Inositol shows promising relief from with Anxiety/Panic Attacks/Depression/Insomnia
Forum: Anxiety Cure, Adrenal Fatigue, Depression, PTSD, Sleep Disorders
- Inositol shows promising relief from with Anxiety/Panic Attacks/Depressi... by #58606
/ Adrenal Fa
I'm having the most success so far with Inositol for my Panic Attacks. I'm combining it with Tryptophan for maximum effect. I take high doses of Inositol (Vit B8) of 12,000 mg a day. I'm kind of experimenting with that right now.
I learned about it from Iherb.com and upon reading the testimonials, I had to try it.
Testimonials (I don't endorse the brand):
Natural Products in the Clinical Treatment
of Mental Illness
A Profile of Dr. James Greenblatt, MD
By Joe Leonard
Inositol is a naturally occurring isomer of glucose and a key intermediate molecule of second messenger signal transduction pathways used by serotonergic, cholinergic, and noradrenergic neurons. Inositol is believed to play an important role in the intracellular phosphatidyl inositol second messenger system to which several key serotonin receptor subtypes are linked. As such, compounds containing inositol may represent novel therapeutic agents in treating some psychiatric disorders.
Dr. James Greenblatt of McLean Hospital, a Harvard Medical School teaching hospital, is currently using inositol supplementation as part of the treatment of patients with mental illnesses, particularly depression, panic disorder, and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).
A considerable body of research is accumulating that inositol plays an important role in treating these mental illnesses. Inositol is likely involved in signal transduction pathways involving serotonin, a neurotransmitter that becomes out of balance in several of these illnesses. Inositol’s efficacy in the absence of side effects makes it an attractive addition to treatment plans for specific mood disorders.
Depressive patients show decreased levels of inositol in their cerebrospinal fluid (Levine et al., 1997) and inositol has a similar therapeutic profile to pharmaceutical selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) often used to treat depression (Mishori et al., 1999).
Serotonin plays a definitive role in OCD as well and Fux et al. (1996) brought about significant improvement in OCD patients by administration of 18 grams/day of inositol in a random, double-blind, placebo-controlled study (p=0.04 relative to control).
Treatment with 12 grams of inositol per day (vs. placebo) has also been shown to significantly reduce the severity and frequency of panic attacks in patients with panic disorder (Benjamin et al., 1995) in a double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover experiment. The average number of panic attacks per week fell from 10 to 3.5 in patients receiving inositol.
Recently, Palatnik et al. (2001) completed a double-blind, controlled, crossover trial of inositol vs. fluvoxamine (Luvox®, Faverin®) in the treatment of panic disorder that reinforces previous research that inositol is effective in treating this serious illness. Fluvoxamine is an effective drug for treating panic disorder in the short term, though its side effects of nausea and tiredness often cause patients to stop taking it.
In this study, 20 patients taking inositol (up to 18 grams/day) showed improvements on the Hamilton Rating Scale for Anxiety, agoraphobia scores, and the Clinical Global Impressions scale, that were comparable with fluvoxamine. In the first month of treatment, inositol reduced the number of panic attacks per week by 4 compared with a reduction of 2.4 per week with fluvoxamine, a significantly improved outcome (p=0.049). Side effects were considerably less with inositol than with fluvoxamine. This is the first comparison of inositol with an established drug for treatment of panic disorder and suggests inositol may be just as effective as some drugs in the treatment of this disorder, with fewer side effects.
The side effects of inositol are minimal. It is speculated that inositol’s regulation of serotonin may enhance sleep and help patients with insomnia, though there are not currently any valid clinical studies to back this up.
The action of inositol in treating psychological disorders is largely theoretical. Inositol is known to act as a second messenger for a number of neurotransmitters in the brain. Antidepressant medications, such as SSRIs, increase the amount of neurotransmitter in neuronal synapses within 24 hours by blocking the receptors that sequester them. However, Greenblatt points out that the psychological effects of this inhibition can take 2-4 weeks to manifest, suggesting that second messengers in the biochemical pathways of neurotransmission, such as inositol, are likely to be involved.
Inositol is not considered an essential dietary nutrient, because it is made in the body and is shuttled around to various tissues as needed. Overconsumption of sugar, however, may disrupt the inositol shuttle system and associated second messenger pathways, essentially leading to deficiency.
