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TOPIC: IP6/Phytic Acid... I'm Impressed!

IP6/Phytic Acid... I'm Impressed! 10 years 9 months ago #1

  • Rhodes56
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I've been wrestling with mildly elevated liver enzymes I believe are related to leaky gut for about a year now. I'd been feeling OK and wasn't too worried until I developed some palmar erythema, which I found can be a symptom of an unhappy liver. More testing and an ultrasound showed my liver seemed to be OK, but this led me to seek out a remedy for whatever was going on.

My research led me to have my iron levels (ferritin) tested, which turned out also to be mildly elevated, and as high iron can cause oxidative stress in the liver, I set out to get rid of some of my excess iron. I started donating blood, and also tried IP6 (aka phytic acid / inositol hexaphosphate), as I read this might be helpful in chelating iron from the liver.

I was quite surprised to see my palmar erythema all but vanish almost overnight upon starting the IP6, and started looking into this further. As I had donated blood a couple times before I tried the IP6 (with no change to my palmar erythema), and this should have dropped my iron much faster than the IP6 chelation, I started thinking something else must be going on. I also noted my palmar erythema would return when I stopped IP6.

Many hours on google turned up the following study: "Effect of Inositol Hexaphosphate on Lipopolysaccharide-Stimulated Release of TNF-α from Human Mononuclear Cells"
Abstract: www.pjoes.com/abstracts/2008/Vol17/No02/14.html
Full Study pdf: www.pjoes.com/pdf/17.2/283-290.pdf

It seems IP6 has been found to be quite effective at suppressing inflammatory cytokines stimulated by the lipopolysaccharide endotoxins produced by leaky gut organisms. Especially Desulfovibrio desulfuricans which is responsible for the particularly nasty hydrogen sulphide.

IP6 is commonly found in many "healthy" foods like oat meal, brown rice, and legumes (beans), so if you're not afraid of these health foods you shouldn't be afraid of IP6. Phytic acid / IP6 does strongly bind to copper, zinc, magnesium, iron and calcium (in descending order) so it should always be taken on an empty stomach to avoid developing mineral deficiencies. If taken with food, IP6 will bind all of these minerals to an unusable form, but studies show if it is taken on an empty stomach, blood serum levels of minerals are relatively unaffected. With extended use of IP6, it may also be wise to supplement some of the more important minerals that might be affected, like magnesium, and zinc, and (only if you are anemic!), iron. Iron is very important to make red blood cells, but it is also a very powerful pro-oxidant and should never be taken unless you are anemic, and proven to be low on iron by bloodwork. If you are not anemic, less iron in your diet and body is nearly always better.

Always take IP6 and mineral supplements at different times of the day or they will cancel eachother out.

I've been very impressed with the results I've gotten with IP6, and am looking forward to getting my liver enzymes checked again to see if they have gotten better. If my palmar erythema is any indicator, I'll bet they have!

Matt... I hope you'll take a good look at this study and tell us what you think. I'd appreciate your input!

Cheers,
Rhodes
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Re: IP6/Phytic Acid... I'm Impressed! 10 years 9 months ago #2

  • Maff
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Hi Rhodes,

Great to hear IP6 has been so seemingly effective at clearing up your palmar erythema. Thanks for the study paper, a very interesting read and I think the findings are certainly a possible explanation for the mechanism by which IP6 is helping you.

Although I cannot claim to have an in-depth knowledge of the lab techniques the investigators used to prepare the LPS and mononuclear lymphocytes in their study - the statistical analysis seems sound and at P=<0.005 across all measures the results are 10 times the accuracy required to be considered "statistically significant" i.e. reliable.

It is very interesting that IP6 was able to both upregulate and downregulate cytokine expression by the lymphocytes depending on the type of LPS the cells were exposed to. This makes IP6 an immune modulator which is much more helpful than either an immune stimulator or an immune suppressor as it triggers an appropriate immune response without the need for constant testing and dose titration.

If immune modulation in response to LPS exposure is indeed the reason IP6 is helping your palmar erythema so much then there must be some gut dysbiosis and intestinal hyperpermeability ("leaky gut") involved. Have you had an intestinal permeability test performed or any testing that could detect abnormal gut bacterial growth? e.g. CDSA, hydrogen/methane breath test, gut fermentation profile (Biolab UK), Neurotoxic Metabolite Test (Protea Biopharma).

