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 Post subject: Phytates and phytic acid.
PostPosted: Thu Dec 04, 2014 10:15 am 
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Joined: Tue Nov 04, 2014 9:08 pm
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Location: Bucuresti
Phytates and phytic acid.

Phytic acid – the storage form of phosphorus – is one of those pesky “anti-nutrients” the Paleo community keeps telling you to avoid.
It’s often considered an anti-nutrient because it binds minerals in the digestive tract, making them less available to our bodies.
Yet these same anti-nutrient properties can also help in the prevention of chronic disease.

What is phytic acid?
Seeds — such as nuts, edible seeds, beans/legumes, and grains — store phosphorus as phytic acid. When phytic acid is bound to a mineral in the seed, it’s known as phytate.

Phytate digestion
Most phytate (37-66%) is degraded in the stomach and small intestines.
Ordinarily, our bodies regulate phytate levels pretty well, adjusting uptake in the gut and excretion until body levels come into balance.
Vitamin D status in the body seems to influence how much phytate is actually retained.  The more vitamin D, the more phytate retained; the less vitamin D, the less phytate retained.
Potential problems with phytic acid
Phytic acid can bind minerals in the gut before they are absorbed and influence digestive enzymes.  Phytates also reduce the digestibility of starches, proteins, and fats.

Potential benefits of phytic acid
Despite its potential drawbacks, phytic acid is similar in some ways to a vitamin, and metabolites of phytic acid may have secondary messenger roles in cells.
Some experts even suggest that it’s the phytic acid in whole grains and beans that lends them their apparent protective properties against cardiovascular disease, cancer, and diabetes.
(Remember, the grains with little to no phytic acid are the refined ones.)
The supplement industry has caught on to this.  Have you even seen a bottle of inositol hexaphosphate, or IP6?  That’s simply a supplemental source of phytic acid.
When phytic acid binds minerals in the gut, it prevents the formation of free radicals, thus making it an antioxidant. Not only that, but it seems to bind heavy metals (e.g., cadmium, lead) helping to prevent their accumulation in the body

In the balance
Is phytic acid worth worrying about?  Maybe not, for most of us.
One study showed that subjects consuming a Mediterranean-style diet that included 1000-2000 mg of phytic acid per day did not suffer from reduced mineral bioavailability.

Overcoming phytic acid as an antinutrient
Luckily, it’s possible to overcome the anti-nutrient effects of phytic acid in our foods while still getting the benefits of a plant-rich diet. Here are a few strategies that my be more or less helpful depending on the specific situation:

Heating foods can destroy small amounts of phytic acid. (Note: heat can also destroy phytase and vitamin C.)

Milling grains and removing the bran decreases phytic acid.  Unfortunately, milling also tends to remove many of the minerals! Removing the bran and then enriching a food with minerals might allow for enhanced nutrient absorption in the body.

Soaking beans and grains can reduce phytic acid (and other antinutrients).

Fermentation and bread leavening (using yeast) can help to break down phytic acid due to the activation of native phytase enzymes, reducing the number of phosphate groups.
This is big stuff since myo-inositol phosphates with fewer than five phosphate groups don’t inhibit zinc absorption (IP1 to IP4).  And those with fewer than three phosphate groups don’t inhibit iron absorption (IP1 to IP3).
Also, some of the acids produced during fermentation might actually boost absorption of certain minerals.

Sprouting and malting enhances native phytase activity in plants and thus decreases phytic acid.

Vitamin C
Vitamin C appears strong enough to overcome phytic acid.  In one study, adding 50 mg of vitamin C counteracted the phytic acid load of a meal.  In another study, 80 mg of ascorbic acid (vitamin C) counteracted 25 mg of phytic acid.

Protein powders
During processing of plant-based protein powders, it’s possible to de-phytinize (via addition of microbial phytase). Also, protein isolates and concentrates can be treated with dialysis or ultrafiltration to remove phytic acid.

Seed breeding
Scientists are working on seed breeds containing less phytic acid. There are modern seed hybrids of grain and legume plants that contain less phytic acid.

Animal protein
Animal protein may enhance absorption of zinc, iron, and copper. Adding small amounts of animal protein might increase the absorption of these minerals in the body.   (Well, except for dairy/casein, as it also seems to hinder iron and zinc absorption.)

Gut health
A low pH in the gut enhances iron absorption.  Balancing the level of beneficial bacteria in the GI tract might help with this.

Summary and recommendations
In healthy people eating balanced diets, phytic acid’s effects on iron, zinc, and manganese status is minimal and it doesn’t seem to cause nutrient deficiencies.
To argue that some plant foods are “unhealthy” because of their phytic acid content seems mistaken, especially when phytic acid’s potential negative effects on mineral assimilation may be offset by its health benefits.
So we should aim to reduce phytic acid rather than eliminate it.