Often, the patients that Greenblatt treats are not able to make positive dietary changes, but he has shown that supranutritional doses of inositol are effective in treating illnesses even when the diet is lacking in some way. He has also used inositol in conjunction with SSRIs, particularly where high doses of SSRIs cause sleep disturbances. Inositol can be taken with the medication to alleviate these disturbances.
Greenblatt has used inositol effectively in treating obsessive-compulsive disorder in both children and adults. He has been able to use inositol to treat children with OCD without requiring any other medical intervention. In adults he has used it alone to treat sleep disturbances.
In most clinical research trials, 10-18 grams of inositol are used in treatment. Greenblatt reports that he rarely uses more than 10 grams and in children he successfully uses much lower amounts, approaching physiological doses (2 grams or less per day).
Greenblatt is excited about current research on inositol for treating mental illnesses in children because it seems it sometimes can be used alone without the need for pharmaceutical drugs. He is anxious to get the word out to other psychiatrists who are reluctant to use a new and purely nutritional product without the research to back it up. The body of published literature on inositol in treating mental illness is significant, but it still has not been incorporated into mainstream clinical thinking because of the difficulty in getting past the heavy drug company influence in mental health. A major academic question Greenblatt asks is, why?
“There is scientific literature in peer reviewed psychiatric journals demonstrating that inositol appears to work as effectively as SSRIs (Prozac, Zoloft, and Paxil),” Greenblatt said. “Studies show consistent improvement in symptoms, significantly better than placebo.”
Because inositol is a natural substance that is safe and effective, without significant side effects, Greenblatt believes it may be particularly effective for use in the treatment of geriatric and pediatric populations before addressing their illnesses with pharmaceutical medications.
Greenblatt has been interested in nutritional medicine since the early 1980s in medical school. He completed traditional training in adult psychiatry and child psychiatry and believes medications play an important role in mental health. However, he does not believe this role should be primary to effective nutritional and dietary approaches to treating illness.
One of Greenblatt’s main goals is to educate mental health professionals in the use of nutrition and dietary supplements as alternatives to pharmaceuticals. Since the mid 1980s, he has treated thousands of children with both therapy and medication, but during the past 10 years he has become primarily interested in helping people find alternative therapies for treating psychiatric disorders.
“Patients are looking for alternatives,” he said. “They are going to alternative practitioners and coming home with a list of perhaps 30 synthetic supplements to take for depression. There is little scientific research to support the use of many of these supplements, and more importantly, they are not getting better.”
Greenblatt did an internship with allergist Marshal Mandel in the 1970s. His introduction to using alternative medicine in mental illness was observing the behavioral responses of people to food allergies. “I saw tapes of very sick patients, be it ADHD, schizophrenia, or depression, before and after eliminating certain foods that they were allergic to,” Greenblatt said. “The differences were dramatic!”
The future of inositol in mental health
In spite of the evidence that inositol is effective in treating mental illness, the medical community is slow to adopt its use. In order to get the word out, Greenblatt wants to examine inositol in a host of pediatric disorders that are responsive to SSRIs: depression, panic disorder, and OCD. He intends to repeat previous successful adult studies on children. Inositol in pediatric OCD will be the first study he plans to conduct. It may take a year or more to complete and two years before appearing in a peer-reviewed journal.
“It is important to wait for scientific research,” he said. “But it is also OK to begin to utilize nutritional interventions that are not harmful and appear to be therapeutic. Inositol is often a third line treatment for OCD. Medications are used first, and it doesn’t make a lot of sense that inositol is not used first, particularly in children and geriatric populations [on whom drugs may have the most adverse effects].
“What does it take for the medical community to accept inositol when the research has been done? I don’t know of any other nutrient in the psychiatric literature that has undergone the kind of scientific study that inositol has.
Many medications that we use in children are not approved for use in children. Most have only been studied in adults, with not a single study on children. Yet, we use them every day in children. We have no idea how they affect brain development or if they even work when we use them in children. Yet professionals are reluctant to use a safe herbal or nutritional supplement just because they say, ‘There is no research on it.’
“Up until a few years ago, all the antidepressants and neuroleptics (antipsychotics) had never been studied in children,” he said. “Now a few studies are coming out like the use of Luvox for OCD in children. These studies are funded by the drug companies. They are very short and they do show some benefit, but we just don’t know what their effects are over time. In addition, whenever you treat these disorders, particularly OCD, you always get a subset, sometimes 30% or 40%, that does not respond to medication. That is a whole other segment of the population that could benefit from nutritional intervention.”
