One of my favorite ways to study biochemistry is to make up metaphors to help me turn complicated invisible reactions into memorable, tangible stories. My favorite metaphor of all time is one I created for inositol. Inositol already holds a soft spot in my heart because it used to be a vitamin, like how Pluto used to be a planet.
Inositol is not an extremely common energy drink ingredient, but it’s in at least one of the “Big 3” (the top 3 selling brands). It’s unlikely the small amount of inositol exerts a strong effect after consuming an energy drink. But if Pluto is worth knowing, then so is inositol.
Our bodies make inositol (hence the removal of “Vitamin” status), so inositol is affecting you on a daily basis even if you don’t drink energy drinks.
Let me tell you a story about what this little fellow is doing.
What Does Inositol Do?
(Audio)Book Excerpt of the Week: Narrated by Jay R. Smith Audio Publishing
We can think of cell membranes like the doors, walls, and windows of a house. Some molecules can get into a house quite easily, while others are like vampires and have to be invited in….or something like that. Some molecules set off a reaction by coming to the threshold of the house, and these reactions are called “membrane mediated events”. With signal transduction, a guest coming to the door creates not one reaction, but a whole series of reactions involving multiple signals and second messengers.
Inositol’s role in treating anxiety, depression, and insomnia all stem from how inositol participates in the chain of reactions and signaling that occurs with signal transduction.
Stay tuned for next week’s book excerpt as we continue our page-by-page exploration through the Energy Drink Guide (now on Audible!!!).
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