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Veterinarian Reviewed on June 6, 2012 by Paulina Nelega, RH
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Inositol (Inositol hexanicotinate)

Inositol hexanicotinate, is a chemical compound that is widely used in the pharmaceutical industry for its various medicinal uses. It is a compound essential for various processes in the body. Although the body is capable of producing inositol on its own, it may not be able to do so as efficiently at all times. Hence, it is highly advised that this compound be obtained from other external sources, such as in dietary supplements.


The myo-inositol form of the substance is actually a crystalline compound that has a sweet taste. Inositol hexanicotinate is a form of inositol that has been esterified with niacin in all of its six alcohol groups. This is now commonly termed as the “no flush” Niacin which is made especially to treat high blood cholesterol. The substance comes in white capsules and is commonly available in many drug stores.

History and Origin of Inositol

The compound was first discovered in the form of myo-inositol, isolated by Scherer in 1849. But it was not until the mid 1900s that the complete structure of the compound was documented by Dangschat and Posternakt. Synthesis of the compound began in 1915. By the mid 1900s, the substance was discovered to have significant action on certain cellular processes which sparked extensive studies as potential biological and chemical agents. Chemical modification of the substance and its derivates were done in full swing during the 1970s.

Ancient uses of Inositol

As mentioned before, inositol was not discovered up until the mid 1800s. Its discovery for being an important compound utilized in many biological processes led to increased amounts of synthesis of the compound. During those times, the synthesized products were mainly used for clinical tests and pharmaceutical uses.

Modern Uses of Inositol

Today, inositol is probably one of the most widely used substances in the pharmaceutical industry. First, the compound is regarded as one of the most effective treatments for mental disorders such as Depression, Anxiety and bipolar disorders. The drug is also being used as treatment for women with polycystic ovarian cancers and even for Baldness. One of the most popular uses of Inositol hexanicotinate is for reducing cholesterol levels in the blood. This is a common drug prescribed to patients with heart diseases and diabetes.
Aside from being an actual treatment, Inositol hexanicotinate is also used as a means to prevent a number of diseases. It is used to protect the liver, promote proper cardiovascular function, and prevent the formation of kidney stones and blood clots in the circulatory system. Currently, they are also being used as an anti-aging substance and as treatments for different types of cancer (although most tests are producing not-so-promising results).

Side effects and Warnings for Inositol use

Up to date, there are no definite reports on actual side effects associated with the use of Inositol hexanicotinate. Isolated cases have reported of diarrhea. But in spite of this, it should not be a reason for anyone to go slack in the intake of the compound.

It is highly recommended that the drug be taken under the watchful care of a medical professional, at the right doses and at the right duration. So before you head out to your nearest drug store, the best thing to do would be to consult your physician first before taking the drug.

Read also: Facial Psoriasis

Our Expert

Paulina Nelega, RH
Paulina Nelega, RH, has been in private practice as a Clinical Herbalist for over 15 years. She has developed and taught courses in herbal medicine, and her articles on health have appeared in numerous publications. She is very passionate about the healing power of nature. Ask Dr. Jan

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