Greenblatt recommends emphasizing nutrition with whole foods and whole food concentrates with higher-dose supplementation in certain cases.
“The difficult concept is that what we want to recommend to our patients is to stop eating sugar, junk food, and white flour, which is going to help a large majority of our child patients,” Greenblatt said. “When you look at even the adult mentally ill patients, they are just living on junk food. To address these lifestyle issues is clearly the first goal. But, if they are not able to change their diet right away, are there other alternatives that we can use? Clearly the food we are feeding our children as a culture is destroying brain cells and having an adverse effect on growth and development. The kids who are biologically vulnerable to mental illnesses are going to develop them at much earlier ages and I think in much more severe forms.”
Dr. Greenblatt is also interested in the use of oligoproanthocyanidins (OPCs) in the treatment of mental disorders, particularly for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). OPCs have been used for many years in Europe for vascular complaints such as hemorrhoids and varicose veins. Greenblatt has seen improvements in the electroencephalograms (EEGs) of patients with ADHD and improved handwriting, attention, and behavior in children with ADHD, an effect also observed with stimulant drugs used to treat ADHD.
“We have found that people respond to OPC whether or not they have a diagnosis of ADHD,” Greenblatt said. “They are generally more focused and more attentive. Depressed patients show an improvement of mood and energy level. PMS is a common complaint for which we have used OPC with good success.”
In treating ADHD with OPC, Greenblatt sees about a 60% success rate in adults and slightly less than that in children. “It is not that every patient gets better,” Greenblatt said. “But for a non-medical intervention it has been quite successful.”
As a consequence of administering OPC to treat psychiatric illnesses, Greenblatt is also hearing qualitative reports from patients of very rapid improvements in joint pain that are noticeable within a couple weeks of starting OPC. “Older patients will often report that the joint pain they have had for 20 years is better,” Greenblatt said. “Then they will suggest it to their relatives. Joint pain has really been probably the most dramatic improvement I have seen with the OPC.”
The effect on joint pain may be because OPC prevents the breakdown of collagen, a structural molecule in joints and blood vessels. This may also explain why OPC is reported to improve varicose veins.
Diet is a major component of Greenblatt’s supplement protocol. Adults and children who can make positive dietary changes have a much higher likelihood of success. “OPC sometimes can work without significant dietary interventions and lifestyle changes, but clearly it works better with those changes.”
OPC is found in pine bark, grape seed, Ginkgo biloba, and other plant sources and a question arises as to what is the best source of OPC to use therapeutically. Clinically, Greenblatt has observed that some people respond to one source of OPC better than another, but in general patients do better taking a mixed source of OPC, such as OPC Synergy™ (Standard Process Inc.).
Benjamin, J. et al. 1995. Double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover trial of inositol treatment of panic disorder. Am J Psychiatry 52: 1084-1086.
Fux, M. et al. 1996. Inositol treatment of obsessive-compulsive disorder. Am J Psychiatry 153(9): 1219-1221.
Levine, J et al. 1997. Controlled trials of inositol in psychiatry. Eur Neuropsychopharmacol 7(2): 147-155.
Mishori, et al. 1999. Combination of inositol and serotonin reuptake inhibitors in the treatment of depression. Biol Psychiatry 45: 270-273.
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.
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- Re: Inositol shows promising relief from with Anxiety/Panic Attacks/Depr... by Flamengo
- Re: Inositol shows promising relief from with Anxiety/Panic Attacks/Depr... by #58606
Yes and no.. The first day I took it, I took 12,000mg however, I didn't take it all at once. I chose to take it in divided doses during the morning, afternoon, evening and just before bedtime, which is the most crucial time for me.
It worked instantly. I followed the Pyroluria protocol (high doses of zinc b6,b5,b3 etc.)including many amino acids for over 2 months, and nothing has worked to effectively stop or prevent them. This must be the B vitamin that I'm deficient of because when I look it up in Joan Mathews Larsons book on orthomolecular psychiatry, one of the symptoms she lists as an Inositol deficiency is panic attacks/disorder. I wish I had paid heed to it earlier..
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- INOSITOL balances Copper/Zinc. Deficiency: Excess Copper by #58606
I was doing more research on Inositol this morning when I stumbled upon this website.
