IP-6 supplement benefit side effects and dosage, studies, role in cancer prevention and treatment
Feb 22 2014 by Ray Sahelian, M.D.

Inositol hexaphosphate ( IP-6, phytic acid, or phytate ), is a naturally polyphosphorylated carbohydrate found in cereal grains, beans, brown rice, corn, sesame seeds, wheat bran, and other high fiber foods. It aids in the metabolism of insulin and calcium, hair growth, bone marrow cell metabolism, eye membrane development, and helps the liver transfer fat to other parts of the body.
IP-6 in the diet may even help reduce the risk for kidney stones. Many researchers believe that some of the health benefits may be due to the antioxidant, immune enhancing, and cardiovascular supporting activities of IP-6. In-vitro and animal research has shown IP-6 to have significant protective and growth regulating effects on various cells and tissues including those of the colon, breast, and prostate.

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IP6 - Inositol Hexaphosphate
Supports Breast, Colon and Prostate Cells

Inositol hexaphosphate is a component of certain dietary fibers, particularly most cereal grains, legumes, and seeds high in oil. Many researchers believe that some of fiber's health benefits may be due to the antioxidant, immune enhancing, and cardiovascular supporting activities of IP-6. In-vitro and animal research has shown IP-6 to have significant protective and growth regulating effects on various cells and tissues including those of the colon, breast, and prostate.

 



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Suggested Use: Take 1 or two IP6 capsules daily or as recommended by your health care professional.

Cancer treatment or prevention
IP-6 has been reported to have in vivo and in vitro anti- cancer activity against numerous tumors, such as colon cancer, prostate cancer, breast cancer, liver cancer, chronic myeloid leukemia, pancreatic cancer, and rhabdomyosarcomas. Significant human trials are lacking and hence we do not currently know for certain whether taking IP-6 supplements are helpful in cancer prevention or therapy, but the early data look promising.

Dr. AbulKalam M. Shamsuddin MD, PhD, is Professor of Pathology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore. Since 1975, he has been researching the processes of cancer formation, prevention and treatment. AbulKalam Shamsuddin has written a book discussing how diets high in bran or Inositol hexaphosphate inhibit cancer development in laboratory animals. Studies show IP6 can help fight bacterial and fungal infections. The substance is found in the germ or bran portions of whole grains; the highest concentration is found in whole-kernel corn. IP6 can be added to one's diet by eating whole-grain foods.

Breast cancer
IP6 inhibits the growth of breast cancer cells; but it also acts synergistically with adriamycin or tamoxifen, being particularly effective against estrogen responsive alpha-negative cells and adriamycin-resistant cell lines.

Patients with invasive ductal breast cancer where polychemotherapy was indicated were monitored. Fourteen patients in the same stage of ductal invasive breast cancer were involved in the study, divided in two randomized groups. One group took IP6 + Inositol in the form of powder in the daily dosage of 6 g, divided in 2 doses, starting from the first postoperative day, every day until the end of treatment (6 months), while the other group took placebo. Patients receiving chemotherapy, along with IP6 + Inositol did not have cytopenia, drop in leukocyte and platelet counts. Red blood cell counts and tumor markers were unaltered in both groups. However, patients who took IP6 + Inositol had significantly better quality of life and functional status and were able to perform their daily activities. J Exp Clin Cancer Res. 2010. Efficacy of IP6 + inositol in the treatment of breast cancer patients receiving chemotherapy: prospective, randomized, pilot clinical study. Department of Surgery, General Hospital Zadar, Zadar, Croatia.

Colon cancer
Int J Mol Sci. 2013 Dec 2. Pro-apoptotic effect of rice bran inositol hexaphosphate (IP6) on HT-29 colorectal cancer cells. IP6, or phytic acid is a natural dietary ingredient and has been described as a "natural cancer fighter", being an essential component of nutritional diets.

Meningioma
I used IP6 with inositol for my breast cancer and have recommended it to everyone I know that has colon cancer, breast cancer and virtually any any cancer. What I'd like to know is if you feel that IP6 would help someone with a benign meningioma?
    I don't know if IP6 supplements would help anyone with a meningioma, I have not seen such studies.

