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Topic Title: Inositol (unofficial Vitamin B8) for hair
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Created On: 08/19/2010 03:18 PM
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 08/19/2010 03:18 PM
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DecadeTwo
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Anyone who knows me knows I'm not much for supplements and vitamins for MPB.  I don't take any.

That said, I remember taking Inositol for a period about two years ago, and thinking my hair looked thicker.  After that, I happened upon some information that said Inositol is important in hair growth.

I notice a lot of people take Biotin (B7) and other B-complex vitamins, so I thought I would throw that out there.

There has never been a clinical study on Inositol, the best I could come up with was a second hand story about a doctor who used it to arrest hair loss with success, and most of the information about Inositol comes from sites trying to sell it to you.

This is a source of OK and unbiased (AFAIK) information on Inositol.

Inositol: Overview

Inositol, an 'unofficial' B-vitamin, is a cyclic 6-carbon compound quite similar to glucose. In animal cells, it occurs as a component of phospholipids and it stored predominantly in the brain, spinal cord nerves, cerebral spinal fluid, skeletal muscle, and heart muscle. The human body contains more inositol than any other vitamin except niacin.

 

Source

Inositol is available from both plant and animal sources. The plant form in which inositol is available is phytic acid, which can bind with minerals and so affect their absorption negatively. The action of the intestinal bacteria liberates inositol from phytic acid, which is found in citrus fruits, nuts, seeds and legumes, wheat germ, brewers yeast, bananas, liver, beef brains and heart, whole grains such as brown rice, oat flakes, unrefined molasses, raisins and vegetables such as cabbage.

Function; Reasons For Use

Inositol is simply a hexane molecule (ringed structure of 6 carbons) with 6 hydroxyl groups (OH) attached. Inositol is used by the body to complete the synthesis of certain phospholipids, important components of every cell membrane. Inositol is also used to make Inositol Triphosphate (IP3), an important secondary messenger in various cell signaling events. Inositol is also lipotropic, meaning it associates with lipids (fats). Its lipotropic characteristics have been used to help move fatty material from the liver, into the intestines where they can be effectively removed with fiber.

Inositol works closely with choline as one of the primary components of the cell membrane. It is also needed for growth and survival of cells in bone marrow, eye membranes, and the intestines.

Inositol appears to be a precursor of the phosphoinosities (compounds that may be important in hormonal action) especially in the brain. Proper action of several brain neurotransmitters, such as acetylcholine and serotonin, require inositol.

Inositol encourages hair growth and can help prevent baldness.
Like choline, inositol helps to move fat out of the liver, and helps prevent serious liver disorders, as well as disorders involving high cholesterol.

Serotonin and acetylcholine, two neurotransmitters, both depend upon inositol, and supplementation can therefore assist in the reduction of depression and panic attacks. A reduction in brain inositol levels may induce depression as evidenced by low inositol levels in the cerebrospinal fluid of patients with depression. In a 1-month, double-blind, placebo-controlled study of 28 patients with depression, inositol demonstrated therapeutic results similar to tricyclic antidepressants without the side-effects. Additional studies have revealed that inositol supplementation is an effective treatment in panic and obsessive compulsive disorders.

Loss of inositol from nerve cells is the primary reason for diabetic neuropathy, so inositol supplementation can assist in improving this condition. Phytic acid, the plant source of inositol, has been shown to have anticancer properties, which may be one reason why a high-fiber diet protects against many cancers.

Inositol also has a prominent calming effect on the central nervous system, so it may be helpful to those with insomnia. Studies on brain waves have shown that it has an effect similar to that of librium or valium. It can gradually lower blood pressure, and can be helpful in cases of schizophrenia, hypoglycemia, and those with high serum copper and low serum zinc levels.

Because it stimulates muscles of the alimentary canal, inositol is helpful in cases of constipation. It can also induce labor contractions in pregnant women.

Intake of caffeine is known to deplete the bodies supply of inositol.

Directions

The RDA is 100mg per day, but be aware that this dosage is the minimum that you require to ward off deficiency of this particular nutrient. In the therapeutic use of this nutrient, the dosage is usually increased considerably, but the toxicity level must be kept in mind.

It is best used with choline, which should be taken in the same amount as inositol. It is best to take the entire B-group vitamins with it. Vitamin E, vitamin C as well as folic acid and linoleic acid are thought to increase the functioning of inositol.

Side-Effects

Although no toxic effects are known, diarrhea has been noted with the intake of very high dosage.

