What are the Benefits of Inositol and Choline?

Assorted fruits
Fresh fruits, beans, nuts and grains are the best sources of myo-inositol. (Image: Purestock/Purestock/Getty Images)

Inositol is a vitamin you are able to make from glucose, and it is also available in whole grain foods. Choline is a water soluble nutritional substance that also can be synthesized in your body. No specific deficiency condition or syndrome has yet been reported for either inositol or choline. There are conditions where the blood level is decreased for reasons not totally understood. Greater intake of foods containing these nutrients is a good health choice.

Inositol and Neuropathy

Inositol was at one time considered a B-complex vitamin. In nature, it is found in the form of myo-inositol and is present in all living cells. If you are diabetic, increased dietary inositol may help prevent or even improve diabetic nerve disorders as well as the neuropathies due to chronic kidney failure. The 2013 issue of "Pharmacological Reports" states that myo-inosotol depletion or deficiency in the body can result in diabetic neuropathy. Fresh fruits, beans, nuts and grains are the best sources of myo-inositol.

Inositol and Mental Disorders

Inositol plays a role in several psychiatric disorders, and research in this area may eventually lead to better treatments. Authors Marc E. Agronin and Gabe J. Maletta of “Principles and Practice of Geriatric Psychiatry” state, “Inositol, the precursor to the second messenger molecule, inositol triphosphate, is currently under study as an antidepressant in bipolar depression.”

Choline and Your Cells

Choline also used to be considered a B-complex vitamin. It is no longer classified as a vitamin, but is now considered an essential nutrient. It was determined in 1998 by the Institute of Medicine that although you can make choline, that you may not make enough for your body’s needs. A minimum daily requirement for adults has been set at 425 milligrams per day for women and 550 milligrams for men. According to the “Journal of the American College of Nutrition,” choline is important to brain development, liver function and cancer prevention. It is a vital part of the cell membrane structure of all your cells.

Choline and Your Brain

Choline is vital to the development of the brain and memory functions. Choline is also needed for the development of vital organs in infants. Maternal stores of choline are diverted to the fetus and later to the breast milk. Pregnant and breastfeeding women must assure that they get enough choline for both their own needs and the infant’s. The “Journal of the American College of Nutrition” lists good dietary sources of choline as beef and chicken liver, eggs, wheat germ, bacon, dried soybeans and pork. Choline is included in most multivitamin and mineral tablets.

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