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Inositol is considered a vitaminoid, a vitamin-like substance that was identified about 100 years ago in the urine of diabetics. Today it is classified as a complex of B vitamins. Inositol is a (hexavalent) alcohol and occurs both in plants (as phytic acid) and in animals (as myo-inositol).
Inositol can be produced by the body itself from glucose and is therefore not considered essential. Inositol is mainly found in nuts, beans, wheat and wheat germ as well as in oranges. It occurs mainly in the form of phytates. If they are ingested in large quantities from food, they can reduce the absorption of calcium, iron and zinc. Inositol from dietary supplements does not have this effect and should therefore be used for therapeutic purposes.