Pancreatic cancer benefit
Inositol hexaphosphate: a novel treatment for
pancreatic cancer.
J Surg Res. 2005. Johnson VA Medical Center, Clarksburg, West Virginia; Department of Surgery, West Virginia University, Morgantown, West Virginia, USA.
Inositol hexaphosphate (IP6) is a naturally occurring polyphosphorylated carbohydrate found in food sources high in fiber content. IP6 has been reported to have significant inhibitory effects against a variety of primary tumors including breast and colon. The effects of IP6 have not been evaluated in pancreatic cancer. We hypothesized that IP6 would significantly inhibit cell growth and increase the apoptotic rate of pancreatic cancer in vitro. Treatment of pancreatic cancer with the common dietary polyphosphorylated carbohydrate IP6 significantly decreased cellular growth and increased apoptosis. Our findings suggest that IP6 has the potential to become an effective adjunct for pancreatic cancer treatment. Further in vivo and human studies are needed to evaluate safety and clinical utility of this agent in patients with pancreatic cancer.

Prostate cancer and inositol hexaphosphate IP6 : efficacy and mechanisms.
Anticancer Res. 2005.
Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, School of Pharmacy, University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, Denver, CO, USA.
Inositol hexaphosphate is a major constituent of most cereals, legumes, nuts, oil seeds and soybean. Taken orally as an over-the-counter dietary/nutrient supplement, and is recognised as offering several health benefits without any known toxicity. In vitro anticancer efficacy of IP6 has been observed in many human, mouse and rat
prostate cancer cells. Completed studies also show that oral feeding of IP6 inhibits human prostate cancer xenograft growth in nude mice without toxicity. In a recently completed pilot study, we observed similar preventive effects of IP6 on prostate tumorigenesis in the TRAMP model. Mechanistic studies indicate that IP6 targets mitogenic and survival signaling, as well as cell cycle progression, in prostate cancer cells. IP6 is also shown to target molecular events associated with angiogenesis. Moreover, IP6 has pleiotropic molecular targets for its overall efficacy against prostate cancer and, therefore, could be a suitable candidate agent for preventive intervention of this malignancy in humans.

Rhabdomyosarcoma
Novel anticancer function of inositol hexaphosphate IP6 : inhibition of human rhabdomyosarcoma in vitro and in vivo.
Anticancer Res. 1998.
The objective of this study was to investigate whether IP6 inhibits growth of rhabdomyosarcoma, a tumor of mesenchymal origin, which is the most common soft tissue sarcoma in children. Our results show that IP6 suppresses growth of rhabdomyosarcoma cell line (RD) in vitro in a dose-dependent fashion. However, the removal of IP6 from the media, after 72 hours of treatment, allowed cells to recover their logarithmic growth. Exposure of RD cells to IP6 led to differentiation; cells became larger with abundant cytoplasm, expressing higher levels of muscle-specific actin. Consistent with in vitro observation, IP6 suppressed rhabdomyosarcoma cell growth in vivo, in a xenografted nude mice model. When compared to controls, IP6-treated mice produced a 25 fold smaller tumors, as observed after a two weeks treatment. In a second experiment, wherein the treatment period was extended to five weeks, a 49 fold reduction in tumor size was observed in mice treated with IP6. Histologically no evidence of tumor cell necrosis was observed.

I know a young man who was just recently diagnosed with rhabdomyosarcoma in his arm. The websites I have visited so far had mentioned IP-6 as a potential substance in treating this type of cancer. I would truly appreciate if you would be kind to comment on this.
   One study in mice shows IP-6 is helpful, however since human trials are not available, we cannot make any firm recommendations except to say that we hope the benefits would be similar in humans.

