I was very "in the moment". I could do things, and they would roll off me. I also had trouble writing.
  • EXTREME agitation. I was having to try my very hardest to not mouth off to my parents and professors. I could not stand to listen to others talk. I was occasionally cutting people off when they were talking.
  • The sweating got very bad, to the point where I would come home and have to change clothes because I was covered in sweat.
  • Probably related to the sweating, my right ring finger began to look like it had water damage constantly. Like when you take a long bath, and your hands look wrinkly.
  • Extreme need to get pleasure, translating to high amounts of masturbation and increased video game playing.
  • Increased need to move.
  • My grades did not decrease, however. There were 3 tests in that one week, and I did the same as ever.
  • If the pleasure factor was taken out of the equation, I don't think there would have been change in attention.
  • Little to no change in attention to detail (still very bad).
So, just be aware that there are negative side effects to this substance.

Also, be aware that the side effects lasted for about a month and a half, slowly tapering off at different rates. After about a month, I was worried that I had permanently screwed myself up, but I am back to normal now.

Lastly, about a week ago, I read the studies. Exacerbation of ADD symptoms was mentioned. Although I can't say that primary ADD problems increased, some symptoms that may be associated with ADD did increase such as trouble with impulse control and need to move.
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#2 renfr

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Posted 25 December 2012 - 12:18 PM

Well I wouldn't call that a strange reaction but rather a normal reaction.
Inositol helps a lot in increasing cholinergic pathways plus it is necessary for all other neurotransmitters such as serotonin in particular.
And from what you experienced, you just had a huge activation of your acetylcholine receptors, sweating for instance is a side-effect of choline intake and the need of pleasure is due to acetylcholine inhibiting dopamine thus causing through compensation a huge burst of dopamine.
Probably you should have started with lower doses, 2500mg seems quite high when the normal intake is around 400mg. Plus you have ADHD which may have interacted.
But your experience was very interesting as I bought a blend of Choline+Inositol (400mg each) which I will receive this week and I can't wait for trying it out.
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#3 Anewlife

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Posted 26 December 2012 - 02:38 AM

Choline+Inositol is one of my favorite supps, I always take it to study, but I only need about 125mg of each.

Dampening of reflective and deep thought. I was very "in the moment".

I would consider this a positive as psychologically this is ideal. Good for the ego and happyness.

The agitation etc it seems like you just took too much, I dont think you need 2-18gs, take perhaps 250 or 500mg a day.

Edited by Anewlife, 26 December 2012 - 02:42 AM.


#4 mastercowboy

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Posted 27 December 2012 - 05:39 PM

Well I wouldn't call that a strange reaction but rather a normal reaction.
Inositol helps a lot in increasing cholinergic pathways plus it is necessary for all other neurotransmitters such as serotonin in particular.
And from what you experienced, you just had a huge activation of your acetylcholine receptors, sweating for instance is a side-effect of choline intake and the need of pleasure is due to acetylcholine inhibiting dopamine thus causing through compensation a huge burst of dopamine.
Probably you should have started with lower doses, 2500mg seems quite high when the normal intake is around 400mg. Plus you have ADHD which may have interacted.
But your experience was very interesting as I bought a blend of Choline+Inositol (400mg each) which I will receive this week and I can't wait for trying it out.


Your theory is interesting,but have you ever taken Inositol to have personal experience?

I took personally and don't think i felt anything at 650mg daily.Maybe too little?

#5 Anewlife

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Posted 27 December 2012 - 06:22 PM

Maybe you don't need it but try give it a couple months atleast, I wouldn't raise the dose.
People respond differently to inositol, it is meant to synergize with choline, so try choline by itself and then with inositol and see if you notice a difference.

#6 renfr

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Posted 31 December 2012 - 02:16 PM

Well I wouldn't call that a strange reaction but rather a normal reaction.
Inositol helps a lot in increasing cholinergic pathways plus it is necessary for all other neurotransmitters such as serotonin in particular.
And from what you experienced, you just had a huge activation of your acetylcholine receptors, sweating for instance is a side-effect of choline intake and the need of pleasure is due to acetylcholine inhibiting dopamine thus causing through compensation a huge burst of dopamine.
Probably you should have started with lower doses, 2500mg seems quite high when the normal intake is around 400mg. Plus you have ADHD which may have interacted.
But your experience was very interesting as I bought a blend of Choline+Inositol (400mg each) which I will receive this week and I can't wait for trying it out.


