5 Ways Taking Inositol (Vitamin B8) May Help Fight Diabetic and Peripheral Neuropathy Pain At The Source

In this marvelous world of ours, there are a number of naturally occurring substances that seem to have no end of health benefits, and one of those is Inositol.

Inositol is often referred to as a vitamin, and in particular, it is designated as vitamin B8, but strictly speaking it is actually a vitamin-like substance.

Inositol can be found in just about every animal and plant that exists, and it is one of the essential ingredients for survival, as it accounts for the health of the cells in our bodies and brain metabolism.

Inositol also promotes fertility, therefore not only does inositol help with our personal survival, but the survival of our species is most definitely dependent upon it too.

Inositol occurs naturally within our bodies, and its levels can be further increased by eating natural sources of it.

The food types considered to be rich sources of inositol are very varied and include nuts, cabbage, citrus fruits, beans, grains, cereals, beef heart, liver, and eggs. Additionally, inositol can be taken as a supplement.

There are several in which Inositol can help fight nerve pain, and in this article,  we are going to look at 5 of the most effective.

1. Blood Sugar Control

We're sure you have heard the principle that it is better to attack the root cause of an illness than to simply alleviate the symptoms.

Inisitol can help with Blood Sugar Control

After all, with any symptom its relief will often be temporary, and it can return if the underlying illness or condition has not been dealt with. In specific terms, this is the relationship between diabetes and nerve pain.

Diabetes, if not properly controlled, can lead to peripheral neuropathy, and one of the most common symptoms of this is nerve pain. Logic dictates that if you can implement better control of your blood sugar levels, the levels of neuropathy will be limited, and thus painful nerves will at least be alleviated, if not completely eliminated.

There are lots of ways in which blood sugar can be better controlled and as this is not an article primarily about diabetic control, we won't go through of them all. What we will say is that blood sugar is best controlled when a number of beneficial actions take place, rather than one single fix-it-all.

If we look at inositol it is not going to be able to control blood sugar singularly, if everything else you do in relation to your health and fitness has the opposite effect. What inositol is known to do is reduce the insulin resistance which is a prime factor in diabetes. 

By enhancing your levels of inositol, you can enhance the body’s ability to use the insulin within it. With reduced resistance to it, the insulin is more able to lower blood sugar levels.

2. Improved Mental Health

Improved Mental Health

One of the most common mistakes that individuals make, and indeed some so-called medical experts make too, is to see the distinction between one's mental health and physical health in the sense that there is no link between them whatsoever.

These are often inextricably linked, and many illnesses and conditions are a result of a mental health issue manifesting as a physical one, and vice versa.

What this means is that if you have mental health problems then this can be a catalyst for any number of complications where you succumb to a physical condition.

Given the subject of our article, that includes those which ultimately result in nerve pain, the most obvious of which is diabetes, and subsequently neuropathy.

Low levels of inositol can be a large contributory factor in someone succumbing to mental illness due to its relationship with neurotransmitter pathways, and the central nervous system. One of those neurotransmitters is serotonin, which plays a big role in your moods and your behaviors. Another is dopamine which has many roles including memory, your attention span, motivation and feelings of pleasure and reward.

Given all the ways in which dopamine and serotonin can affect your mental state, if their regulation is in any way compromised the results could be a short term lack of motivation at one end of the scale, all the way through to increasingly more prolonged mental health issues. These can include panic disorders, depression, and anxiety.

Even at the less serious end of the scale, any short term mental issues caused by a lack of inositol could impact on your desire to eat healthily, and exercise appropriately, both of which can go a long way to relieving neuropathic nerve pain.

As for the long term ones the impact can be even more damaging, with the worst ones being you totally give up trying to stay healthy, or you become deeply depressed about your physical condition, including the pain in your nerves. [4]

3. Improved Metabolism

The metabolism which takes place within your body is not a single process, in the same sense that you might regard a beat of your heart as a single event.

Improved Metabolism

Instead, metabolism covers a whole series of processes which occur mostly on a chemical basis within your body, with the main purpose being to convert what we eat and drink into the energy we need to survive.

We say to survive in the last paragraph because the energy we refer to isn't just that which allows you exercise. The energy which is created as a result of metabolism is also used to allow organs in your body to function such as your heart pumping oxygenated blood around your body, and for lungs to inhale and exhale.

