Inositol Hexaphosphate

Purported Benefits, Side Effects & More

Inositol Hexaphosphate

Purported Benefits, Side Effects & More
Inositol Hexaphosphate

Common Names

  • IP6; InsP-6
  • Phytic acid; Phytate
  • Inositol hexakisphosphate
  • Myo-inositol hexaphosphate

For Patients & Caregivers

Tell your healthcare providers about any dietary supplements you’re taking, such as herbs, vitamins, minerals, and natural or home remedies. This will help them manage your care and keep you safe.

What is it?

Inositol hexaphosphate may be useful in reducing side effects from chemotherapy.

Inositol hexaphosphate (IP6) is a carbohydrate found naturally in many plants and mammalian cells, where it performs important messenger roles and affects numerous cellular processes. It is marketed as a supplement to support natural cellular defense. Lab studies suggest anticancer and antiangiogenic effects.

Small studies of breast cancer patients showed that IP6 may reduce chemotherapy-induced side effects. Myo-inositol may also have chemopreventive effects in some patients with chronic lung disease. Large-scale studies are needed to confirm these effects.

What are the potential uses and benefits?
  • To prevent and treat cancer

    Lab studies have shown anticancer effects, but clinical data are lacking.
  • To reduce chemotherapy side effects

    Small studies of breast cancer patients showed that IP6 may be effective in reducing chemotherapy-associated side effects. Larger studies are needed.
  • To treat heart disease

    An intravenous form has been evaluated in preliminary studies to see whether it can slow progression of cardiovascular disease. However, no studies have been conducted on IP6 supplements for this use.
  • To treat depression

    Evidence is lacking to support this claim.
  • To treat kidney stones

    Evidence is lacking to support this claim.
What else do I need to know?

Do Not Take if:

Your are taking mineral supplements: Phytic acid can bind with calcium, iron, magnesium, and zinc and reduce their bioavailability.

Your are taking anticoagulants/antiplatelets: IP6 also has antiplatelet activity and may increase bleeding risk. Clinical relevance is not known.

For Healthcare Professionals

Scientific Name
Clinical Summary

A naturally occurring compound, inositol hexaphosphate (IP6) is a polyphosphorylated carbohydrate present in most plants and mammalian cells. An intravenous form has been evaluated in preliminary studies to evaluate whether it can slow progression of cardiovascular disease. IP6 is also marketed as a supplement to support natural cellular defense.

Preclinical studies suggest IP6 has anticancer (1) (3) (4) (9) (10) (12) and antiangiogenic (16) effects.

Preliminary data in humans suggest IP6 supplementation may improve fasting serum uric acid levels in hyperuricemic subjects (18) and inhibit formation of advanced glycation end products in patients with type-2 diabetes (19). Other data suggest benefit for alleviating chemotherapy-induced side effects and improving quality of life in breast cancer patients (11) (21). Similar benefits were reported with topical IP6 (20). In another study, myo-inositol showed chemopreventive potential in patients with bronchial dysplasia (13). Larger studies are warranted to confirm these findings (7) (8).

Food Sources

Cereal, grains, legumes, meat

Purported Uses and Benefits
  • Cancer 
  • Chemotherapy side effects
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Depression
  • Kidney stones
Mechanism of Action

IP6 can be synthesized from inositol or obtained from the diet. Metabolites and derivatives of IP6 perform secondary messenger roles, including mobilization of intracellular calcium for mitosis. Extracellular signaling also has been demonstrated. IP6 interacts with both tyrosine kinase and PLC-coupled growth factor receptors. IP6 also enters the inositol phosphates pool, is subsequently dephosphorylated, and contributes to additional cellular signal transduction and intracellular functions (1).

In vitro and animal studies suggest that IP6 reduces initiation and/or promotion, inhibits proliferation by chelation of metalloproteins, causes G0/G1 arrest, and induces differentiation of various cancer cell lines (3) (4). IP6 also may inhibit in vitro platelet activation with ADP, collagen, and thrombin by interacting with platelet cytoskeletal reorganization, P13-K activity, or agonist-induced platelet aggregation (2).

Herb-Drug Interactions

Mineral supplements: Phytic acid can bind with calcium, iron, magnesium, and zinc in the stomach and reduce their bioavailability (17).
Anticoagulants/antiplatelets: IP6 also has antiplatelet activity, and may increase bleeding risk when used with other anticoagulants or antiplatelets (2). Clinical relevance is not known.