Your theory is interesting,but have you ever taken Inositol to have personal experience?

I took personally and don't think i felt anything at 650mg daily.Maybe too little?

Nope however I just started taking Inositol at 1g a day.
I will see what happens and go up to 2g to see if there's any effect.

#7 manic_racetam

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 08:04 PM

The studies they're talking about were using 12-18g per day for depression. I read an article on it about a year ago. Supposedly, in controlled trials, 12-18 grams per day showed very similar efficacy to SSRI's but didn't have a compounding effect with SSRI's or other anti-depressants.

I tried it for a short time at 12g per day in three divided daily doses and didn't notice any negative side effects. Still have nearly a kilo laying around actually. The only side effect I noticed was loose stools if I took over 4 grams at a time. Glad I didn't experience the symptoms the OP got.

#8 renfr

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 08:52 PM

The studies they're talking about were using 12-18g per day for depression. I read an article on it about a year ago. Supposedly, in controlled trials, 12-18 grams per day showed very similar efficacy to SSRI's but didn't have a compounding effect with SSRI's or other anti-depressants.

I tried it for a short time at 12g per day in three divided daily doses and didn't notice any negative side effects. Still have nearly a kilo laying around actually. The only side effect I noticed was loose stools if I took over 4 grams at a time. Glad I didn't experience the symptoms the OP got.

Where did you buy 1kg of it?
I started taking 2g a day and it's already enough for me, it gives a strong relaxation (without drowsiness or sleepiness) and relief of anxiety.
All I can say is that :
- anxiety was indeed relieved
- no lack of caring for others occured to me but rather the contrary, I'm more outgoing
- no extreme agitation
- there's indeed an increase in sweating but it's only mild and not extreme at all
Inositol is rather positive to me, I will continue trying it.

#9 Rethar

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Posted 06 January 2013 - 06:08 AM

This thread inspired me to do some research into inositol which led me to try it out. Considering I've had pretty bad SA the "social anxiety being pretty much gone" thing sounded intriguing :) Yesterday I took 10 grams over a period of about an hour as I've read that 18g/day was useful in studies for panic disorder. First I took one teaspoon which was around 2.5grams. I felt a slight improvement in anxiety and relaxation. Took another teaspoon, had better effects. Then took another which made me feel really nice. Then I took one last teaspoon, which might have been too much (felt mentally that it was kind of exceeding my capacity for it, and then my stomach felt slightly irritated by the large amount). The effects however seemed to last around 18 hours which was very impressive. It basically shifted my perspective to being more "present". Not all the way in the moment but I could focus a lot more on what was going on at the moment and all thoughts about the future and what ifs were turned down in volume noticeably. I felt like I was different, and I could feel my anxiety being taken down a notch from all angles which was really nice (I've tried aniracetam before and while that helped with anxiety it felt like it wasn't taking care of the whole issue, only part of it).

It did feel extremely GABAergic, and while I didn't get brain fog which I'd expect from something enhancing GABA I felt myself wondering if that kind of thing could develop down the line after using it for awhile. Also, way better than L-Theanine IMO which gave me relaxation but also brainfog and made me feel dumber and made me feel less emotionally "active".

#10 nupi

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Posted 06 January 2013 - 10:24 AM

Hmm 1g never did anything noticeable for me, maybe I should try 2,5 or 5g at some point... I had read the 18g abstract at some point but I really doubt that my stomach could handle that

#11 renfr

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Posted 06 January 2013 - 02:18 PM

Inositol can cause too much intracellular calcium which can be responsible of muscle spasms and twitches.

#12 nupi

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Posted 06 January 2013 - 02:47 PM

Ok, just took 2.5g (encapsulated, so might take a couple minutes longer to enter the bloodstream).

renfr: iHerb has it in bulk if you are willing to deal with powder (something like 30USD / pound)

#13 manic_racetam

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Posted 06 January 2013 - 08:44 PM

Where did you buy 1kg of it?


Got it from smartpowders. Can't remember the price but it wasn't too bad if I remember correctly

Hmm 1g never did anything noticeable for me, maybe I should try 2,5 or 5g at some point... I had read the 18g abstract at some point but I really doubt that my stomach could handle that


It's mildly sweet, like diluted powdered sugar almost. Tastes great in milk actually.

