Our proprietary “Star-Rating” system was developed to help you easily understand the amount of scientific support behind each supplement in relation to a specific health condition. While there is no way to predict whether a vitamin, mineral, or herb will successfully treat or prevent associated health conditions, our unique ratings tell you how well these supplements are understood by the medical community, and whether studies have found them to be effective for other people.
For over a decade, our team has combed through thousands of research articles published in reputable journals. To help you make educated decisions, and to better understand controversial or confusing supplements, our medical experts have digested the science into these three easy-to-follow ratings. We hope this provides you with a helpful resource to make informed decisions towards your health and well-being.
3 Stars Reliable and relatively consistent scientific data showing a substantial health benefit.
2 Stars Contradictory, insufficient, or preliminary studies suggesting a health benefit or minimal health benefit.
1 Star For an herb, supported by traditional use but minimal or no scientific evidence. For a supplement, little scientific support.
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: 05-01-2013
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The information presented in Aisle7 is for informational purposes only. It is based on scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical experience, or traditional usage as cited in each article. The results reported may not necessarily occur in all individuals. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment with prescription or over the counter medication is also available. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires June 2014.
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