Inositol is also known as Vitamin B8. These types of B Vitamins are classified as carbocyclic polyol and are naturally found in plants and animals. Inositol has a primary role keeping fats from collecting in the human liver. It has also been shown to have beneficial effects in promoting healthy hair growth. One of the reason that we find it in certain drinks like Red Bull, is that inositol aids in helping the body efficiently convert nutrients into energy. When the body can efficiently convert energy, this is also known as a very healthy metabolism.
The highest levels of inositol are found in both the heart and the brain. Inositol is very helpful in promoting focus and other healthy brain activity. Links are being found between inositol and depression, good links that suggest inositol would be beneficial in treating depression. Neurotransmitters are chemicals that help nerve endings communicate with each other. Since inositol works with serotonin (a well known neurotransmitter) it is being considered for a more natural treatment for depression as means of regulating natural activity. So far, the evidence suggests its beneficial.
The plants that inositol is found in are primarily citrus fruits like oranges, nuts, seeds and melons. It can also be found in red kidney beans and bran. The best way to obtain inositol naturally from food is to eat the rawest foods available (like the ones mentioned). The reason for this is that when foods are processed or cooked they lose some/lot of the nutritional content. Turns out that citrus fruits also contains phytic acid (inositol hexaphosphate). When phytic acid is combined with bacteria in the digestive system, it naturally releases inositol.
Taking inositol powder is ideal for those with an inositol deficiency, ailments that can be remedied with it or a lifestyle that is high in caffeine and alcohol since both of those substances displace the natural levels of inositol.