#14 renfr

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Posted 06 January 2013 - 08:55 PM

Hmm 1g never did anything noticeable for me, maybe I should try 2,5 or 5g at some point... I had read the 18g abstract at some point but I really doubt that my stomach could handle that

Take a lot of dairy products to avoid diarrhea. It's working wonderfully on me when I take herbs, no more diarrhea.
If stomach upset is rather your problem, take some glycine, very strong stuff against food induced stomach pain.

#15 mastercowboy

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Posted 07 January 2013 - 12:09 AM

What herbs?

#16 brainslugged

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 10:31 PM

Wow, I am glad that this stuff is working for so many people. Maybe I should have tried it for a longer period of time or at lower doses. Maybe I will when I don't have class to worry about, maybe with some stims to counter the ADHD-enhancing effects.

About the dosage, I think 600mg or something is the daily dietary dosage, so that would be quite low. I was reading the studies of 16g/day, so that is what I was planning on working up to.

I know a lot of you are saying that the feeling of being in the present is a good thing and you like it, but I just don't think I can agree with that, at least for myself. I guess it is just because I am so dependent on fantasy to help me through things, but having the ability to fantasize be dulled is tough for me. To each their own, though. I am glad that some people like it or it helps them.

#17 moleface

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 10:38 PM

Obviously everyone's different, but for whatever reason I never got much from inositol. I'm very sensitive to the effects of supplements - mild herbs like chamomile have very noticeable effects on my mood - but I got very little with the inositol, aside from a slight increase in my sense of well-being that may or may not have been a placebo.

It seems like it would be an ideal option to use during prescription SSRI withdrawal though - apparently it resensitizes serotonin receptors. I seem to have lasting serotonin receptor downregulation and ahedonia from being on a ridiculous 80mg of a paxil a day for several years, so I might end up adding inositol back into my regimen to see if it might have some sort of cumulative effect over time.

#18 renfr

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Posted 13 January 2013 - 03:27 AM

If you take inositol don't forget to supplement potassium and magnesium as it can lower these levels overall if you're taking high doses.

#19 renfr

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Posted 13 January 2013 - 05:51 AM

Inositol also inhibits iron and zinc transport :
http://www.ncbi.nlm..../pubmed/8145081
This can cause myoclonic jerks and muscle twitches, I guess this might explain the "agitated" feeling.
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#20 Peak Noots

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Posted 06 December 2013 - 04:42 PM

Has anyone tried above the 18g amount?

#21 BlueCloud

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Posted 06 January 2014 - 10:30 PM

Inositol also inhibits iron and zinc transport :
http://www.ncbi.nlm..../pubmed/8145081
This can cause myoclonic jerks and muscle twitches, I guess this might explain the "agitated" feeling.


I'm wondering, if this happens with all forms of inositol or just a particular form called inositol hexakisphosphate or phytic acid ( IP6 ), and not myo-inositol wich is a slightly different form. All my research seems to point out only IP6 as the one lowering iron and zinc. I certainly hope so, as I started experimenting with myo-inositol recently for my chronic anxiety ( GAD and social phobia ) with fascinating results ( will report on that in a few days if it doesn't turn out to be a fluke ).

#22 NZT-49

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Posted 07 January 2014 - 02:00 AM

Sounds like a classic case of "I knows it all" syndrome. :D
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#23 Catwoman

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Posted 16 August 2016 - 09:03 PM

Been reading about inositol for some time. I am withdrawing slowly from Lexapro (ssri, escitalopram) and I'm only on some vitamines and minerals: a vit B complex, omega 3 fish oils, magnesium bisglycinate (from chelate the bottle says) and Vit d3. Normal dosages. I drink a few cups of green tea every day as well.

Planning on stopping Lexapro (right now Im on 2,5 mg)soon so I would like to try something else to help me with the intrusive thought(s) I am having. The boomerang effect of these thoughts make me feel sad and dissapointed. It is more the fact that they keep coming back that is worrying me than the actual content itself.

I know there is a lot I could try (already seeing a therapist and I try to meditate. I also exercise a few times a week) but I dont really have the funds to try more than one or two different supplements.

Is there a way to figure out if inositol will work for my case of Pure O?

Im not super anxious and my sleep is good. Lexapro pooped out on me a few months ago though....so Im still not sure which sup is my best shot.

Any feedback? Thanks!!




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