Inositol and Choline supplements are usually packed together for a very good reason. These important brain supplements work in harmony to promote better cognitive function and healthier brain cells.
Once upon a time Inositol was known as a B-Vitamin, specifically Vitamin B8. Nowadays, this nutrient is no longer considered as a vitamin. Choline on the other hand is considered a vitamin and is one of the few substances that can freely pass through the blood brain barrier (BBB).
Even though these two supplements are not known to be the most powerful brain mental boosters, both are needed to improve cognitive processes related to learning, memory, energy levels, and mood. What benefits does Inositol and Choline provide, how do they work together and what is the proper way to utilize them, we discuss it below.
What is Inositol?
Inositol is a mood-enhancing nutrient believed to work particularly well in women who suffer from anxiety or post-menstrual syndrome (PMS). After it was discovered that the body has the ability to make its own inositol, this nutrient was removed from the vitamin category. Inositol is available as a natural supplement that may be just as effective than other some prescribed medications in treating various mental health conditions we discuss below and mention why.
What are the benefits of Inositol?
- Treats Anxiety: Inositol can affect the action of the neurotransmitter serotonin, a compound present in blood platelets and serum that constricts the blood vessels. Occurrence of depression and anxiety are thought to be related to decreased levels of serotonin in our body. The Ministry of Mental Health at Ben Gurion University published the “Journal of Clinical Psychology” last 1995 after conducting a double-blind study. It was shown that conditions like anxiety disorders, panic disorder, and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) were effectively treated by the use of inositol. Additionally, inositol plays a role in nerve transmission, proper cell formation, and transportation of body fat.
- Treats Depression: As mentioned earlier, low levels of serotonin are thought to be a major contributing cause of depression. Inositol is a common supplement used in treating depressive symptoms since it helps in manufacturing serotonin. However, unlike choline, inositol is not thought to be an essential nutrient. There’s not enough research to support inositol’s effectiveness in treating depression.
- Lowers cholesterol levels: By breaking down the fatty deposits, Lecithin could prevent the build-up of fats in the walls of the heart, arteries and brain. As a result, it lowers your cholesterol level, and lessens the fat in your arteries. The fun fact is, when taking inositol combined with choline, lecithin can be produced in your body.
- Help babies with respiratory problems: In the late 90s, one study suggests that inositol helps new born babies with respiratory distress by reducing disability and death. This supplement has no known side effects and helps in lowering rates of death, brain bleeding, complications of the lungs, and even eye problems. However, it is important that if you are pregnant, you should first consult your physician before adding inositol to prenatal vitamin stack.
- Helps diabetes sufferers: Inositol could not cure diabetes, however, with increased intake, it can ease the symptoms. Inositol supplements can help treat diabetic neuropathy, a type of nerve damage that occurs to people who have diabetes. Inositol has a positive impact on body cells. Since majority of the nerve functions are affected by the decrease of inositol in the cell, thus, increasing inositol intake could help relieve this condition.
- Helps fight against cancer: Few studies in vitro suggests that inositol, when combined with phytic acid helps to fight against cancer.
- Eases constipation: Inositol stimulates muscular contraction and eases pain of constipation. Excessive relaxation of the muscles in your intestines and alimentary canal are due to a decrease of inositol in your system which can lead to constipation. Inositol is likewise used in pregnant women during delivery to stimulate muscular contraction.
- For sleep and insomnia: Inositol promotes peacefulness and calmness, which are essential in order to get a good sleep. Inositol is really helpful those who have troubles in going to sleep, since it helps to improve normal communication in the brain by releasing chemicals like serotonin.
What is Choline?
Choline is known as an important nutrient and is considered to be a member of the Vitamin B family. It can be naturally found inside our body and in various food products. This essential nutrient is produced in the liver; however, this amount is somewhat small and is not enough to promote and maintain good health.
