Alternative Names: Also called Phytic Acid and InsP6
Inositol Hexaphosphate (IP6) has, in research since 1985, inhibited the onset and progression of cancers in animals, but supportive research in humans is lacking. All research suggesting beneficial effects from taking IP6 involve animals and not humans. It is not known whether IP6 would be useful for the treatment of human disease or, if so, what would be the optimal amount.
IP6 is associated with dietary fiber and thus is naturally present in a wide variety of plant foods, especially wheat bran, whole grains and legumes. The average dietary intake ranges from 1-1.5gm of phytate per day.
Inositol is a B-vitamin and its derivative, IP6 is a natural component of some grain and legumes, particularly soybeans. We naturally can increase our intake of IP6 by consuming the outer layer of grains (rice, wheat, rye), but soybean seed is the best source with its whole seed (bean) containing up to 26% of IP6.
IP6 is available without prescription in most health food stores. It is supplied in 500mg (½gm) capsules and is made by several manufacturers.
Function; Reasons For Use
IP6 is a premier antioxidant.
Research has shown that IP6 can help prevent kidney stone formation, complications of diabetes(i.e. cataracts, renal damage), lung fibrosis, fatty liver disease, sickle cell anemia, heart disease, high cholesterol and high triglycerides. It is calcium binding, thus preventing formation of the most common type of kidney stone (calcium oxibate). Its antioxidant and iron building properties inhibit the progression of lung fibrosis in asbestosis.
Although used primarily by the community of Alternative Medical Doctors and some open-minded orthodox oncologists (medical cancer doctors) because it suppresses almost all types of cancer, it has some other fantastic benefits for longevity.
Independently, IP6 regulates the oxygen capacity of our red blood cells; it reduces both cholesterol and trigylcerides, as well as preventing heart damage during a heart attack.
In diabetes cases, it not only improves insulin sensitivity, but also decreases complications.
In preliminary studies, IP6 prevents depression and may work adjunctively in schizophrenia. The all-important function of enhancing of our immune system, by increasing the activity of our natural killer (NK) cells, may make IP6 the 'aspirin' of the future.
When IP6 is recommended, the dose is 2-8gm daily, which should be taken on an empty stomach to avoid interaction with dietary proteins. Consider taking supplemental inositol with IP6 because additional unbound inositol multiplies its therapeutic activity.
Specifically, the normal recommend dosage is 1-2gm per day, taken between meals twice a day to avoid its interaction with protein in the diet. For individuals with a high risk of cancer, cardiovascular disease, kidney stones, etc., 2-4gm per day. Finally, to help existing cancer, 5-8gm per day.
IP6 is "as safe as water". However, caution is advised when using IP6 supplementally for an extended period. Phytate in foods reduces mineral absorption, especially iron. Supplemental phytate (IP6) will further contribute to this potential problem and thus additional mineral supplementation may be required.