HIV prevention or treatment
Anti-HIV-1 activity of myo-inositol hexaphosphoric acid and myo-inositol hexasulfate.
Anticancer Res. 1999.
We investigated the anti-HIV-1 activity of myo-inositol hexaphosphoric acid ( IP6 ) and myo-inositol hexasulfate( IS6 ), low molecular weight carbohydrates. IP6 and IS6 inhibited the replication of HIV-1 in a T cell line as well as that of a freshly isolated strain in peripheral blood mononuclear cells. Neither substance inhibited HIV-1-induced giant cell formation, but addition of IS6 when infecting cells with HIV-1 inhibited the replication of HIV-1. Neither substance inhibited HIV-1 reverse transcriptase activity in vitro and no influence on late stage replication was noted. Although the mechanisms of IP6 and IS6 action remain unclear, it can be speculated that they act on HIV-1 early replicative stage. Although it is not possible to develop IP6 and IS6 themselves as anti-AIDS drugs, studies of these anti-HIV agents might be expected to provide seed for eventual production of superior drugs for AIDS treatment.

Kidney stones
Dietary phytate is helpful in inhibiting crystallization of calcium salts in the urine and consequently may reduce the risk of kidney stone development. Does ingesting an IP-6 supplement help reduce the risk for kidney stones? As of October 2009, I have not come across such human research.

Lipid lowering
Hypolipidemic action of phytic acid: prevention of fatty liver.
Anticancer Res. 1999.
Laboratory of Nutritional Science, Faculty of Education, Hiroshima University, Japan.
Until recently, most published reports on phytic acid ( myo-inositol hexaphosphoric acid, IP6 ) have focused on the possible decreased mineral bioavailability. Because IP-6 is known to function as a lipotropic factor, studies in my laboratory were conducted to investigate whether dietary intake also reduces excessive liver lipids. Male Wistar rats were fed sucrose or corn starch diets, supplemented with myo-inositol or IP6 for 12-14 days. Our results suggest that IP-6 might both protect against fatty liver resulting from elevated hepatic lipogenesis.

Mechanism of action, how it works
In addition to reducing cell proliferation, IP6 increases differentiation of malignant cells, often resulting in a reversion to normal phenotype. Orally administered IP6 is rapidly taken into the cells and dephosphorylated to lower-phosphate inositol phosphates, which further interfere with signal transduction pathways and cell cycle arrest. Enhanced immunity and antioxidant properties can also contribute to tumor cell destruction. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying this anticancer action are not fully understood. Because it is abundantly present in regular diet, efficiently absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract, and safe, IP6 holds great promise in strategies for the prevention and treatment of cancer. IP6 enhances the anticancer effect of conventional chemotherapy, controls cancer metastases, and improves the quality of life.
   IP6 inhibits human platelet aggregation in vitro.

Myo-Inositol-1,2,3,4,5,6-hexakisphosphate IP6 was first described as an abundant form of phosphorus in plant seeds and other plant tissues and dubbed "phytic acid". Subsequently it was found to be a common constituent in eukaryotic cells, its metabolism a basic component of cellular housekeeping. In addition to phosphate, myo-inositol and mineral storage and retrieval in plant organs and tissues, other roles for Ins P(6) include service as a major metabolic pool in Ins phosphate and pyrophosphate pathways involved in signaling and regulation; possibly as an effector or ligand in these processes; as a form of energy currency and in ATP regeneration; in RNA export and DNA repair; and as an anti-oxidant.

Metabolism
IP6 is rapidly absorbed by rats in vivo. There is a presence of inositol and IP1-6 in gastric epithelial cells as early as within 1 h of intragastric 3H- IP6 administration. The metabolized IP6, in the form of inositol and IP1 is transported via plasma and reaches distant organs as well as tumors. In rats, the urinary metabolites of IP6 are inositol and IP1. However, in humans 1-3% of total administered IP6 is excreted in the urine as IP6. Investigations of the uptake and metabolism by a variety of cancer cell lines in vitro also demonstrate an instantaneous absorption of IP6. The rate and pattern at which IP6 is metabolized by cancer cells varies depending on the cell type. Intracellular inositols accumulated mostly (80-97%) in the cytosol as inositol and IP1-6. IP6 treatment of all the cell lines tested so far demonstrates that it is cytostatic and not cytotoxic. Along with inhibition of cell proliferation, there is enhanced differentiation of malignant cells to a more mature phenotype, often resulting in reversion to normal. The actions of IP6 involve signal transduction pathways, cell cycle regulatory genes, differentiation genes, oncogenes and perhaps, tumor suppressor genes.