... take it with a grain of salt, though.  As you can see, it brings less references than your average authoritative-sounding post on a hair loss forum.

So, if I ever did add vitamins or supplements to my regimen I guess it would be stuff like B vitamins and MSM.  Still I'm skeptical because to my knowledge there has never been a successful human study on any vitamin/supplement for MPB.  Please correct me if I'm wrong.



-------------------------
NW < 2 since 1999

The plural of 'anecdote' is not 'evidence'.
--Alan I. Leshner

Correlation does not imply causation.
--Logic

When you believe in things that you don't understand then you suffer. Superstition ain't the way.
--Stevie Wonder

I'm not an MD, and I'm not a hair loss expert.

Edited: 08/19/2010 at 04:07 PM by DecadeTwo
 08/19/2010 04:48 PM
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losingitseattle
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You just mentioned in a thread to me about that. Inositol seems interesting. I ran into http://www.raysahelian.com/inositol.html and the irony is I am already taking the same product listed on that page Mind Power Rx which seems to be a fantastic product for me for aiding in thinking quicker. It's great to hear it also has 25mg of Inositol.

 08/19/2010 05:01 PM
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hairtrouble
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This is another supplement where a beneficial dosage is unclear. Most of the inositol supps are 500 mg with directions saying take 1-3 pills daily. Is it akin to MSM where higher dosages are necessary to see benefits?
 08/19/2010 05:36 PM
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DecadeTwo
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Originally posted by: losingitseattle You just mentioned in a thread to me about that.

Nah, that must've been someone else.  This is my first mention of it.

Originally posted by: hairtrouble Is it akin to MSM where higher dosages are necessary to see benefits?

No idea; I don't take it for AGA or otherwise.  I know it's been studied in doses up to 1800mg/day for other conditions, and has been considered safe and well tolerated.

That's the thing with these "natural" remedies for AGA:  there is no known dosing protocal, few to no clinical trials for efficacy, and little is known of the long term safety profile...  but, hey, they are as natural as mercury and tobacco, so I'm sure all you have to lose is money and hair (hopefully).



-------------------------
NW < 2 since 1999

The plural of 'anecdote' is not 'evidence'.
--Alan I. Leshner

Correlation does not imply causation.
--Logic

When you believe in things that you don't understand then you suffer. Superstition ain't the way.
--Stevie Wonder

I'm not an MD, and I'm not a hair loss expert.

Edited: 08/19/2010 at 05:43 PM by DecadeTwo
 08/19/2010 06:28 PM
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Hairhair
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This sounds interesting. What is MSM? Has anyone here tried Saw Palmetto? I imagine it would be classed as a supplement and I've read of people using it for hair retention.

 08/23/2010 06:28 AM
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Pete
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It should aid growth as it aids the liver in emulsifying fats
 02/23/2013 01:58 AM
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pgd2sucks
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I'm bumping this old thread because I found some info linking Inositol to PGF2a.

Trichomegaly induced by latanoprost

The topical drug latanoprost, an analogue of prostaglandulin F2 analogue, used to treat topically chronic open-angle glaucoma has been shown to cause regional hypertrichosis of the eyelashes and eyelids in approximately 77 percent of the patients treated with this drug. The hypertrichosis is associated with hyper pigmentation of the eyelashes. The new growth of lash-like hair may include extra rows of eyelashes. These extra eyelashes could well be longer, thicker and darker. This additional growth is typically restricted to the eye under treatment, but a bilateral effect of treatment of one eye and hypertrichosis of the ipsilateral of the ear lobe has been reported. The hypertrichosis was persistent even after the medication was discontinued.

This class of drugs acts by prostanoid self-surface receptors G-proteins linked to phosphorylase C which in turn activates a family of protein kinases. Prostanoid molecules including prosta glandin F-2 alpha bind to these receptors in certain tissues which in turn initiates an intracellular signaling response characterized by an increase in formation of diacylglycerol and inositol triphosphate with subsequent activation of protein kinase C and mobilization of intracellular calcium.

