Inosine is a nucleoside, one of the basic compounds comprising cells. It is a precursor to adenosine, an important energy molecule, and plays many supportive roles in the body.
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Inosine is a precursor to uric acid, which is believed to block the effect of a compound that may play a role in MS development. Patients given inosine in order to raise uric acid levels experienced improved function in one study.
Inosine is a precursor to uric acid, a compound that occurs naturally in the body. Uric acid is believed to block the effect of a toxic free-radical compound (peroxynitrite) that may play a role in the development of multiple sclerosis.1 In an attempt to raise uric acid levels, ten patients with MS were treated with inosine in amounts up to 3 grams per day for 46 weeks. Three of the ten treated patients showed some evidence of improved function and the others remained stable.2 Controlled studies are needed to confirm these preliminary results.
Although a common amount of inosine taken by athletes is 5,000–6,000 mg per day, little scientific evidence supports the use of this supplement in any amount.
Inosine is found in brewer’s yeast and organ meats. It is also available as a supplement.
Inosine is not an essential nutrient, so deficiencies do not occur.
No side effects have been reported with the use of inosine for two to five days in the limited research available. However, unused inosine is converted by the body to uric acid, which may be hazardous to people at risk for gout.
1. Koprowski H, Spitsin SV, Hooper DC. Prospects for the treatment of multiple sclerosis by raising serum levels of uric acid, a scavenger of peroxynitrite. Ann Neurol 2001;49:139.
2. Koprowski H, Spitsin SV, Hooper DC. Prospects for the treatment of multiple sclerosis by raising serum levels of uric acid, a scavenger of peroxynitrite. Ann Neurol 2001;49:139.
Last Review: 07-08-2014
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