inositol

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inositol

(ĭnō`sĭtōl): see vitaminvitamin,
group of organic substances that are required in the diet of humans and animals for normal growth, maintenance of life, and normal reproduction. Vitamins act as catalysts; very often either the vitamins themselves are coenzymes, or they form integral parts of coenzymes.
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Inositol

The generic name for hexahydroxycyclohexanes, which are classified as carbohydrates. The inositols have exceptional chemical stability and are easily crystallized. Of the forms common in nature, the most ubiquitous and biologically important is myoinositol, a water-soluble crystalline compound. Many biological functions require myoinositol, and thus it is identified as an essential metabolite. Although originally classified as a vitamin, myoinositol is now known to be a cellular precursor of phospholipids that serve as a source of metabolic regulators and as membrane anchors for certain proteins. Some microorganisms require exogenous myoinositol for growth. See Carbohydrate, Lipid

McGraw-Hill Concise Encyclopedia of Bioscience. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Inositol

 

(hexahydroxycyclohexane), a cyclic hexatomic alcohol. It exists in nine possible stereoisomeric forms, of which only myoinositol (meso-inositol) exhibits vitamin properties.

Inositol is a sweet-tasting solid substance with a melting point of 225°–227°C and a molecular weight of 180.2. Readily soluble in water and insoluble in organic solvents, it is widely distributed in plants, generally in the form of phytic acid and its calcium-magnesium salt (Phytin). Inositol is an essential growth factor for certain microorganisms. The human daily requirement of inositol is approximately 1–1.5 g. Like choline, inositol exhibits lipotropic properties; in particular, it prevents adiposis of the liver when there is a protein deficiency in the diet.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

inositol

[i′näs·ə‚tȯl]
(organic chemistry)
C6H6(OH)6·2H2O A water-soluble alcohol often grouped with the vitamins; there are nine stereoisomers of hexahydroxycyclohexane, and the only one of biological importance is optically inactive meso-inositol, comprising white crystals, widely distributed in animals and plants; it serves as a growth factor for animals and microorganisms.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
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