The effect of inositol supplements on the psoriasis of patients taking lithium: a randomized, placebo-controlled trial.
Br J Dermatol. 2004 May;150(5):966-9.
Lithium carbonate is the most widely used long-term treatment for bipolar affective disorders, but its ability to trigger and exacerbate psoriasis can become a major problem in patients for whom lithium is the only treatment option. Inositol depletion underlies the action of lithium in bipolar affective disorders and there are good theoretical reasons why the use of inositol supplements might be expected to help this group of patients. OBJECTIVES: To determine whether inositol supplements improve the psoriasis of patients on lithium therapy. METHODS: Fifteen patients with psoriasis, who were taking lithium, took part in a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover clinical trial comparing the effect of inositol supplements with those of a placebo (lactose). Changes in the severity of their psoriasis were measured by Psoriasis Area and Severity Index scores recorded before and after the different courses of treatment. The effect of inositol supplements on the psoriasis of 11 patients who were not taking lithium was evaluated in the same way. RESULTS: The inositol supplements had a significantly beneficial effect on the psoriasis of patients taking lithium. No such effect was detected on the psoriasis of patients not on lithium. CONCLUSIONS: The use of inositol supplements is worth considering for patients with intractable psoriasis who need to continue to take lithium for bipolar affective disorders.
Single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) in obsessive-compulsive disorder before and after treatment with inositol.
Metab Brain Dis. 2004 Jun;19(1-2):125-34.
Inositol, a glucose isomer and second messenger precursor, regulates numerous cellular functions and has demonstrated efficacy in obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) through mechanisms that remain unclear. The effect of inositol treatment on brain function in OCD has not been studied to date. Fourteen OCD subjects underwent single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) with Tc-99m HMPAO before and after 12 weeks of treatment with inositol. Whole brain voxel-wise SPM was used to assess differences in perfusion between responders and nonresponders before and after treatment as well as the effect of treatment for the group as a whole. There was 1) deactivation in OCD responders relative to nonresponders following treatment with inositol in the left superior temporal gyrus, middle frontal gyrus and precuneus, and the right paramedian post-central gyrus; 2) no significant regions of deactivation for the group as a whole posttreatment; and 3) a single cluster of higher perfusion in the left medial prefrontal region in responders compared to nonresponders at baseline. Significant reductions in the YBOCS and CGI-severity scores followed treatment. These data are only partly consistent with previous functional imaging work on OCD. They may support the idea that inositol effects a clinical response through alternate neuronal circuitry to the SSRIs and may complement animal work proposing an overlapping but distinct mechanism of action.
Effects of inositol on ovarian function and metabolic factors in women with PCOS: a randomized double blind placebo-controlled trial.
Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci. 2003 Nov-Dec;7(6):151-9.
BACKGROUND: Women with oligomenorrhea and polycystic ovaries show a high incidence of ovulation failure perhaps linked to insulin resistance and related metabolic features. A small number of reports shows that inositol improves ovarian function. Futhermore, in these trials the quality of evidence supporting ovulation is suboptimal, and few studies have been placebo-controlled. The aim of this study was to use a double-blind, placebo-controlled approach with detailed assessment of ovarian activity (two blood samples per week) to assess the validity of this therapeutic approach in this group of women. METHODS: Of the 283 patients randomized, 2 withdrew before treatment commenced, 147 received placebo, and 136 received inositol (100 mg, twice a day). The women which discontined the study prematurely were more numerous in the treatment group (n = 45) than the placebo group. RESULTS: The ovulation frequency estimated by the ratio of luteal phase weeks to observation weeks was significantly higher in the treated group (23%) compared with the placebo (13%). The time in which the first ovulation occurred was significantly shorter. The number of patients failing to ovulate during the placebo-treatment period was higher (P < 0.05) in the placebo group, and in most cases ovulations were characterized by normal progesterone concentrations in both groups. The effect of inositol on follicular maturation was rapid, because the circulating concentration of E2 increased only in the inositol group during the first week of treatment. Significant weight loss (and leptin reduction) was recorded in the inositol group, whereas in the placebo group was recorded an increase of the weight (P < 0.05). A significant increase in circulating high-density lipoprotein was observed only in the inositol-treated group. Metabolic risk factor benefits of inositol treatment were not observed in the morbidly obese subgroup of patients (body mass index > 37). No change in fasting glucose concentrations, fasting insulin, or insulin responses to glucose challenge test was recorded after 14-wk of inositol and placebo therapy. There was an inverse relationship between body mass of the patients and the efficacy of the treatment. CONCLUSIONS: These data support a beneficial effect of inositol in improving ovarian function in women with oligomenorrhea and polycystic ovaries.
Double-blind, controlled, crossover trial of inositol versus fluvoxamine for the treatment of panic disorder.
Ben Gurion University of the Negev, Beer-Sheba, Israel.
J Clin Psychopharmacol. 2001 Jun;21(3):335-9.