Phytin
A calcium-magnesium salt form of inositol hexaphosphate is called phytin. Phytin can be found in sesame seeds and certain other seeds, cereal grains, beans, and soy.

Interactions with dietary supplements
Can IP-6 be taken with other supplements with breakfast?
   Probably, but each person is unique and most people should have no problems combining IP-6 with a reasonable amount of other supplements.

Interactions with medications
Do you have any data or opinion on whether IP6 or inositol reacts with Avodart or Tarceva.
   I am not aware of any studies with these combinations.

Side effects and testimonials
Reports sent to us by email:
After treatment for prostate cancer, I was 7aking 1500 mg of IP6 for almost two years. I developed anemia and taken to the hospital for blood transfusions. After stopping the pills, my blood counts returned to normal. More should be told about the iron absorption of IP.

I wanted to let you know of an experience with IP6. I donate blood every eight weeks, and have taken IP6 on and off for the last few years. However, I started upping my dose to one 750 mg capsule in the morning on an empty stomach or with my coffee in the last few months. When I went to donate today, I noticed my hemoglobin was 12.6, just slightly above the minimum required. For a male, I know this is low. I would guarantee this is the result of the combo of IP6 and regular blood donation. While I am glad my iron levels aren't too high (it has its own set of problems), I think the iron-leeching effects of IP6 should not be ignored, especially with regular blood donation. I just want to caution your readers.

Questions
I read online that IP6 should only be taken 3 to 4 weeks and on an empty stomach. Do find this to be true? If the duration should only be for this amount of time, do I wait a period of time and start again? I am supplementing with IP6 after a recent surgery for DCIS.
    There are not enough human studies to determine the ideal dosage of this supplement and how frequently it should be used and how often breaks should be taken. Much depends on what is being treated and the individual medical history of the user. As a general rule, it is a good idea to take a few days off a month from most supplements.

I am currently taking IP6 Gold capsules and have discovered that there is a bulk powder available. I would like to know if either has an advantage. My prostate was removed and I have received radiation treatment. Gleason score was 5+4 and cancer has returned. PSA has risen to 14. Should I be taking a higher dosage of the capsules, or use the powder?
    There is probably no difference between the powder and the capsule as long as the dosage is similar. As to what dosage or amount you should use, that is a decision I cannot get involved it.

I am interested in a IP-6 formula for myself to block iron absorption as I am a carrier for Haemachromatosis. Can you please tell me what the CAS number is?
    CAS numbers are numerical identifiers for chemical elements, compounds, polymers, biological sequences, mixtures and alloys. Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS), a division of the American Chemical Society, gives these identifiers to every chemical that has been described in the literature. This is not an area I have studied in detail so I do not know the CAS number for IP-6.

Please look into IP6! It worked magic on my husband's hemachromotosis, while another family member has been on a horrible roller coaster between hema and anemia, excesses and deficiencies, due to the archaic treatment of 'bloodletting'. As an added bonus for my husband, the IP6 is acting as the antioxydant he so needed to repair the damage already done, and I'm learning new benefits for his problem everyday. I'm even beginning to take it for my own heavy metal detox, despite being low on iron. I simply take the IP6 between meals to mop up any unbound iron (and calcium, mercury, etc) and to pull it out of the tissues. and then I take chlorella with meals to keep up a good supply of bioavailable minerals and to continue the action of detoxification. I really do think you could help a lot of people by taking a serious look at this simple inexpensive supplement. I've simply come across too many research articles on too many subjects (and most with no connection to any sales) to be able to refrain from shouting this to every person in a position of influence!