What really caught my eye in the article is that it says: 'Inositol takes part in the chemical equilibrium of copper and zinc in the nervous cells.The lack of this vitamin can produce of excess copper that will be responsible for the appearance of numerous problems of the nervous system: anxiety,insomnia, nervousness,depression, stress, phobias or fears. -- I never knew that, and it makes so much sense as to why it works!
Here's the full article: It wouldn't let me cut and paste.
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- Practice spiritual grounding by #136970
Practice spiritual grounding and it will get rid of anxiety and panic
attacks. It is what cured my anxiety and panic attacks. Anxiety and
panic is produced by fear and fear is irrational unless you are in present time
physical danger. If you owe someone $10,000 and don't have the resources
to pay it - that is not physical danger and fear and worry will not benefit the
situation in any manner.
Here's a somewhat decent description of grounding, which allows a place to
release your anxiety. Learning it while being seated is easier. By
living in the present moment and not in fear the future or the past, you can
enjoy life to its fullest. You have a root chakra at the base of your
spine going from front to back, it is from that chakra that you extend a
spiritual energy cord to the center of the Planet and let go of anything that
prevents you from living in the present moment including fear, panic, depression
and anything else you wish to get rid of.
You can practice it often, including just driving down the road.
How to Control Anxiety with Grounding Techniques
Dec 6, 2008
Grounding techniques can help you stay calmly
focused in the present moment. They are easy to do and valuable for learning how
to control anxiety.
Grounding techniques steady the mind by drawing it to notice normal physical
sensations. This simple noticing of the body triggers the mind to step down from
high adrenaline states and begin to relax.
How do Grounding Techniques Work?
Grounding techniques are deceptively simple, but
they have a definite influence over the mind. Here's how they work. Your mind
perceives certain physical events as being related to stress. Typical examples
are a dry mouth, shallow breathing, and physical disassociation. Disassociation
means "being out of touch" with ourselves and our surroundings. This
can happen when we're driving and we forget parts of a journey, or when we're
concentrating on complex tasks for long periods of time. Neither of these events
are necessarily stressful, but due to the lack of connection with our physical
self we may become "spaced out" and feel disconnected. These feelings
also happen in high anxiety states, so your body perceives a connection between
lack of physical awareness and stress or anxiety.
To address this negative perception all you need to do is to take a minute or
two to reconnect with yourself and send an all clear message to your mind. This
quick and easy exercise shows you how to do that by actively paying attention to
your body, it's a great way to reduce anxiety as it brings a nice sense of calm
A Simple Grounding Technique
- Stand and bend your knees slightly.
- Think for a moment about how conscious you are of your body right now. Pay
attention to your level of physical comfort and feel for areas of tension.
- Now feel your feet on the floor, and notice the texture of the surface you
are standing on. Do your feet perceive it as rough or smooth? And how are
your feet connecting with it? Are you distributing your weight evenly
through your feet, or are you leaning more into your toes, or your heels?
Are your feet relaxed or tense? Do they feel comfortable? Just notice and
flex your toes for a moment or two.
- Now direct your attention to your skin. Can you feel the sensation of the
air on your face or hands? Pause and feel its temperature for a few seconds.
- Take a deep breath and as you release that breath, drop your shoulders and
let your jaw relax. Allow there to be a slight gap between your top and
bottom teeth and bring your tongue to rest behind your front teeth at the
top of your mouth as if you were going to make an "l" sound.
Deeper and Deeper
Now bring your attention deeper into your body,
focus on your muscles and tissues and look for any areas of tension. Send your
attention to a place that feels tense with a thought of warming and relaxing the
area. As you breathe visualize that tension softening, relaxing and flowing
Take a few more moments to breathe deeply, rest, relax and acknowledge your body
as the vehicle that supports you and carries you about day to day. Noticing
areas of tension in your body allows you to take the opportunity to stretch them
out and breathe into them, massage them and do something to acknowledge and
alleviate tension before your body calls you with more urgency and stronger
signals of discomfort that it needs your attention and care.
This simple act of self respect gives protection from anxiety spikes and keeps
you in touch with your intelligence and resources so that you can flow through
your daily activities with increased comfort, calm and clarity.
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- Re: Practice spiritual grounding by #58606
I do something similar to what you are describing with the 'Be Still and Know Meditation', and yes, grounding is VERY powerful. I can only speak for myself, that while it did help tremendously, it did not help cure me and I fell back. Perhaps I did not spend enough time meditating, but whatever the case, I'm finding success now with addressing the whole spirit,mind and body.
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