Found this in a patent,

http://www.faqs.org/patents/app/20090088473

According to FIG. 2, the 16-phenoxy tetranor PGF 2 ? analog showed the highest dose-dependent release of inositol triphosphate, similar to the free acid form of Bitamoprost, and thus correlates to the highest ability to induce the growth of human hair. Further, (+) fluprestonol illustrated the lowest dose-dependent release of inositol triphosphate, and thus would be predicted to have the lowest ability among the prostaglandin analogs tested to induce hair growth.
 02/23/2013 08:03 PM
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WorthmorethanGold-i-locks
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I'd just end up with raging diarhea, (sp?) soooo....
 02/24/2013 01:58 AM
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R.t
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There are no clinical trials because it's hard to make money from natural substances. Would be interesting to know if this might be useful.
 05/30/2014 02:02 PM
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GZ11
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I just did some quick research on this and surprise surprise, caffeine severely depletes Inositol levels. So does alcohol and smoking. You have to wonder if anyone balding doesn't smoke, drink alcohol, sugary drinks, or caffeine? I wonder if giving up all of those things would have a beneficial effect on hair for AGA sufferers?
 05/30/2014 06:40 PM
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SearchingforHair
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Originally posted by: GZ11

I just did some quick research on this and surprise surprise, caffeine severely depletes Inositol levels. So does alcohol and smoking. You have to wonder if anyone balding doesn't smoke, drink alcohol, sugary drinks, or caffeine? I wonder if giving up all of those things would have a beneficial effect on hair for AGA sufferers?


Why don't you try it and let us know.

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 05/30/2014 07:29 PM
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GZ11
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I plan on that, actually - after my upcoming vacation where I'm going to get piss drunk every night and drink 6 shots of espresso per day.

Between the low Zinc, elevated Cortisol, and now depleted Inositol ties to MPB (alcohol, nicotine, caffeine, and sugar heavily affect these levels in the body), I think it is worth a shot. The worst thing that can happen is that it won't work and will discourage further posts on these supposed lifestyle ties to AGA and save people money from buying vitamins.

I plan on doing this 100% for 3 months. No alcohol. No caffeine in any form (including decaf and chocolate). No nicotine gum or cigarettes. No sugary drinks or sweets. No gluten. Limited non-gluten grain. Limited fruit. I will post pictures and update frequently. We have got to put an end to these claims that lifestyle changes have an effect on AGA. It will either work, or it won't. I'm a NW4A so if there is any regrowth it will be noticeable. Stay tuned in two weeks.
 05/30/2014 10:20 PM
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fuZe
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Isn't everything tied to hairloss ? I am looking into having blood work for to test ALL vitamins and minerals to see which ones lacking in order to compare contrast. Wonder what this test is called so i can ask doc to order it.

Edited: 05/30/2014 at 11:32 PM by fuZe
 05/31/2014 04:39 PM
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GZ11
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I just requested one, Fuze. I just asked for a physical with a full check for mineral and vitamin deficiencies.
 05/31/2014 04:40 PM
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gtom
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GZ, do you think caffeine might accelerate MPB?

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 05/31/2014 04:53 PM
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GZ11
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Hi GTom -

It has been shown to deplete Zinc and Inositol levels and can heavily raise Cortisol levels. All three of those have ties to AGA. I'm too lazy now to pull up the studies. Yes though, I think it accelerates it.

At the same time, caffeine topically has been shown to improve hair growth.
 05/31/2014 04:58 PM
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gtom
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Originally posted by: GZ11

Hi GTom -



It has been shown to deplete Zinc and Inositol levels and can heavily raise Cortisol levels. All three of those have ties to AGA. I'm too lazy now to pull up the studies. Yes though, I think it accelerates it.



At the same time, caffeine topically has been shown to improve hair growth.


Yeah, I was thinking about that. Even Dr. Lee used it in his S5 day cream.

Damn, my caffeine intake is really high, a lot of coffee and tea during the day, especially when I'm working. I don't think I can quit.

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T(r)opical monkey piss 3x ED
 05/31/2014 05:24 PM
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GZ11
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Same here man - it's a great drug to get you through the day (and stress you out)

I'll let you know if my 3 month break from these legal drugs, gluten, and sugar improve my hair.
 05/31/2014 05:28 PM
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gtom
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Originally posted by: GZ11

Same here man - it's a great drug to get you through the day (and stress you out)



I'll let you know if my 3 month break from these legal drugs, gluten, and sugar improve my hair.


Please do so. Sounds very interesting.

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T(r)opical monkey piss 3x ED
 05/31/2014 08:55 PM
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fuZe
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Originally posted by: GZ11

I just requested one, Fuze. I just asked for a physical with a full check for mineral and vitamin deficiencies.


Is that what the test is called , full physical with mineral vitamin def ? Did you order from gp or a specialist
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