Only 70% of patients respond to current treatments for panic disorder, and many discontinue drugs because of side effects. Myo Inositol, a natural isomer of glucose and a precursor for the second-messenger phosphatidyl-inositol system, has previously been found superior to placebo in the treatment of depression, panic disorder, and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), but a direct comparison with an established drug has never been performed. A double-blind, controlled, random-order crossover study was undertaken to compare the effect of inositol with that of fluvoxamine in panic disorder. Twenty patients completed 1 month of inositol up to 18 g/day and 1 month of fluvoxamine up to 150 mg/day. Improvements on Hamilton Rating Scale for Anxiety scores, agoraphobia scores, and Clinical Global Impressions Scale scores were similar for both treatments. In the first month, inositol reduced the number of panic attacks per week (mean and SD) by 4.0 (2) compared with a reduction of 2.4 (2) with fluvoxamine. Nausea and tiredness were more common with fluvoxamine. Because inositol is a natural compound with few known side effects, it is attractive to patients who are ambivalent about taking psychiatric medication. Continuing reports of inositol's efficacy in the treatment of depression, panic disorder, and OCD should stimulate replication studies.
Controlled trials of inositol in psychiatry.
Faculty of Health Sciences, Ben Gurion University of the Negev, Beersheva, Israel.
Eur Neuropsychopharmacol. 1997 May;7(2):147-55.
Inositol is a simple polyol precursor in a second messenger system important in the brain. Cerebrospinal fluid inositol has been reported as decreased in depression. A double-blind controlled trial of 12 g daily of inositol in 28 depressed patients for four weeks was performed. Significant overall benefit for inositol compared to placebo was found at week 4 on the Hamilton Depression Scale. No changes were noted in hematology, kidney or liver function. Since many antidepressants are effective in panic disorder, twenty-one patients with panic disorder with or without agoraphobia completed a double-blind, placebo-controlled, four week, random-assignment crossover treatment trial of inositol 12 g per day. Frequency and severity of panic attacks and severity of agoraphobia declined significantly with inositol compared to placebo. Side-effects were minimal. Since serotonin re-uptake inhibitors benefit obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) and inositol is reported to reverse desensitization of serotonin receptors, thirteen patients with OCD completed a double-blind controlled crossover trial of 18 g inositol or placebo for six weeks each. Inositol significantly reduced scores of OCD symptoms compared with placebo. A controlled double-blind crossover trial of 12 g daily of inositol for a month in twelve anergic schizophrenic patients, did not show any beneficial effects. A double-blind controlled crossover trial of 6 g of inositol daily vs. glucose for one month each was carried out in eleven Alzheimer patients, with on clearly significant therapeutic effects. Antidepressant drugs have been reported to improve attention deficit disorder (ADDH) with hyperactivity symptomatology. We studied oral inositol in children with ADDH in a double-blind, crossover, placebo-controlled manner. Eleven children, mean age 8.9 +/- 3.6 years were enrolled in an eight week trial of inositol or placebo at a dose of 200 mg/kg body weight. Results show a trend for aggravation of the syndrome with myo-inositol as compared to placebo. Recent studies suggest that serotonin re-uptake inhibitors are helpful in at least some symptoms of autism. However a controlled double-blind crossover trial of inositol 200 mg/kg per day showed no benefit in nine children with autism. Cholinergic agonists have been reported to ameliorate electroconvulsive therapy (ECT)-induced memory impairment. Inositol metabolism is involved in the second messenger system for several muscarinic cholinergic receptors. Inositol 6 g daily was given in a crossover-double-blind manner for five days before the fifth or sixth ECT to a series of twelve patients, without effect. These results suggest that inositol has therapeutic effects in the spectrum of illness responsive to serotonin selective re-uptake inhibitors, including depression, panic and OCD, and is not beneficial in schizophrenia, Alzheimer's ADDH, autism or ECT-induced cognitive impairment.
Effects of d-chiro- inositol in lean women with the polycystic ovary syndrome.
Endocr Pract. 2002 Nov-Dec;8(6):417-23.
OBJECTIVE: To determine whether the administration of D-chiro- inositol, a putative insulin-sensitizing drug, would affect the concentration of circulating insulin, the levels of serum androgens, and the frequency of ovulation in lean women with the polycystic ovary syndrome. METHODS: In 20 lean women (body mass index, 20.0 to 24.4 kg/m 2) who had the polycystic ovary syndrome, treatment was initiated with either 600 mg of D-chiro- inositol or placebo orally once daily for 6 to 8 weeks. We performed oral glucose tolerance tests and measured serum sex steroids before and after therapy. To monitor for ovulation, we determined serum progesterone concentrations weekly. RESULTS: In the 10 women given D-chiro- inositol, the mean (+/- standard error) area under the plasma insulin curve after oral administration of glucose decreased significantly from 8,343 mU/mL per min to 5,335 mU/mL per min in comparison with no significant change in the placebo group (P = 0.03 for difference between groups). Concomitantly, the serum free testosterone concentration decreased by 73%, a significant change in comparison with essentially no change in the placebo group (P = 0.01). Six of the 10 women (60%) in the D-chiro- inositol group ovulated in comparison with 2 of the 10 women (20%) in the placebo group. Systolic and diastolic blood pressures, as well as plasma triglyceride concentrations, decreased significantly in the D-chiro- inositol group in comparison with the placebo group, in which these variables either increased (blood pressure) or decreased minimally (triglycerides). CONCLUSION: We conclude that, in lean women with the polycystic ovary syndrome, D-chiro- inositol reduces circulating insulin, decreases serum androgens, and ameliorates some of the metabolic abnormalities (increased blood pressure and hypertriglyceridemia) of syndrome X.