Inositol/IP6 Health Benefits
Inositol/IP6 health benefits include maintaining proper muscle, brain, and nerve functioning as well as possible anticancer properties. Inositol hexakisphosphate, also known as IP6 or phytic acid, is derived from the B vitamin inositol and is found naturally in bran, whole grains, and seeds.
Inositol/IP6 is a fundamental ingredient of all cell membrane. It also plays a role in the metabolism of some minerals, including calcium.
A champion of inositol/IP6 health benefits as an anticancer nutrient is Abulkalam M. Shamsuddin, MD, PhD, author of IP6: Nature’s Revolutionary Cancer Fighter, in which he describes how IP6 can prevent the formation of cancer and shrink existing experimental cancers. Inositol/IP6 can boost the immune system, help lower cholesterol, and reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
One reason IP6 reportedly is capable of fighting cancer is that it is an iron-chelating molecule, which means it binds with iron and then eliminates it from the body. Cancer cells contain a high amount of iron, thus IP6 is attracted to them and selectively removes iron from tumors. (Deliliers 2002) This in turn takes away the cancer cells’ ability to grow. A demonstration of IP6’s cancer-fighting abilities was seen in a recent study from the University of Colorado Cancer Center. Researchers found that IP6 suppressed cell survival, proliferation, and growth as well as induced the death of prostate cancer cells in culture and mice. (Gu 2009)
How To Use Inositol/IP6
To enjoy inositol/IP6 health benefits, Dr. Shamsuddin recommends that people who do not have a history of cancer take about 2 grams of IP6 daily. Individuals at higher risk should take 4 to 6 grams. For anyone who already has cancer, he recommends 6 to 8 grams daily. The supplement should be taken in divided doses, preferably between meals. Because IP6 supplements can hinder the body’s ability to absorb minerals, they should be taken at least one hour before or after meals.
Deliliers GL et al. Effect of inositol hexaphosphate ((IP(6)) on human normal and leukaemic haematopoietic cells. Br J Haematol 2002 Jun; 117 (3): 577-87.
Gu M et al. Inositol hexaphosphate suppresses growth and induces apoptosis in prostate carcinoma cells in culture and nude mouse xenograft: PI3K-Akt pathway as potential target. Cancer Res 2009 Dec 15; 69(24): 9465-72.
Shamsuddin AM. IP6: Nature’s Revolutionary Cancer Fighter. Kensington: 1998.