Vitamins play a vital role in the supreme functioning of different body processes. Vitamin B8 is a major structural component of cell membranes that influences the insulin production within the body to keep the blood sugar balanced. This vitamin B8 also acts as a chemical messenger for our brain that transmits messages from the brain to other body parts.
Many pieces of research have been conducted on the astounding benefits of vitamin B8 but before digging into these benefits, have a peep at its nutritional facts and food sources.
Food sources of Vitamin B8
This vitamin is found in both plants and animals. The plant sources are:
- Dried fruits
- Beans and peas
- Fruits like bananas, strawberries, apples, etc.
- Vegetables like cabbage, mushrooms, tomatoes, spinach, carrots, soya.
- Yeast especially brewer’s yeast.
- Cereals like wheat and oat flakes.
Animal sources include:
- Dairy products
Amount of Vitamin B8 in Different Foods
|Cooked liver (85 gm)||27-35 µg|
|Cooked egg (1 large)||13-25 µg|
|Yeast (7 gm)||1.4-14 µg|
|Cooked salmon (85 gm)||4-5 µg|
|Avocado (1 whole)||2-6 µg|
|Whole grain bread (1 slice)||2-6 µg|
|Cheddar cheese (28 gm)||4-2 µg|
RDAS For Vitamin B8
Following are the recommended dietary allowances for different age groups:
|Children 1-3 years||8 µg/ day|
|Children 4-8 years||12 µg/ day|
|Children 9-13 years||20 µg/ day|
|Adults 14-18 years||25 µg/ day|
|Adults 19 years and above||30 µg/ day|
|Pregnant women||30 µg/ day|
|Breastfeeding women||35 µg/ day|
Benefits of Vitamin B8
After viewing the food sources and RDAs for vitamin B8, now let’s view some amazing benefits of this astounding vitamin:
- Mood and Anxiety: If you are feeling low or depressed or having frequent mood swings, try increasing the intake of vitamin B8 or inositol. This vitamin is assumed to ameliorate mood swings, anxiety, depression, and other mental disorders. This vitamin increases the release of hormones like serotonin and dopamine which are considered feel-good hormones. These hormones are largely helpful in treating panic disorders in those persons suffering from depression. A small study carried out on 20 people, suggested that 18gm of inositol for 4 weeks, greatly improved the mental conditions of people in depression or having panic attacks. Other than mood swings and anxiety, vitamin B8 is also convicted to be helpful in the treatment of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
- Metabolic Disorders: A study published in the International Journal of Endocrinology in 2016, stated that when patients suffering from type 2 diabetes, take inositol on regular basis along with their diabetic medicines, they are observed to have significantly lower blood sugar levels after 3 months of inositol take in. It is also observed that women who take this vitamin regularly, have controlled blood pressure levels i.e. there was an 11% decline in diastolic blood pressure and 22% increase in high-density lipoproteins (HDL) which is good cholesterol and are compulsory normal metabolic activities. Hence, vitamin B8 greatly improves metabolic disorders within the body and maintains a good healthy heart. Intake of vitamin B8 is also helpful in sustaining supreme cardiovascular activities.
- Bipolar Disorder: Though the study on the relationship of inositol and bipolar disorder is vague, still a small study conducted showed that vitamin B8 significantly reduced the symptoms of depression, mania, psoriasis. Medicines administered for the treatment of bipolar spectrum disorders have side effects caused by lithium present in the medicines and inositol aids in the reduction of these aftereffects. Although the research is very small and more research is needed regarding this treatment of depression, still it is thought by many that vitamin B8 treats many mental disorders, specifically Bipolar Disorder.
- Diabetes During Pregnancy: Whenever a woman gets pregnant, she might experience an up rise in the blood sugar level. This increase in sugar levels during pregnancy is called Gestational Diabetes (GDM). Inositol has been considered a prime source for keeping the function of insulin at its best which regulates the level of sugar in the blood. But this research is limited to a few people and most researchers found that when 4gm of inositol and 400mcg of folic acid are given in combination on a daily basis, it supremely reduces GDM during the whole pregnancy.
- Polycystic Ovary Syndrome: Many women have to face irregular periods and infertility due to multiple factors like hormonal imbalance, stress, anxiety, or depression. This hormonal imbalance often leads to polycystic ovary syndrome and this PCOS further causes high blood sugar, elevates cholesterol, and a higher level of triglycerides. A study suggested that daily intake of vitamin B8 along with folic acid, enormously declines the risk of PCOS. This tremendous combination of 400mcg folic acid and 4gm of inositol, also fosters ovulation in women suffering from any kind of fertility issues as well as if taken regularly for 3 months, incite ovulation in 62% of women. Another clinical study proved that taking myo-inositol or D-chiro-inositol orally, lowers triglycerides, testosterone levels, reduce blood pressure as well as escalates the proper functioning of ovaries in women who are obese or overweight along with suffering from PCOS.
Side effects of Vitamin B8
Besides uncountable health benefits, if the dose of inositol exceeds more than 12gm a day, it may cause certain side effects like nausea, stomach pain, tiredness, headache, or dizziness.
Other side effects include:
- People suffering from type 2 diabetes, if they take an overdose of inositol or use it for a prolonged period, may cause hypoglycemia.
- Though this inositol relieves the bipolar disorder disease, overdose can cause a hypomanic episode.
- Excessive intake of vitamin B8 in the form of inositol decreases the ability of the body to absorb zinc, calcium, iron, and other nutrients which eventually leads to their deficiency.
Inositol may have negative effects but these effects are very mild and ward off easily when stopped taking its supplements.
After viewing the above all benefits of inositol, it is clear that 18gm of vitamin B8 on daily basis is safe for people as well as treats many mental disorders like depression, bipolar disorder, PCOS, metabolic syndrome, and diabetes, whether taken in natural form or supplements but above all moderation should be maintained and one should not exceed the recommended dosage.