Food products that are rich in Choline include egg yolks, liver, spinach, wheat germ, beans, nuts, and fish. Choline Bitartrate is the type of choline that can be usually bought in the supplement stores, but you can also purchase Choline Citrate as well.
Administering advanced versions of Choline known as CDP Choline (Citicoline) or Alpha GPC has been observed to be effective in treating anxiety, depression, liver dysfunctions and diseases, memory loss, dementia, as well as Alzheimer’s disease. Choline can also benefit athletes since it has the ability to effectively increase muscle bulk and delay the onset of fatigue. It is also used as an additive in infant formula to prevent the occurrence of neural tube defects and could be related to increased IQ scores.
On the off chance that you would like to improve your brain power, Choline can be the best choice for you since it is a direct precursor of Acetylcholine, which one of the most important brain chemicals. This neurotransmitter plays an important role in numerous cognitive processes including learning, memory formation, decision making, focus, and many more.
Furthermore, Inositol and Choline supplements aid in the repair and development of worn-out and new cell membranes of neurons inside the brain. These substances also function to transport fats throughout the body, thus preventing the occurrence of fatty liver disease and make it easier to reduce weight.
Other benefits of Choline?
- Treats Asthma: Studies show that taking choline could reduce the symptoms and the frequency of asthma in some individuals. Higher doses of Choline, which is 3 grams per day could be more effective than lower doses (1.5 grams per day).
- Treats liver disease secondary to exclusive feeding or parenteral nutrition: Administering choline via intravenous route (by IV) has been proven by some studies to be effective in treating liver disease in individuals who have choline deficiency and are receiving parenteral nutrition.
- Lowers the risk of neural tube defects: Some evidences show that women who have high intakes of choline in their diet during the time of conception appears to have lower risk of having infants with neural defects than those women who have low choline diet.
Stacking Inositol and Choline
Stacking means taking two supplements that provide synergistic effects by working in harmony with each other. Taking both Inositol and Choline appears to be more effective than taking it separately. Experts observe the complementary actions of these two supplements in different areas, especially in the production of lecithin inside the body. Lecithin is a type of lipid that plays an important role in the growth and maintenance of cell membrane in the entire body.
Utilizing Choline and Inositol could not only prevent premature cell death and improve the health of cell membranes, they could likewise enhance the ability of the cells to absorb nutrients. This leads to enhanced responsiveness of brain cells that results to improved cognitive function. A good comparison of the two can be seen here: Choline vs Inositol which can also help you find stacks that utilize these supplements, additionally if you go to the stacks page, you can enter both of these supplements and pull up a list of all stacks that contain these two supplements.
What are the side effects of Choline Inositol?
Inositol Choline is non-toxic and is not likely to produce any harmful effects. However, dosages beyond 500 mg per day may cause minimal side effects. These side effects include nausea, headaches, decreased appetite, body odor, dizziness, profuse sweating, and redness of the skin. In order to prevent these side effects from happening, it is advisable that you start at the lowest effective dose then gradually increase it once you have become familiar with its effects.
On the off chance that you have hypotension (low blood pressure) or any medical conditions, it is vital that you first consult your physician before deciding to take Choline Inositol.
Recommended dosage for Choline Inositol
The usual recommended dose for Inositol is 250 mg of Inositol and 250 mg of Choline Bitartrate. These dosages do not provide brain boosting benefits for the majority of people, but are appropriate for a daily multivitamin use.
The usual recommended dose for those who are suffering from anxiety is 1 gram of Inositol per day divided in two equal doses taken in the morning and a few hours before going to bed. For those who want to improve their memory, a dose of 2 grams of Choline per day is recommended, divided into two equal administrations, taken in the morning and evening.
Taking high doses could cost you a lot of money, especially with the brand name Choline Inositol sold at Walgreens, GNC, or Walmart. It is less expensive to purchase bulk Myo-Inositol powder and Choline powder separately and then mix them together in any dosage you prefer.