To reduce the anti-nutrient effects of phytic acid in foods, try the following:
Soak, sprout, ferment, and cook plant foods.
Consume vitamin C-rich foods with meals that contain phytic acid.  Dense source of vitamin C include guava, bell pepper, kiwi, oranges, grapefruit, strawberries, Brussels sprouts, cantaloupe, papaya, broccoli, sweet potato, pineapple, cauliflower, kale, lemon juice, and parsley.
Use vinegar in salad dressings and cooking to enhance mineral absorption and offset phytic acid.
Supplement with phytase enzymes if necessary.
Eat mineral fortified foods if necessary
Supplement minerals if there is still a shortfall in your diet.
If you’re eating a plant-based diet and have confirmed nutrient deficiencies, and you’ve tried all the above strategies with no success, adding small amounts of animal foods on occasion might boost stores of necessary minerals in your body.

Sursa: ... hytic-acid

16 Health Benefits of The “Anti-Nutrient” Phytic Acid

1) Phytic Acid is an Anti-oxidant.
Phytic acid has protective effects against alcohol related liver inury by blocking ROS production and elevating antioxidant potentials.
Roasting/cooking foods with phytic acid improved antioxidant ability. (R)
The antioxidative action of phytic acid is as a result of inhibiting Xanthine Oxidase and by preventing formation of ADP-iron-oxygen complexes (R).

2) Phytic Acid Reduces Inflammation.
Phytic acid was found to decreas IL-8 and IL-6, especially in colon cells (R, R2).

3) Phytic Acid Induces Autophagy
Phytic Acid was found to induce autophagy (R).
Autophagy is a physiological process for degrading and recycling junk proteins. (R)
 It has recently been recognized as a principal response to cellular stress and an important regulator of neuronal function and survival. (R)
It plays a role in the destruction of intracellular pathogens and aids the cell to eliminate the pathogens. (R)
As a ‘quality control’ process, autophagy is believed to be particularly beneficial in neurodegenerative disorders – Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, ALS and Huntington’s. This is because these disorders are, in part, characterized by the accumulation of misfolded disease-causing proteins. (R)
Research suggests that autophagy is required for the lifespan-prolonging effects of caloric restriction (R) and for much of the health benefits of exercise (R).  Inhibiting mTOR increases autophagy, which is part of the reason mTOR inhibition increases longevity. (R)

4) Phytic Acid Has Potential For Treating Multiple Cancers
Phytic acid was found to be anti-cancer against bone, prostate, ovarian, breast, liver, colorectal, leukemia, sarcomas and skin cancers (R, R2, R3, R4, R5, R6)

5) Phytic Acid Benefits Blood Glucose Control
Studies show that phytate reduces blood glucose levels in mice and rats (R, R2, R3).
It works in part by slowing the rate of starch digestibility (R).

6) Phytic Acid is Neuroprotective
Neuroprotective effect of PA was found in a cell culture model of Parkinson’s disease (R).  It was found to protects against 6-Hydroxydopamine-Induced dopaminergic neuron apoptosis, which causes Parkinson’s (R).
By inducing autophagy, it can also protect against Alzheimer’s (R) and other neurodegenerative diseases

7) Phytic Acid Reduces Triglycerides and Increases HDL
Studies have found reduced serum triglycerides and increased total cholesterol and HDL cholesterol levels in the group fed phytic acid supplement. (R)

8) Phytic Acid  Repairs DNA
It was found that phytic acid can enter cells and act as a cofactor in DNA repair by “nonhomologous end-joining.”   This repairs breaks in the strands. This is a potential mechanism by which phytate prevents cancer. (R)

9) Phytic Acid Increases Bone Mineral Density
Phytate consumption had a protective effect against osteoporosis, suggesting that low phytate consumption should be considered as an osteoporosis risk factor (R).
Adequate consumption of phytate may play an important role in the prevention of bone mineral density loss in postmenopausal women (R).

10) Phytic acid protects human skin from UVB exposure
UVB radiation damages skin cells, potentially inducing chronic skin damage, cancer and suppression of the immune system. (R)
Studies show that phytic acid protects cells from UVB-induced destruction and mice from UVB-induced tumors. (R)

11) Phytic Acid Can Protect The Gut From Toxins
Phytic acid supplementation increased surface amplification in the intestines, resulting in increased gut transit time and more efficient absorption of nutrients (R).
Phytate also protects intestinal cells from certain toxins – at least in pigs (R).

12) Phytic Acid Helps Prevent Kidney Stones
In rats treated with phytic acid, calcifications in their kidneys was reduced, which suggests potential for preventing kidney stones. (R)
In another animal study found that it inhibited the formation of calcium oxalate stones. (R)
In a study on humans, phytate urinary levels in a group of active calcium oxalate stone formers were studied and compared with those found in healthy people. Urinary phytate was significantly lower for stone formers. (R)
Low phytate levels may be why kidney stones is more of a problem in the paleo world.

13) Phytic acid binds to Heavy Metals, Mycotoxins, Uranium, Iron, Manganese and (all good)
Phytic acid is one of few chelating therapies used for uranium removal (R).
Phytic Acid reduces the toxicity of mycotoxins, which may be explained by its antioxidant activity (R).

14) Phytic Acid Decreases Uric Acid/Helps Gout
By inhibiting the enzyme xanthine oxidase, phytic acid blocks the buildup of uric acid and can help prevent gout (R).

