Tag Archives: IP6

IP6 & New hope for Alzheimer’s disease

According to the Alzheimers Society there are 750,000 people with dementia in the UK, and this is projected to rise to 1,000,000 by the year 2025. In a time of NHS cut backs the cost of caring for patients runs at some £20 billion a year. Research in this area is progressing and a recent breakthrough from America has thrown light in a safe and natural agent in the fight against the disease; Phytic acid (IP6).

The accumulation of soluble form of amyloid beta oligomer found between the nerve cells is an early hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease. Interestingly, researchers are increasingly shifting their suspicions away from the large and insoluble protein aggregates seen in patients’ brains at autopsy or in brain-imaging studies to the smaller, still-soluble clusters of proteins known as oligomers. These structures appear to be the main source of neuron-harming toxicity in the Alzheimer’s disease. You can read more about this change in research focus at the Dana Foundation web site.
Following on the heels of this shift in research focus, Dr Thimmappa Anekonda (assistant professor of neurology at Oregon Health & Science University, USA) proposes a novel protective treatment for Alzheimer’s disease with phytic acid (IP6), a plant chemical found in food grains. Phytic acid (IP6) treatment may reduce the oxidative stress and promote cellular housekeeping functions. Using the transgenic mouse model of Alzheimer’s disease and age-matched wild-type mice Dr Anekonda successfully published his findings in a recent issue of the Journal of Alzheiners Disease. His results showed that there was a significant increase in brain levels of cytochrome oxidase and a decrease in lipid peroxidation with phytic acid administration. The boost in cytochrome oxidase levels may be viewed as protective against the aging and degenerative processes associated with Alzheimer’s disease. Indeed, a papepublised last year in the journal Trends in Molecular Medicine supports this concept. In conclusion,  Dr Anekonda indicates that the effect of Phytic acid (IP6) may provide a viable treatment option for Alzheimer’s disease.

Further information
1. Dr Anekonda Bio

2. IP6 information

3. Alzheimers Society (UK)


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IP6, calcium, zinc and osteoporosis – the latest

The long held view that phytate (aka Phytic acid or IP6) can reduce mineral absorption and potentially adversely affect general health and possibly bone development be traced back a long way. In fact a paper published in 1942 in the Journal of Physiology clearly set the mineral-phytate ball rolling with it’s comments that ” In children the demand for calcium is particularly great and since their diet may contain considerable amounts of phytate, which is known to impair calcium absorption in adults…

Now, 68 years later the rule book looks like it may need to be re-written. Researchers from the Department of Pediatrics, Washington University School of Medicine, St Louis, USA have just published some fascinating results in the Journal of Paediatric Gastroenterology that could turn the whole mineral-phytate argument on its head. In their study, 10 Malawian children ages 3 to 5 years and at risk of zinc and receiving a habitual maize based (high-phytate) diet, received maize after phytate reduction for 40 days and had their faecal zinc measured using before and after phytate reduction. The results clearly showed that the zinc levels were similar before and after dietary phytate reduction; zinc was not affected by dietary phytate in this population!

Given that phytate may no be such a risk factor for mineral absorption it’s effect on bone health needs revision. We know of several risk factors that play a role in the development of osteoporosis and a healthy diet rich in grains dos not appear to be one. However, phytate is a naturally occurring compound that is ingested in significant amounts by those with diets rich in whole grains so there does appear to be a some conflicting messages here. Interestingly, in 2008 a study (Journal of Medicinal food)was performed to evaluate phytate consumption as a risk factor in osteoporosis. Dietary information relating to phytate consumption was acquired by questionnaires conducted on two different occasions, the second between 2 and 3 months after performing the first one and it was noted that bone mineral density increased with increasing phytate consumption. Further analysis indicated that body weight and low phytate consumption were the risk factors with greatest influence on bone mineral density. Phytate consumption had a protective effect against osteoporosis, suggesting that low phytate consumption should be considered an osteoporosis risk factor.

Prompted by this and his own labs findings that IP6 actually stimulated osteoblasts and inhibits bone-destroying osteoclast cells Professor of Pathology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore Dr. AbulKalam M. Shamsuddin MD, PhD filled a patent regarding his IP6 and Inositol blend as an agent for preventing tooth and other bone degeneration.

Dr Shamsuddin’s work on IP6 and bone health could help ease a growing burden with our ever growing and ageing population. It’s often forgotten that while bone may appear deceptively lifeless, it is a living tissue, for it is being continually broken down or resorbed by cells called osteoclasts, and at the same time it is being built or reconstructed by cells called osteoblasts. It is the balance between these cells that determines whether we gain or lose bone. During childhood and adolescence, bone formation is dominant. The bone length and girth increase with age, ending at early adulthood when peak bone mass is attained. In males after the age of 20, bone resorption becomes predominant, and bone mineral content declines by about 4% per decade. Females on the other hand tend to maintain peak mineral content until menopause. After that time, the bone mineral content declines at a rate of about 15% per decade. Thus, women tend to lose. the bone mineral at a very accelerated rate after menopause.

With the growing worry over the long term use of the bone-strenghtening drugs known as bisphosphonates recently published and posted on this blog the use of a safe and effective natural alternative may be just around the corner.

Further reading

IP6 (Phytate) historical 1942 article (The effects of phytic acid on the absorption of calcium and phosphorus in children)

IP6 (Phytate) as a protective factor against osteoporosis (Phytate and risk factors for osteoporosis)

IP6 (Phytate) does not reduce zinc levels (A reduced phytate diet does not reduce endogenous faecal zinc in children on a habitual high phytate diet)

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Inositol enters US clinical trials for lung cancer

On Thursday evening over in the States, NBC Nightly News did a story on Inositol and Lung Cancer, treatment and prevention and announces that inositol has now been entered into clinical trials in the USA, see http://tr.im/V6DK

As a reminder, IP6 (Inositol Hexaphosphate) and Inositol work better TOGETHER than either one alone. Inositol Hexaphosphate is simply Inositol with 6 (Hexa) Phosphate molecules attached. I believe they mention inositol phosphate pools within the cells during this interview.  The inositol phosphate pools are largely responsible for cell signaling (intercellular communication) which controls DNA expression, replication and a host of other activities vital to healthy, normal cells. We believe by restoring the IP-1,2,3,4,5 and 6 plus the additional inositol leads to the results they saw in this study. Not to mention all the other studies on IP6 & Inositol in many other types of cancer.

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