Clinical trials addressing the use of IP6 for cancer treatment are underway from various universities and other interested entities.
IP6 is known as inositol hexaphosphate and/or inositol hexakisphosphate. Other names for it include inositol polyphosphate, myo inositol hexaphosphate, and phytic acid.
This saturated acid is cyclic and serves primarily as a storage center for phosphorus, especially in the seeds of plants and the brains of animals, including humans.
Dietary sources of IP6 include wild rice, beans, legumes, sesame seeds, corn, wheat bran, organ meats, and various other foods that are high in fiber-based complex carbohydrates.
Like other forms of inositol, IP6 is effective as a secondary transmitter of neurological impulses. Additionally, it has numerous other important roles that it fulfills in the brain, CNS, and other bodily systems.
While research into using IP6 for cancer is limited to lab and animal trials so far, results do show some significant potential anti-cancer effects. These results will need to be repeated in large-scale human trials before the use of this supplement is clinically validated.
IP6 is available as a dietary supplement only. The FDA has not approved IP6 as a drug to prevent or treat any conditions.
Clinical Results of IP6 for Cancer
Abulkalam Shamsuddin is the pathologist who is credited with making the most advances in clinical studies addressing the anti-cancer properties of IP6.
He began laboratory experimentation on inositol in the middle of the 1980s.
To date, no human trials have been conducted on using IP6 for treating cancer. However, many in vitro and animal trials have been conducted, and have shown promising results.
Firstly, IP6 is thought to boost the immune system in general, making the development of cancerous tumors less likely. It also acts as an antioxidant in the body.
Research shows that IP6 helps to restore natural apoptosis conditions for cancerous cells in experimental animals.
Apoptosis is the natural death of a cell as regulated by normal biological processes. When cancer cells die off at normal cellular rates, they are significantly less likely to spread their growth to other areas of the body.
IP6 has also shown promise as an inhibitor of blood vessel growth in tumorous structures. As tumors grow in the body, they require a blood supply to continue their growth. This growth of new blood vessels is known as angiogenesis. IP6 has been seen to have antiangiogenic activity in research trials.
In animal testing, IP6 has been shown to demonstrate potential activities for combating all of types of cancer including colon, breast, prostate, pancreatic, lung, liver, and blood cancers. It is also believed to increase the effectiveness of certain chemotherapy drugs. Additionally, IP6 is thought to make hormonal therapy more effective.
In one preliminary human trial, IP6 supplementation resulted in a general regression in the formation and development of precancerous tissues in the lungs of tobacco smokers. While this supplement may not be able to treat cancer entirely on its own, there is evidence that IP6 for cancer could be potentially viable as an adjunct therapy.
Anti-Cancer Effects of IP6
Many natural health professionals consider IP6 for cancer to be an important area for future research. IP6 demonstrates antioxidant-like qualities and has been shown to deactivate the oxidative qualities of free radical molecules.
Free radicals are believed to be one cause of the development of cancerous cells, and responsible for damage caused by the natural aging process.
Other clinical research has conclusively shown that inositol hexaphosphate is very effective at retarding slowing and even stopping cell division. IP6 has also been shown, in some cases, to turn tumorous cells back into normal cells.
This alone is a remarkable result. By disallowing access to nuclei, IP6 is further believed to stop the abnormal signaling of cancerous cells which cause them to continue growing instead of dying off naturally.
IP6 may also have properties that help to prevent the formation of kidney stones, hypercholesterolemia, heart disease, and liver disease. However, there is limited human research to back up these claims. Initial results in lab and animal tests will need to be verified with human trials before IP6 for cancer could even be reviewed as a drug by the FDA.
Additional Uses for Inositol Supplements
IP6 is a member of the inositol group of vitamin-like polyol carbohydrates. These inositol derivatives are important for a number of functions in the body and in our cells. There are nine stereoisomer forms of inositol, meaning they have the exact same molecular structure – C6H12O6.
Each of the nine stereoisomers of inositol only differ in terms of the atomic spatial arrangement. That means that they have a different arrangement in their individual atoms, which can result in different properties.
Inositol is being investigated for its roles in a number of health disorders and diseases, including, but not limited to:
- Depression, panic disorders, schizophrenia, and various other mental disorders
- Heart disease, hypercholesterolemia, liver disease
- Autism, ADHD, and ADD
- Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease
- Type 2 diabetes mellitus, polycystic ovary syndrome, and other conditions associated with insulin insensitivity
Side Effects of Taking IP6 for Cancer
Inositol hexaphosphate, like all inositol stereoisomers, is a natural substance that is found throughout nature. It can be found in algae, plants and animals. The human body naturally manufactures small amounts of inositol as well. As such, IP6 and other forms of inositol are believed to be free of serious negative side effects. In rare cases, minor side effects like vomiting and headaches have been reported.
IP6 is contraindicated with anticoagulant and antiplatelet drugs due to a potential for increased bleeding. It should also not be taken with anticoagulant/antiplatelet herbs or supplements, calcium, iron, or zinc.
Although supplementation with IP6 for cancer is not yet proven by human studies, initial research does show some promising benefits of this important nutrient. Speak with your doctor to determine if using IP6 for cancer is right for your needs.