Originally published February 27 2008
IP6 - A Rising Star in the Prevention and Treatment of Cancer
by Barbara L. Minton
(NaturalNews) Three recent studies have confirmed the role of inositol hexaphosphate (IP6) in cancer prevention and control of experimental tumor growth. IP6 is a naturally occurring carbohydrate first identified in 1855. It can exist on its own or can be bound to various other minerals such as calcium, magnesium, iron or sodium. It's found in substantial amounts in whole grains, dried beans, nuts, seeds, rice, wheat germ and corn.
In addition to being found in plants, IP6 is contained within almost all mammalian cells, where it is important in regulating vital cellular functions such as signal transduction, cell proliferation, and differentiation. IP6 is also available in supplement form.
Studies and Results
As published in Oncology Research, February 2008, researchers reported that IP6 was shown to have significant inhibitory effects against a variety of primary tumors. They hypothesized that IP6 would inhibit the cell growth rate of Barrett's adenocarcinoma in vitro. Two Barrett's associated adenocarcinoma cell lines were treated with IP6. Reductions in cellular proliferation were observed in both cell lines. Apoptosis (necessary programmed cell death) of the adenocarcinoma cells was increased. Researchers concluded that IP6 decreased cellular growth of these cells by pro-apoptotic mechanisms.
As published in Journal of Surgical Research, June 2006, researchers reported that IP6 had previously been shown to have significant inhibitory effects against pancreatic cancer in vitro. They hypothesized that IP6 would significantly inhibit cell growth of cutaneous melanoma in vitro. Melanoma cell lines were cultured and treated with IP6. The findings were that IP6 significantly decreased cellular growth and increased late apoptosis in melanoma, suggesting its potential therapeutic value.
As published in Journal of Surgical Research, June 2005, researchers reported that IP6 has been found to have significant inhibitory effects against a variety of primary tumors including breast and colon. They hypothesized that IP6 would significantly inhibit cell growth and increase the apoptotic rate of pancreatic cancer in vitro. Two pancreatic cancer cell lines were cultured and treated with IP6. Researchers concluded that treatment of pancreatic cancer with IP6 significantly decreased cellular growth and increased apoptosis.
IP6 Offers Cancer Prevention and Cure, and Much More
In Dr. A.M. Shamsuddin's review of findings in Nutrition and Cancer vol. 55, he states that in addition to its role in cancer prevention and control of experimental tumor growth, progression and metastasis, IP6 possesses other significant benefits, such as the ability to enhance the immune system, function as a natural antioxidant, prevent calcification and kidney stone formation, lower elevated serum cholesterol, and reduce pathological platelet activity.
According to Dr. Shamsuddin, when IP6 is administered it is rapidly taken into the cells and dephosphorylated to lower inositol phosphates, which further affect signal transduction pathways. In addition to the arresting of cell proliferation, this process also induces the differentiation of malignant cells. As previous known, the more differentiated the malignant cells, the less aggressive and dangerous is the cancer. Enhanced immunity and antioxidant properties also contribute to tumor cell destruction.
In their book Too Good to be True?, Drs. Kim Vanderlinden and Ivana Vucenik describe what is presently known about how IP6 works to help normalize the rate of cell division, normalize cell physiology, enhance Natural Killer (NK) cells, increase tumor suppressor P53 gene activity, inhibit inflammation, and inhibit angiogenesis. The book also elaborates on other conditions shown to greatly benefit from IP6 including diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.
Food Sources or Supplements?
There have been no clinical trials of IP6 as yet. In America, clinical trials are generally the province of drug companies, and little is done with substances which cannot be patented. In spite of this lack, IP6 is considered quite safe by all its investigators. As it is a naturally occurring substance already found in human cells, there are no side effects. So if you want the preventative or therapeutic benefits of IP6, the question becomes whether to try to get sufficient amounts from dietary sources or to supplement.
There are reasons to use IP6 in supplemental form. In food, IP6 is bound to protein. Before it can be absorbed it must first be freed from this protein. An enzyme called phytase that is present in both food and the intestinal tract performs this function. The problem is that the power of the phytase enzyme damages the IP6 itself, rendering much of it inactive and therefore less effective. Pure IP6 from a supplement is absorbed intact providing us with its complete medicinal properties. Research has shown just that: when fiber from All Bran was added to the diet of rats with mammary cancer, it was much less effective than the equivalent amount of IP6 added to their drinking water. This is like the situation of lycopene which must be freed from tomatoes by cooking to achieve its potential.
Supplementing with Inositol+Cal-Mag IP6
When taken alone, IP6 has the potential to bind with minerals, to act as a chelator. This is evidenced by its ability to prevent kidney stones. This leads to the question of high amounts of IP6 contributing to osteoporosis. To prevent this, IP6 is bound to atoms of calcium and magnesium. When supplemented in this form, IP6 will be delivered to the body along with substantial amounts of highly absorbable calcium and magnesium.
Inositol then becomes the first half of the Inositol+Cal Mag IP6. It provides the base structure for the Cal Mag IP6. A number of research studies have shown that when combined in this formula, the effect is complimentary and augmentative. Most IP6 for supplementation comes from rice extract and is formulated as Inositol+Cal Mag IP6.
Inositol+Cal Mag IP6 is available as 'Inocell' from Natural Factors, as 'Cellular Forte' from Phytopharmica, and as 'Cell Forte' from Enzymatic Therapeutics. The formulations of each are identical. The prices are quite different. It is available as capsules which provide a preventative or a maintenance dosage of 2 capsules twice a day. It is also available as powder for therapeutic dosages which range from one scoop daily up to several scoops twice daily.
About the authorBarbara is a school psychologist, a published author in the area of personal finance, a breast cancer survivor using "alternative" treatments, a born existentialist, and a student of nature and all things natural.
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