Does Inositol help OCD, Anxiety or other mental problems?

People with mood disorders such as depression, bipolar depression, OCD, panic attacks and others have benefited from Inositol. Below I’ll go over some of the more important pieces of research that have confirmed inositol as a major mood balancer.

What is Inositol?
Inositol is a member of the famed B-Complex. It has a wide variety of beneficial effects and side effects to it are extremely rare. Inositol naturally occurs in a variety of foods none that are of high doses though as done in the research articles.

Does Inositol help people with obsessive-compulsive disorder? (OCD)
Researchers have determined that people with OCD are particularly sensitive to serotonin. As when given SSRI’s, a sort of antidepressant, individuals tend to be relieved of their symptoms and when given serotonin agonists their symptoms tend to be enhanced. SSRI’s and serotonin are often at the center point for many mood disorders.

Clinical research on OCD has shown several positive results. One such study gave half of their participant’s inositol, gave them OCD tests and then six weeks later switched and gave the other half inositol. They measured the two groups when they had inositol and when they didn’t. Both groups benefited from taking inositol seeing relief in their symptoms. All of the sub categories of compulsion, anxiety and depression also saw improvement when inositol was administered vs placebo.

Does it help with Depression?
Depression is particularly difficult mood disorder to tackle. Fortunately, Inositol has provided positive relief for individuals with depression. In one study, individuals saw a reduction in their depressive states. Even better no changes occurred to their livers and other organs. Often anti-depressants and other pharmacological solutions often are hard on liver, kidney and other organs over long term.

Inositol can work for Panic Attacks?
Panic attacks are also difficult to maintain as they occur at random times. Many individuals with panic attacks often have issues with depression, alcohol abuse and suicide. Certain medications work up to 70% of the time for short time periods.

When given inositol one group of individuals with panic attacks saw a significant reduction in severity and frequency of their attacks. The average number of attacks these inositol treated individuals had per week went from 10 to 3.5. Researchers have determined this as clinically meaningful for a treatment of panic attacks.

Inositol VS Fluxoxamine
More recently, inositol was compared with the antidepressant fluvoxamine in the treatment of panic disorder.This study represents a more stringent test of the effects of inositol in treating panic disorder because it is the first to compare inositol with an established antidepressant drug. In this study of 20 patients with panic disorder, inositol was found to be slightly but significantly more effective than fluvoxamine in reducing the number of panic attacks. Otherwise, it was comparable to fluvoxamine on all other measures (HAS, phobia, and Clinical Global Impression (CGI) Scale). Since inositol appears to be as effective as fluvoxamine, patients may prefer it and continue to take it for the long term because side effects are extremely rare and mild.

Inositol’s clinical efficacy coupled with the absence of significant side effects suggests that this nutrient may be an attractive addition to treatment plans for patients suffering from panic attacks, clinical depression and obsessive-compulsive disorder. It is an impressive match to SSRI’s but You should not stop taking your SSRI unless you consult a mental health provider. Below is a summary of disorders and problems that inositol has shown to help in research or through first hand reports called anecdotal evidence. Anecdotal evidence will be identified as anecdotal to separate scientific research from first hand accounts.

Indications for Use

Mild to moderate depression
Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
Panic attacks

Potential Indications for Use
Insomnia (anecdotal and reports to Sera)
Alzheimer’s Disease
Liver Disorders (anecdotal)
Bipolar depression
Retinopathy of prematurity
Bulimia nervosa and binge eating

No Proven Benefit to Date
Depression not responsive to SSRIs
Premenstrual dysphoric disorder
Synergy with SSRIs
Anergic schizophrenia, attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder and autism

1. Belmaker, R. H. et al. 1995. Manipulation of inositol-linked second messenger systems as a therapeutic strategy in psychiatry. Adv Biochem Psychopharmacol 49: 67-84.
2. Hooper, N. 1997. Glycosyl-phosphatidylinositol anchored membrane enzymes. Clin Chim Acta 266(1): 3-12.
3. Levine, J. 1997. Controlled trials of inositol in psychiatry. Eur Neuropsychopharmacol 7(2): 147-155.
4. Levine, J. et al. 1995. Double-blind, controlled trial of inositol treatment ofdepression. Am J Psychiatry 152(5): 792-794.
5. Benjamin, J. et al. 1995a. Double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover trial of inositol treatment for panic disorder. Am J Psychiatry 152(7): 1084-1086.
6. Benjamin, J. et al. 1995b. Inositol treatment in psychiatry. Psychopharmacol Bull 31(1): 167-175.
7. Gelber et al. 2001. Effect of inositol on bulimia nervosa and binge eating. Int J Eat Disord. 29(3):345-8.
8. Palatnik, A. et al., 2001. Double-blind, controlled, crossover trial of inositol versus fluvoxamine for the treatment of panic disorder. J Clin Psychopharmacol 21(3): 335-339.
9. Fux, M. et al. 1996. Inositol treatment of obsessive-compulsive disorder. Am J Psychiatry 153(9): 1219-1221.
10. Levine, J. et al. 1999. Combination of inositol and serotonin reuptake inhibitors in the treatment of depression. Biol Psychiatry 45(3): 270-273.
11. Chengappa et al. 2000. Inositol as an add-on treatment for bipolar depression. Bipolar Disord. 2(1):47-55.


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