IP-6 is a naturally occurring component of plant fiber.
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120 mg daily
IP-6 (inositol hexaphosphate, also called phytic acid) reduces urinary calcium levels and may reduce the risk of forming a kidney stone.
IP-6 (inositol hexaphosphate, also called phytic acid) reduces urinary calcium levels and may reduce the risk of forming a kidney stone.1 In one trial, 120 mg per day of IP-6 for 15 days significantly reduced the formation of calcium oxalate crystals in the urine of people with a history of kidney stone formation.2
Virtually all research suggesting beneficial effects from taking IP-6 involve animals and not people. It is not known whether IP-6 would be useful for humans or if so, what would be the optimal amount.
IP-6, also known as phytate, is associated with dietary fiber and thus is naturally present in a wide variety of plant foods, especially wheat bran, whole grains, and legumes. Usual dietary intakes range from 1–1.5 grams phytate per day.
While there is no dietary requirement for IP-6, people consuming diets low in dietary fiber and nuts and seeds have the lowest intake.
Phytate in foods has been associated with reduced mineral absorption.3 In particular, significant interference with iron absorption has been reported.4 People who are iron deficient should talk with a doctor before supplementing with IP-6. Even for those who are not iron deficient, if IP-6 supplements are taken for more than several months and fatigue —a possible symptom of iron deficiency develops, a doctor should be consulted. How much iron supplementation (if any) should be used to counteract the iron-depleting effect of IP-6 varies from person to person, though many people are likely to not require such supplementation.
1. Conte A, Pizá P, Garcia-Raja A, et al. Urinary lithogen risk test: usefulness in the evaluation of renal lithiasis treatment using crystallization inhibitors (citrate and phytate). Arch Esp Urol 1999;52:305-10.
2. Grases F, Costa-Bauza A. Phytate (IP6) is a powerful agent for preventing calcifications in biological fluids: usefulness in renal lithiasis treatment. Anticancer Res 1999;19:3717-22.
3. Morris ER. Phytate and dietary mineral bioavailability. In Phytic Acid Chemistry and Applications, Graf E (ed). Minneapolis: Pilatus Press, 1986, 57-76 [review].
4. Sandberg A-S, Brune M, Carlsson N-G, et al. Inositol phosphates with different numbers of phosphate groups influence iron absorption in humans. Am J Clin Nutr 1999;70:240-6.
Last Review: 07-08-2014
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