15) Phytic Acid is Anti-HIV
Phytate was able to inhibit the replication of HIV-1 in cell lines. PA was only beneficial on an early replicative stage of HIV-1. (R)

16) Phytic Acid Increases The Bioavailability of Flavones
Phytate is a potential absorption enhancer for pharmaceuticals/supplements. The oral bioavailability of isorhamnetin, kaempferol, and quercetin was enhanced by the co-administration of Phytate. The main mechanisms are related to their enhanced aqueous solubility and permeability in the presence of phytate. (R)

How Phytate Interacts With Minerals
There’s really only a few minerals that phytate binds to and as a result of the binding may potentially lead to health problems.
The minerals you should pay attention to are Zinc and to a lesser extent calcium and chromium.
Phytic acid can bind to zinc somewhat strongly and can cause GI problems, among other health issues. Zinc binding I think is the biggest issue and most people eating a plant based diet should supplement with a small amount of zinc. Not only is phytate a problem because of zinc binding, but since eating such a diet contains a lot of copper, it will interfere further with zinc absorption. For these reasons, I supplement with 15mg of zinc glycinate and recommend this dosage to others, especially men. Women need less zinc, so it’s less likely to as big of a problem for them (RDA for men 19+ yrs old is 11mg and 8mg for women). 10mg of supplemental zinc should suffices for women.

Phytate can also bind to calcium, albeit not as strongly as it binds to zinc. But not only have I not seen health problems as a result of this binding to calcium, I’ve only seen studies where it increases bone mineral density, which is unexpected. We obviously don’t have the full story. My wild guess is that it mainly binds to extra calcium that the body isn’t using and helps utilize or retain the rest of the calcium in some fashion. I supplement with 250mg 2X a day, not so much because of the phytic acid, but more because I don’t eat dairy and I don’t get the recommended level of calcium. If I did eat dairy, I’d consume maybe 150mg of calcium just to be safe (the RDA is 1000mg), because after all phytic acid does bind to calcium. Linus pauling institute: “Phytic acid is a less potent inhibitor of calcium absorption than oxalate. Only concentrated sources of phytate, such as wheat bran or dried beans, substantially reduce calcium absorption.” So, I think people should focus on getting the RDA for calcium and maybe take a bit more if you consume a lot of phytate – just in case.

I’ve also seen a study where it binds to chromium and I was deficient in chromium at one point, so that may be a problem, too. Chromium deficiency is supposedly rare, but my experience possibly suggests otherwise, since I was eating a whole food diet with no added sugar (sugar causes an excretion of chromium). It could be that I was deficient in chromium not because of phytic acid but because of decreased gut function from ingesting gluten or from a zinc deficiency. I take 100mcg of chromium GTF every day. These interventions are extremely cheap, simple and safe, so I find the drawbacks of consuming phytic acid to be very minimal.

Most people actually have too much iron. I’ve experimented with a starch based diet for a while and my iron levels were still higher than the ideal range for anti aging purposes, and that was without eating red meat. In addition, I also drank tea, kombucha, curcumin and a bunch of other iron chelators. Iron is in all foods and deficiency is usually caused by something else other than low consumption of iron. This is the reason you see some people donating blood to get rid of excess iron. Menstruating women should monitor their iron levels more closely, however. I should also mention that people have different genetics with regard to how well they store iron and I might be genetically a good iron storer.

Selenium is an important mineral that I supplement with, since it’s good for autoimmune conditions of the thyroid. I take 100mcg daily, which is a conservative dosage. I also make sure not to eat brazil nuts or else I may be getting too much of it. Phytate doesn’t seem to be an issue for selenium, at least according to this study on baby chicks. If anything it seems to be a benefit. A quote: “Phytate increased selenium in all tissues except muscle; it is not clear if this resulted from increased absorption or increased retention.”

The fact the phytate binds to manganese is a plus since people get too much manganese in a starch based diet. Potassium, Magnesium – These minerals are abundant in plant-based foods and I found that I was getting double or more of the RDA for magnesium. Some binding by phytate wouldn’t cause ill health outcomes.

Copper absorption is actually enhanced by phytic acid in copper deficient diets. I don’t know what would happen in diets that weren’t deficient in copper. I’d actually rather it bind to copper because starch based diets are too high in copper. In any case, zinc supplementation should reduce copper absorption, so no worries here.

In Conclusion
If you adopt a plant-based omnivorous diet you likely won’t have a problem, except for zinc. If you want to be safe you can take a small amount of chromium and calcium, though there’s no evidence that it’s necessary if you consume dairy and a balanced diet. This is a very small price to pay to get the health benefits of phytate. A review article on phytate and minerals in a vegetarian diet (not a diet I support):
Despite the apparent lower bioavailability of zinc, copper, manganese, and selenium in vegetarian diets because of the high contents of phytic acid and/or dietary fiber and the low content of flesh foods in the diet, the trace element status of most adult vegetarians appears to be adequate. Children, however, appear to be more vulnerable to suboptimal zinc status, presumably because of their high zinc requirements for growth and their bodies’ failure to adapt to a vegetarian diet by increased absorption of dietary zinc. Ref.

Sursa: ... -compound/


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