Phytic Acid, aka Inositol Hexaphosphate (IP6; the B-vitamin inositol with 6 phosphate groups) is found in the fibrous portions of grains, seeds and beans. It has long been considered an “anti-nutrient” in foods, in that it is known to bind carbohydrates and protein, and in particular, minerals, thus limiting their absorption(1). However, IP6 has demonstrated a remarkable number of health benefits, in particular as an anti-cancer agent, that seem to far outweigh its potential to cause nutrient deficiency.
IP6 generally enhances the immune system response, in particular by increasing natural killer cell activity(2, 3), and has anti-oxidant activity as well(4, 5). Vucenik and Shamsuddin review various lines of research suggesting that IP6 may be a useful adjunct in treating hyperlipidemia (poor cholesterol and associated blood lipids), reducing clot formation and protecting against ischemic heart tissue, as well as regulating insulin secretion, preventing kidney stone formation, and protecting against gastric ulcers and other health maladies(6).
IP6, or it’s de-phosporylated form, inositol, has demonstrated broad-reaching anti-tumor /anti-neoplastic effects in humans or human cells lines for cancers of the blood and soft tissue, liver, breast, skin, pancreas, and cervix(6). This action seems to be mediated by the less phosphorylated forms of IP6(6),in part by binding zinc(7) and/or iron(8), as well as by interrupting growth factor binding or cellular response signaling in various ways, disrupting the cell cycle and/or inducing apoptosis(6). In limited tests, these actions seem to be specific to cancerous cells without affecting healthy somatic cells(9) and may act synergistically with other anti-cancer agents, e.g., in treating breast cancer(10) or prostate cancer(11). Despite its promise for both treatment and prevention of cancer, experts suggest that its side effects be fully evaluated clinically before it is employed as an anti-cancer intervention(12).
Because of it’s ability to bind minerals, in particular organic iron, zinc, calcium, manganese (but not copper)(13), precaution should be made to assure adequate mineral intake, especially for those consuming large amounts of fibrous foods high in phytate(14), such as wheat bran, soybean and flax seed(1). However, such an anti-nutrient effect has only been demonstrated using the phytic acid form of IP6, which will strongly chelate and bind up the body’s minerals, as opposed to phytate (a mineral salt) version of IP6(6), which is the form of IP6 available from True Nutrition. Generally speaking, consuming diets with 1-2 grams of IP6 per day do not seem to generate long-term mineral deficiencies(6). For those concerned about maintaining adequate iron (ferritin) status, including a vitamin C supplement in one’s dietary regimen and consuming iron in the heme state (in animal products), rather than it’s inorganic state will increase iron absorption(15) and prevent IP6 binding. The intelligent consumer might also consider a multimineral supplement taken at different times of the day than IP6 and / or taking IP6 on an empty stomach separate from mineral intake from food. IP6 research with humans is only in its foundling stages, but it seems reasonable to considerdaily doses on the order of 1-2 grams / day (e.g., 500-1000 mg split over 2 daily doses depending on body mass) given that this dose approximates the IP6 available in a high fiber diet(16). Please consult with a physician if you plan to take larger doses of IP6 for specific medical purposes of a preventative or therapeutic nature.
Magnesium Stearate, Gelatin (Capsule).
If you are currently pregnant or nursing, consult a physician prior to use. Keep out of the reach of children.
Although it may not contain one or more of these ingredients, this product is manufactured in a facility that handles milk, soy, egg, and wheat products.
DISCLAIMER: The above description isprovided for information only and does not constitute medical advice.Please consult your physician or the appropriately licensedprofessional before engaging in a program of exercise or nutritionalsupplementation.
1. Schlemmer,U., et al., Phytatein foods and significance for humans: food sources, intake,processing, bioavailability, protective role and analysis.Molecular nutrition & food research, 2009. 53Suppl 2: p. S330-75.http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19774556
2. Zhang,Z., et al., Inositolhexaphosphate-induced enhancement of natural killer cell activitycorrelates with suppression of colon carcinogenesis in rats.World journal of gastroenterology : WJG, 2005. 11(32):p. 5044-6. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16124063
3. Baten,A., et al.,Inositol-phosphate-inducedenhancement of natural killer cell activity correlates with tumorsuppression. Carcinogenesis,1989. 10(9):p. 1595-8. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2766453
4. Muraoka,S. and T. Miura, Inhibitionof xanthine oxidase by phytic acid and its antioxidative action.Life sciences, 2004. 74(13):p. 1691-700. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14738912
5. Graf,E. and J.W. Eaton, Antioxidantfunctions of phytic acid. Freeradical biology & medicine, 1990. 8(1):p. 61-9. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2182395
6. Vucenik,I. and A.M. Shamsuddin,Protection against cancer bydietary IP6 and inositol.Nutrition and cancer, 2006. 55(2):p. 109-25. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17044765
7. Thompson,L.U. and L. Zhang, Phyticacid and minerals: effect on early markers of risk for mammary andcolon carcinogenesis.Carcinogenesis, 1991. 12(11):p. 2041-5. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1934289
8. Nelson,R.L., et al., Theeffect of iron on experimental colorectal carcinogenesis.Anticancer research, 1989. 9(6):p. 1477-82. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2560618
9. Deliliers,G.L., et al., Effectof inositol hexaphosphate (IP(6)) on human normal and leukaemichaematopoietic cells. Britishjournal of haematology, 2002. 117(3):p. 577-87. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12028025
10. Tantivejkul,K., et al., Inositolhexaphosphate (IP6) enhances the anti-proliferative effects ofadriamycin and tamoxifen in breast cancer.Breast cancer research and treatment, 2003. 79(3):p. 301-12. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12846414
11. Singh,R.P. and R. Agarwal, Prostatecancer and inositol hexaphosphate: efficacy and mechanisms.Anticancer research, 2005. 25(4):p. 2891-903. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16080543
12. Vucenik,I. and A.M. Shamsuddin, Cancerinhibition by inositol hexaphosphate (IP6) and inositol: fromlaboratory to clinic. TheJournal of nutrition, 2003. 133(11Suppl 1): p. 3778S-3784S. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14608114
13. Hurrell,R.F., Influenceof vegetable protein sources on trace element and mineralbioavailability. The Journalof nutrition, 2003. 133(9):p. 2973S-7S. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12949395
14. Gibson,R.S., et al., Areview of phytate, iron, zinc, and calcium concentrations inplant-based complementary foods used in low-income countries andimplications for bioavailability.Food and nutrition bulletin, 2010. 31(2Suppl): p. S134-46. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20715598
15. Hambidge,K.M., Micronutrientbioavailability: Dietary Reference Intakes and a future perspective.The American journal of clinical nutrition, 2010. 91(5):p. 1430S-1432S. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20200261
16. Shamsuddin,A.M., et al., IP6:a novel anti-cancer agent.Life sciences, 1997. 61(4):p. 343-54. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9244360