Is IP-6 a cure for cancer?

Is IP-6 a cure for cancer?

In 2010, Dr. Mallikarjuna Gu at the University of Colorado Cancer Center found that inositol hexaphosphate (IP-6, or phytic acid), a naturally occurring compound found in high fibre foods and supplements could block P13K-Akt, a core cancer pathway.

Gu discovered that treating prostate cancer both in a Petri dish and in mice with prostate cancer, with IP-6 stopped the cancer from growing (1). This was due to the disruption of the P13K-Akt pathway, which plays a crucial role in the progression of prostate cancer, breast cancer and colorectal cancer. Gu said that scientists were always looking for targets to attack in cancer treatment, and his team had found a major target.

Leader of the Cancer Center’s program on treatment and prevention, Dr. Rajesh Agarwal said that inositol, a B vitamin, which is found in high fibre foods such as nuts, seeds, grains, lentils and other legumes, may explain why those people who eat high fibre diets develop less cancers. IP-6 is not exactly the same as inositol, although it too is naturally occurring in the same foods; it is an inositol molecule with 6 phosphate groups attached.

Indeed, some of the best results with arresting cancer progression occurred when the research team used both inositol and IP-6 together. One of the best natural sources of IP-6 is found in rice-bran extract.

A second study (2) showed that in cells where the p53 gene was deficient (about 50% of all cancer cells), two controlling genes (p21 and p27) played no role and IP-6 showed its anti-cancer effect.

In 2016, scientists found that inositol polyphosphates were highly complex signaling molecules and that resultant IP-6 kinases played an important cellular regulatory role (3).

On a more general note, inositol has been shown to work with other B vitamins to defat the liver and reduce cholesterol levels. It is also known to be involved in hormone signaling and membrane structure.

Chris Woollams, former Oxford University Biochemist said, "I don't think you could say IP-6 was a cure for cancer, but in these 3 studies alone you have a number of scientists showing it attacks an important cancer pathways and could well play a role, for example, in slowing down cancer progression in prostate cancer, and breast cancer and CRC too, where it also chelates carcinogens. IP-6 is an antioxidant and is also used for preventing heart disease and anaemia.

One of the biggest advocates of IP-6 was Dr. Abulkalem M Shamsuddin, who wrote a book 'IP-6, Nature's Revolutionary Cancer-fighter'.  

Of course, high fibre foods like pulses, nuts and seeds and whole grains which contain IP-6 are the cornerstone of the Rainbow Diet.


Go to: Prostate cancer overview – symptoms, causes and alternative treatments

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