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Inositol Hexaphosphate, otherwise known as Phytic Acid or abbreviated as IP6, is a compound found in many grains, legumes, nuts and seeds that is an energy reserve for plants during their growth phases. It is usually located in the germ, bran, or other 'storage' components of a plant.
It seems to be a vitamin-like compound, and has numerous effects on a cellular level and neurological level. Unlike the other vitamin like compounds (Creatine, Choline, CoQ10) levels of IP6 are higher in vegetarian diets and lower in meat eating diets (solely due to less vegetation intake).
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IP6, Phytic Acid, myo-inostiol-1,2,3,4,5,6-dihydrogen phosphate
Inositol Hexaphosphate may not be needed for non-therapetic levels if the diet is sufficient, but a dose of 2g Inositol Hexaphosphate taken with low-mineral meals should be sufficient if you deem your diet not.
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Inositol Hexaphosphate (henceforth IP6) is a naturally occuring polyphosphorylated carbohydrate (inositol) found occuring in most mammalian cells and plays an important role in various cellular regulation processes such as regulating signal transduction via lower phosphate metabolites (IP5) and also exerts potential intra-cellular anti-oxidant properties.  It is found in foods as phytin (aka. phytate) which is a phytic acid bound to a mineral, usually calcium or magnesium. It is then hydrolyzed during digestion (via HCl) into myo-inostiol-1,2,3,4,5,6-dihydrogen phosphate, also known as phytic acid or Inositol Hexaphosphate (IP6).
Levels of IP6 in the body are wholly dependent on the diet and through plant sources as IP6 is synthesized in soil. It can also be synthesized in a laboratory setting. Major food sources include cereals (usually around 0.5-1.2g/100g, with brans and germs being up near 2.5-7.5g/100g) legumes (around 0.4-2.2g/100g) oil seeds (varies, 1-2.2g/100g for Soy, 2.15-3.7 for Linseed, 1.44 – 5.36 for Sesame seed oil and 3.9-4.3 for Sunflower meal) and nuts (highly variable, typically ranging from 0.2-6.4g/100g, with hazelnuts having very low maximal levels (0.92g/100g highest recorded) and almonds having the highest recorded value (9.42g/100g)). An encompassing review of food levels of phytate can be found here.
It is estimated to be consumed at a level between 0.3-2.6g in standard Western Diets, and in levels of 0.18-4.57 on a Global scale.
It may also potentially function as a neurotransmitter.
When eaten from foods, phytate is almost completely hydrolyzed into phytic acid in the stomach. This process seems to be dependent on phytase enzymes (activated during the acidic environment of the gut, deactivated during cooking) and deactivation of these enzymes can decrease phytate degradation from acceptable levels (50-60%) to minimal levels (0-28%). Some phytase enzymes (6-phytases) may exist in human stomachs, and 3-phytases do seem to exist in the intestines.
Only inositol hexophosphate (phytic acid) or lower phosphate inositols (1-5) appear to be taken up in the small intestine, as phytate that is unhydrolyzed here passes on to the colon.phytic acid (inositol hexaphosphate) is absorbed and distributed to various tissues in rats|published=1993 Apr|authors=Sakamoto K, Vucenik I, Shamsuddin AM|journal=J Nutr] In the colon bacteria may be involved in further denaturing phytate via phytase enzymes.
It seems unlikely that inositol phosphates (1-6) can be taken up through the gut, as the molecule is highly electronegative and normally not conducive to membrane permeation. That being said, numerous studies show relationships between dietary phytate intake and serum insotiol phosphate levels and ingestion of a phytic acid supplement has been shown to improve serum levels relatively quickly in the deficient. Overall bioavailability of IP6 varies depending on previous dietary exposure and circulating levels.
Due to the reactive phosphorus groups in the IP6 molecule, it can react with nutritional minerals such as Calcium, Iron, and Magnesium resulting in less mineral uptake. although at a lesser reactivity than phytate itself; there seems to be a positive correlation between the number of phosphorus groups on the inositol sugar and mineral binding affinity. Phytic acid appears to still be taken up regardless of mineral binding. That being said, these interactions also exist for hazardous minerals such as cadmium or lead and thus IP6 may reduce toxic exposure when concomitantly ingested and has mixed results for reducing serum levels (posibly due to variations in enterohepatic circulation).
The body appears to regulate IP6 levels fairly well, and like other nutrient-like compounds there is an increased intestinal uptake in periods of deficiency and urinary excretion is reduced until levels stabilize.
Despite being a highly polar compound (with 6 phosphate groups) it is typically taken up into cells rapidly by being metabolized to lower phosphate metabolites like IP5.inositol hexaphosphate (phytic acid) is rapidly absorbed and metabolized by murine and human malignant cells in vitro|published=1994 Jun|authors=Vucenik I, Shamsuddin AM|journal=J Nutr]
IP6 and related compounds have potent anti-oxidant potential both in cells and in the colon, depending on whether or not it is digested. It is also capable of inhibiting lipid peroxidation in foods and in cell membranes.
IP6 supplementation seems to influence carcinogenesis by reducing cell proliferation and increasing malignant cell differentiation while possibly reverting the cell to a normal phenotype.
IP6 seems to be more effective when co-ingested with Inositol.
The combination has been reported to help ameliorate the side-effects associated with chemotherapy
(Common misspellings for Inositol Hexaphosphate include hexphosphate, hexaphosphat, hexphosphat, hexfosfate, hexafosfate, inosotol, inositil)
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