In effect, every single function which occurs with your body only does so as a result of the energy created by metabolism, so it is imperative that the metabolism process is not impaired.

Unfortunately, this can sometimes happen leading to several unwanted consequences. One of the worst ones is weight gain, which as we all know is a prime cause of diabetes. Others include fatigue, headaches, lethargy, dry skin, and sugar cravings.

Bear in mind that metabolism relies on a number of processes to be working efficiently, and inositol can help several them to do so. Many of these are focused around the reduction of blood glucose levels with insulin production and its effectiveness being key to that. Good metabolism also helps keep cholesterol levels low.

While these may not immediately lead to reduced nerve pain, the longer terms benefits of good metabolism to your health, and in particular diabetic neuropathy will, in turn lead to less risk of, or a reduction in nerve pain as the causes of it are less prominent.

4. Improved Circulation

If you've read anything about peripheral neuropathy and the many ways in which you can help to alleviate its effects, including nerve pain, you'll know that having a healthy supply of oxygenated blood flowing through your veins is essential.

Improved circulation

In other words, if you want to fight nerve pain, you need to ensure that your blood circulation is as good as it can be. One of the ways in which this can be achieved is with the use of inositol.

We have already pointed out how inositol can help control blood sugar levels and ensure that your metabolism is healthy, and just these two benefits alone will help to improve the circulation of blood around your body.

There is also evidence that when inositol is combined with Vitamin B3 to produce a compound called Inositol Nicotinate, it is highly effective in alleviating blood circulation issues including pain in the legs. This will also help to reduce cramps which have been caused as a result of poor circulation.

5. Reducing or Preventing Neuropathy Directly

Before we go any further, we must point out that what we are not suggesting that inositol is a painkiller in the same sense as an aspirin or paracetamol might be regarded.

What we mean is that there are many great benefits that inositol can provide to positively impact your health our health that may reduce pain indirectly such as improving blood circulation or maintaining a healthy metabolism. These might be considered ways to fight nerve pain because they impact on conditions which lead to neuropathy.

In this section, we want to highlight that some studies have suggested that inositol can directly influence neuropathy and subsequent nerve pain, over and above all the other health benefits we have already spoken about.

Specifically, research has shown that there is a direct correlation between the levels of inositol and the onset of neuropathy. This suggests that the higher the level of inositol, the more chance there is of preventing neuropathy, or at least in delaying it and minimizing its effects, which obviously includes nerve pain.

Other Tips

Neuropathy cannot be reversed by only taking Inositol. It's vital to maintain a healthy diet consisting of organic, pesticide free fruits and vegetables, as well as take the right vitamin and herbal supplements to support your nerves.

Combine the diet and supplementation with a steady exercise routine to help improve blood flow and flexibility and you are on the right path to healing neuropathy and reducing your symptoms over time.

The references below were used in the research and writing of this article. In accordance with our Editorial Policy, we only rely on research and studies from reputable medical, governmental, and academic institutions to ensure our content is accurate and relevant.
  1. Zheng, X., Lin, D., Zhang, Y., Lin, Y., Song, J., Li, S., & Sun, Y. (2017, December). Inositol supplement improves clinical pregnancy rate in infertile women undergoing ovulation induction for ICSI or IVF-ET. Retrieved May 22, 2020, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5728865/
  2. Bevilacqua, A., & Bizzarri, M. (2018, November 25). Inositols in Insulin Signaling and Glucose Metabolism. Retrieved May 22, 2020, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6286734/
  3. Mancini, M., Andreassi, A., Salvioni, M., Pelliccione, F., Mantellassi, G., & Banderali, G. (2016). Myoinositol and D-Chiro Inositol in Improving Insulin Resistance in Obese Male Children: Preliminary Data. Retrieved May 22, 2020, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5108849/
  4. Inositol Nicotinate: Health Benefits, Uses, Side Effects, Dosage & Interactions. (2019, September 17). Retrieved May 22, 2020, from https://www.rxlist.com/inositol_nicotinate/supplements.htm
  5. Clements, R., Vourganti, B., Kuba, T., Oh, S., & Darnell, B. (2004, April 10). Dietary myo-inositol intake and peripheral nerve function in diabetic neuropathy. Retrieved May 22, 2020, from https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/002604957990060X