Inositol Hexaphosphate for Cancer Support
Dr. Henry Cheng
Of the many herbal and natural products that claim to be beneficial for cancer prevention, IP-6 is the only one that is discovered and researched by a member of the medical profession and it is the only one that has been proven effective through double blind studies in laboratory animals. Inostitol hexaphospate (IP-6, Phytate, Phytic Acid) is a substance naturally found in fibres, cereals and brans. Chemically it is a compound of inositol and six phosphate radicals. The discoverer, Dr. Abulkalam M. Shamsuddin, MD, Ph D, was a professor of pathology at the University of Maryland Medical School. In his demographic studies on Cancers in Scandinavia, Prof. Samsuddin found that the Danes had a higher incidence of certain cancers than the Norwegians even though the 2 races have similar genetic make up and similar environmental exposure. Through detailed analysis of the Scandinavian diet, the professor found a significant difference between the Norwegian and the Danish diets and that was in the phytic acid content of their foods. The cereal and fish based diet of the Norwegians had a lot of phytic acid which was absent from the dairy & meat based diet of the Danes. Then he studied the effects of phytic acid on laboratory mice. He found that mice that were fed a diet rich in phytic acid were less likely to get cancer, and cancerous mice that were fed phytic acid had a much better survival rate. He subsequently showed that Inositol hexaphosphate works through multiple mechanisms. IP-6 decreases the rate of cancer cell division by reducing the manufacture of new DNA (the genetic code) in cancerous cells. Chemotherapy drugs work by killing all cells indiscriminately while IP-6 has effect only on cancer cells. It is a potent anti-oxidant that protects healthy cells from degenerating into cancer cells. It is also a potent chelating agent that binds and de-activates toxic molecules that are carcinogenic. It is also an immune stimulant that activates natural killer cells to destroy invading cancer cells. In its natural state, phytates are poorly absorbed because they are hidden in fibres. Prof. Shamsudin mixed IP-6 with a sugar molecule Inositol and found that his formula yielded the highest concentration of the active ingredient IP-3 in the body. Being a natural subsatance, IP-6 does not qualify for a pharmaceutical patent so the big pharmaceutical companies would not take on the production. These days IP-6 is made by vitamin companies.
IP-6 should be taken by itself, on an empty stomach (90 minutes before or after a meal). In particular, do not take IP-6 together with calcium or other minerals. There is a scale of dosages devised by the Professor. Normal individuals take two capsules a day for prevention. For people with strong family history of cancer, he recommends 4 capsules a day. For people with a pre-cancerous condition (e.g. ulcerative colitis, leukoplakia, suspicious mole, borderline Pap smear, prostatic interstitial neoplasia, fibrocystic disease of breasts, old tuberculosis or silicosis scar in the lungs, etc.), he recommends 6 capsules a day. For cancer patients, he recommends a minimum of 12 a day. In fact if the tumour is over 5 cm. across or if the cancer has already spread, he recommends 24 capsules a day. During remission, 6 capsules a day is recommended. If you don’t want to swallow so many capsules a day, you can use the powder mixed in water or juice. One scoop of the powder is equal to 8 capsules. Both Prof. Shamsuddin and Dr. Michael Murray recommended the concomitant use of traditional therapies together with IP-6. They believed that IP-6 can potentiate the effect of traditional treatment. Chemotherapy and radiation kill the cancer cells while IP-6 stimulates the NK cells to kill the cancer.
Being a chelating agent, IP-6 is an adjunct therapy for Haemochromatosis. In this case, IP-6 binds itself to the excessive iron molecules and helps to reduce serum iron levels. By chelating itself to cholesterol it also helps to lower cholesterol so it can be used as an adjunct therapy for hypercholesteraemia. IP-6 was also found to help prevent formation of kidney stones. All these are potential bonuses when one takes IP-6 for cancer prevention.
Henry Cheng is a medical graduate of the University of London, England, and is now Certified Natural Products Advisor in Pharmasave Downtown Cloverdale.