Dosage (OneMSK Only)
  1. Shamsuddin AM, Vucenik I, Cole KE. IP6: a novel anti-cancer agent. Life Sci. 1997;61:343-54.
  2. Vucenik I, Podczasy JJ, Shamsuddin AM. Antiplatelet activity of inositol hexaphosphate (IP6). Anticancer Res. 1999;19:3689-94.
  3. Shamsuddin AM. Metabolism and cellular functions of IP6: a review. Anticancer Res. 1999;19:3733-6.
  4. El-Sherbiny YM, et al. G0/G1 arrest and S phase inhibition of human cancer cell lines by inositol hexaphosphate (IP6). Anticancer Res. 2001;21:2393-403.
  5. Grases F, et al. Absorption and excretion of orally administered inositol hexaphosphate (IP6 or phytate) in humans. Biofactors. 2001;15:53-61.
  6. Sakamoto K, Vucenik I, Shamsuddin AM. [3H] Phytic acid (inositol hexaphosphate) is absorbed and distributed to various tissues in rats. J Nutr. 1993;123:713-20.
  7. Fox CH, Eberl M. Phytic acid (IP6), novel broad spectrum anti-neoplastic agent: a systematic review. Complement Ther Med. 2002;10(4):229-34.
  8. Vucenik I, Shamsuddin AM. Protection against cancer by dietary IP6 and inositol. Nutr Cancer. 2006:55(2):109-25.
  9. Raina K, Rajamanickam S, Singh RP, Agarwal R. Chemopreventive efficacy of inositol hexaphosphate against prostate tumor growth and progression in TRAMP mice. Clin Cancer Res. 2008 May 15;14(10):3177-84.
  10. Gu M, Raina K, Agarwal C, Agarwal R. Inositol hexaphosphate downregulates both constitutive and ligand-induced mitogenic and cell survival signaling, and causes caspase-mediated apoptotic death of human prostate carcinoma PC-3 cells. Mol Carcinog. 2010 Jan;49(1):1-12.
  11. Bacic I, Druzijanic N, Karlo R, Skific I, Jagic S. Efficacy of IP6 + inositol in the treatment of breast cancer patients receiving chemotherapy: prospective, randomized, pilot clinical study. J Exp Clin Cancer Res. 2010 Feb 12;29(1):12.
  12. Williams KA, Kolappaswamy K, Detolla LJ, Vucenik I. Protective effect of inositol hexaphosphate against UVB damage in HaCaT cells and skin carcinogenesis in SKH1 hairless mice. Comp Med. 2011 Feb;61(1):39-44.
  13. Lam S, McWilliams A, LeRiche J, et al. A phase I study of myo-inositol for lung cancer chemoprevention. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2006 Aug;15(8):1526-31.
  14. Lamarre Y, Bourgeaux V, Pichon A, et al. Effect of inositol hexaphosphate-loaded red blood cells (RBCs) on the rheology of sickle RBCs. Transfusion. 2013 Mar;53(3):627-36.
  15. Bourgeaux V, Aufradet E, Campion Y, et al. Efficacy of homologous inositol hexaphosphate-loaded red blood cells in sickle transgenic mice. Br J Haematol. 2012 May;157(3):357-69.
  16. Raina K, Ravichandran K, Rajamanickam S, et al. Inositol Hexaphosphate Inhibits Tumor Growth, Vascularity, and Metabolism in TRAMP Mice: A Multiparametric Magnetic Resonance Study. Cancer Prev Res (Phila). 2013 Jan;6(1):40-50.
  17. Hurrell RF. Influence of vegetable protein sources on trace element and mineral bioavailability. J Nutr. 2003 Sep;133(9):2973S-7S.
  18. Ikenaga T, Kakumoto K, Kohda N, Yamamoto T. Effect of Inositol Hexaphosphate (IP6) on Serum Uric Acid in Hyperuricemic Subjects: a Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled, Crossover Study. Plant Foods Hum Nutr. 2019 Sep;74(3):316-321.
  19. Sanchis P, Rivera R, Berga F, et al. Phytate Decreases Formation of Advanced Glycation End-Products in Patients with Type II Diabetes: Randomized Crossover Trial. Sci Rep. 2018 Jun 25;8(1):9619.
  20. Proietti S, Pasta V, Cucina A, et al. Inositol hexaphosphate (InsP6) as an effective topical treatment for patients receiving adjuvant chemotherapy after breast surgery. Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci. 2017 Jun;21(2 Suppl):43-50.
  21. Amabile MI, De Luca A, Tripodi D, et al. Effects of Inositol Hexaphosphate and Myo-Inositol Administration in Breast Cancer Patients during Adjuvant Chemotherapy. J Pers Med. Jul 30 2021;11(8).
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