The Neurotoxic Metabolite Test might be particularly useful as it is cheap, is carried out at home...and importantly detects hydrogen sulphide (H2S) which this study discussed in detail in relation to the Desulfovibrio desulfuricans bacteria. If you have not done this test you can order from the Protea Biopharma website at http://www.proteabiopharma.com/

As I'm sure you're aware gut dysbiosis and leaky gut inevitably lead to liver issues - which could range from vague and seemingly unrelated symptoms to toxic hepatitis. You might find my series of blogs on liver detoxification physiology and dietary and supplementary means if supporting the various pathways. You can read them here

Just a note on phytic acid/phytate. It is often referred to as an "anti-nutrient" because as you've noted it binds/chelates nutrient minerals like calcium, magnesium, zinc, iron, copper etc - preventing their absorption. However, as the authors of the study we're looking at point out it would take a very high intake of phytate-rich foods and a low mineral diet for this to be a real issue. Another "anti-nutrient" are the flavonoids like tannins found in particularly high concentrations in green tea. Again, the label is a bit misleading as tannins are antimicrobial and other polyphenolic compounds found in green tea such as epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) which is a potent antioxidant and may be beneficial for prevention of a number of serious diseases.

I hope I haven't waffled on too much in the wrong direction and provided something of use!

Please let us know if your liver enzymes have returned to normal ranges after you've been re-tested and if the IP6 keeps the palmar erythema away.

Take care,
Maff
If you are going through hell, keep going - Winston Churchill
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Re: IP6/Phytic Acid... I'm Impressed! 10 years 9 months ago #3

  • Rhodes56
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Thanks for your input Matt, & WOW, you've gotten a lot smarter (well, more knowledgeable) since I used to visit here with my MCS a few years back. Congrat's on getting that degree!

I haven't had much testing done... My American HMO doesn't believe in thorough diagnostics or "preventive medicine", only drastic measures once you get really sick.

The palmar erythema didn't scare me half as much as wondering what might be causing it, and if the PE is down, I assume the cause is under control.

It seems once your liver gets angry over something, the inflammatory response can feed into a loop causing more inflammation. I had been on a very healthy diet, with only a few carefully chosen supplements for several years, so this latest issue really surprised me.

All I can figure is, (as you said), a leaky gut really can inflame your liver, and suppressing those nasty cytokines really can help.

I've been amazed at how well IP6 has worked, and how easy it is to take. Less than 10 cents a pill (Jarrow / iherb), easy on the stomach, and no side effects other than some tooth sensitivity when I tried to take 3/500mg caps a day for a while.

It's almost too good to be true (if it is in fact doing what I think it is)... We'll see if it lasts, and how my enzymes look when my doc lets me back in for more diagnostics.
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Re: IP6/Phytic Acid... I'm Impressed! 10 years 9 months ago #4

  • True
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Hey Maff can I pick your brain?
I've had good results with IP6 for acne, but had to stop because of it binding other minerals that effected my sleep.
I was wondering if you can tell me by what mechanism the ip6 works on acne so that I can find other minerals/supplements that might do the same thing. I did try ip6 between meals and supplements but did not find it helped.
thanks as always!
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Re: IP6/Phytic Acid... I'm Impressed! 10 years 9 months ago #5

  • Maff
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Hi True,

Since acne is an inflammatory condition the reason IP6 helps is likely to be the same as discussed above i.e. through regulating the immune system.

I would try other supplements that are 'Immune Modulators'. Off the top of my head one option would be a product called Moducare.
If you are going through hell, keep going - Winston Churchill
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Re: IP6/Phytic Acid... I'm Impressed! 10 years 9 months ago #6

  • True
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Thanks Maff I will put that on my list of things to try. I should have mentioned that my main acne problem is blackheads which are considered non inflammatory which the ip6 did help with, I have one inflammatory cyst per 100 blackheads. Since the blackheads scar and the cysts dont, I'm mostly concerned with clearing up the blackheads.
Any ideas?

thanks!
Last Edit: 10 years 9 months ago by True.
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