Inositol Hexaphosphate

Inositol Hexaphosphate

Common Names

  • IP-6; 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.

How It Works

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 was shown to have anticancer and anti-angiogenic 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.

Purported Uses
  • To prevent and treat cancer
    Lab studies have shown anticancer effects. 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
    Evidence is lacking to support this claim.
  • To treat depression
    Evidence is lacking to support this claim.
  • To treat kidney stones
    Evidence is lacking to support this claim.
Do Not Take If

Your are taking mineral supplements: Phytic acid can bind with calcium, iron, magnesium, and zinc in the stomach and reduce their bioavailability.
Your are taking anticoagulants/antiplatelet agents: IP6 has antiplatelet activity and may increase the risk of bleeding.

Clinical relevance of these interactions is not known.

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For Healthcare Professionals

Scientific Name
Clinical Summary

A naturally occurring compound, Inositol hexaphosphate (IP6) is a polyphosphorylated carbohydrate that is present in most plants and in mammalian cells. It is used to prevent and treat cancer and heart disease. Metabolites of IP6 enter the inositol phosphate pool and perform secondary messenger roles, extracellular signaling, and additional cellular signalling transduction (1). Preclinical studies have shown IP6 to exert anticancer (1) (3) (4) (9) (10) (12) as well as anti-angiogenic (16) effects; and to be useful against sickle cell disease (14) (15).

Supplementation with IP6 was reported to improve fasting serum uric acid levels in hyperuricemic subjects (18); and to inhibit formation of advanced glycation end products in patients with type-2 diabetes (19)

Preliminary findings also indicate effectiveness of a combination of oral IP6 and inositol for alleviating chemotherapy-induced side effects and for improving quality of life in breast cancer patients (11). 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
  • Cancer prevention and treatment
  • 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). Clinical relevance is not known.
Anticoagulants/antiplatelet agents: IP6 has antiplatelet activity, and may increase the risk of bleeding when used with other anticoagulants or antiplatelet drugs (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. 2009 Jun 18.
  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. 2012 Jul 15. doi: 10.1111/j.1537-2995.2012.03779.x.
  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.
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