Supplement Forms/Alternate Names:

  • IP6
  • Inositol Hexaphosphate
  • Myoinositol
  • Phytic Acid
  • Vitamin B 8


Inositol is a compound found in the heart and the brain. It has been used to improve brain function and lower cholesterol. Inositol has also been used to ease symptoms of anxiety and depression. It can be taken as a pill or powder.


1 to 2 grams daily

What Research Shows

Likely Effective

  • Anxiety /Depression—likely to ease symptoms of both anxiety and depression B1
  • Gestational diabetes—likely to prevent in pregnant women E1-E4
  • Infertility —may increase pregnancy rate in women having ovulation induction F1
  • Metabolic syndrome —likely to lower triglycerides, total cholesterol, and LDL (“bad”) cholesterol G1
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome —likely to improve menstrual cycles, ovulation, and ease metabolic changes I1-I5

May Not Be Effective

Unlikely to Be Effective

  • Retinopathy of prematurity—unlikely to prevent the disease in preterm infants K1

Not Enough Data to Assess

Editorial process and description of evidence categories can be found at EBSCO NAT Editorial Process.

Editorial process and description of evidence categories can be found at EBSCO NAT Editorial Process.

Safety Notes

It is likely safe to take inositol in small doses for a short time, but nausea and headache are possible. Not enough studies have been done to say whether it is safe to use for a long period. It may also not be safe to take by women who are breastfeeding.


Talk to your doctor about any supplements or therapy you would like to use. Some can interfere with treatment or make conditions worse.


REFA Alzheimer Disease

REFA1 Muñoz Fernández SS, Ivanauskas T, et al. Nutritional Strategies in the Management of Alzheimer Disease: Systematic Review With Network Meta-Analysis. J Am Med Dir Assoc. 2017 Oct 1;18(10):897.e13-897.e30.

REFB Anxiety/Depression

REFB1 Mukai T, Kishi T, et al. A meta-analysis of inositol for depression and anxiety disorders. Hum Psychopharmacol. 2014;29(1):55-63.

REFC Autism Spectrum Disorder

REFC1 Gogou M, Kolios G. The effect of dietary supplements on clinical aspects of autism spectrum disorder: A systematic review of the literature. Brain Dev. 2017 Sep;39(8):656-664.

REFD Bipolar Disorder

REFD1 Sarris J, Mischoulon D, et al. Adjunctive nutraceuticals with standard pharmacotherapies in bipolar disorder: a systematic review of clinical trials. Bipolar Disord. 2011 Aug-Sep;13(5-6):454-465.

REFD2 Sienaert P, Lambrichts L, et al. Evidence-based treatment strategies for treatment-resistant bipolar depression: a systematic review. Bipolar Disord. 2013 Feb;15(1):61-69.

REFD3 Sylvia LG, Peters AT, et al. Nutrient-based therapies for bipolar disorder: a systematic review. Psychother Psychosom. 2013;82(1):10-19.

REFE Gestational Diabetes

REFE1 Rogozińska E, Chamillard M, et al. Nutritional manipulation for the primary prevention of gestational diabetes mellitus: a meta-analysis of randomised studies. PLoS One. 2015 Feb 26;10(2):e0115526.

REFE2 Zheng X, Liu Z, et al. Relationship Between Myo-Inositol Supplementary and Gestational Diabetes Mellitus: A Meta-Analysis. Medicine (Baltimore). 2015 Oct;94(42):e1604.

REFE3 Crawford TJ, Crowther CA, et al. Antenatal dietary supplementation with myo-inositol in women during pregnancy for preventing gestational diabetes. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2015 Dec 17;(12):CD011507.

REFE4 Martis R, Crowther CA, et al. Treatments for women with gestational diabetes mellitus: an overview of Cochrane systematic reviews. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2018 Aug 14;8:CD012327.

REFF Infertility

REFF1 Zheng X, Lin D, et al. Inositol supplement improves clinical pregnancy rate in infertile women undergoing ovulation induction for ICSI or IVF-ET. Medicine (Baltimore). 2017 Dec;96(49):e8842.

REFG Metabolic Diseases

REFG1 Tabrizi R, Ostadmohammadi V, et al. The effects of inositol supplementation on lipid profiles among patients with metabolic diseases: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Lipids Health Dis. 2018;17(1):123.

REFH Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

REFH1 Sarris J, Camfield D, et al. Complementary medicine, self-help, and lifestyle interventions for obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) and the OCD spectrum: a systematic review. J Affect Disord. 2012 May;138(3):213-221.

REFI Polycystic Ovary Syndrome

REFI1 Zeng L, Yang K. Effectiveness of myoinositol for polycystic ovary syndrome: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Endocrine. 2018 Jan;59(1):30-38.

REFI2 Arentz S, Smith CA, et al. Nutritional supplements and herbal medicines for women with polycystic ovary syndrome; a systematic review and meta-analysis. BMC Complement Altern Med. 2017 Nov 25;17(1):500.

REFI3 Mendoza N, Pérez L, et al. Inositol supplementation in women with polycystic ovary syndrome undergoing intracytoplasmic sperm injection: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Reprod Biomed Online. 2017 Nov;35(5):529-535.

REFI4 Pundir J, Psaroudakis D, et al. Inositol treatment of anovulation in women with polycystic ovary syndrome: a meta-analysis of randomised trials. BJOG. 2018 Feb;125(3):299-308.

REFI5 Showell MG, Mackenzie-Proctor R, et al. Inositol for subfertile women with polycystic ovary syndrome. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2018;12:CD012378.

REFJ Respiratory Distress Syndrome

REFJ1 Howlett A, Ohlsson A, et al. Inositol in preterm infants at risk for or having respiratory distress syndrome. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2015 Feb 4;(2):CD000366.

Retinopathy of Prematurity

REFK1 Du Y, He Y, et al. The efficacy and safety of inositol supplementation in preterm infants to prevent retinopathy of prematurity: a systematic review and meta-analysis. BMC Ophthalmol. 2019 Jun 25;19(1):135.

REFL Subfertility

REFL1 Showell MG, Mackenzie-Proctor R, et al. Antioxidants for female subfertility. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2017 Jul 28;7:CD007807.

REFM Unipolar Depression

REFM1 Schefft C, Kilarski LL, et al. Efficacy of adding nutritional supplements in unipolar depression: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Eur Neuropsychopharmacol. 2017 Nov;27(11):1090-1109.

Revision Information

  • Reviewer: EBSCO NAT Review Board Eric Hurwitz, DC
  • Review Date: 02/2020
  • Update Date: 05/27/2020