by Lynn Hinderliter CN, LDN

Those of you who know me  will agree that I do not like to sensationalize, and in fact, more often err on the side of understatement than exaggeration. However, I am always proud to be able to bring to you the latest in nutritional research, and this new information may also bring some hope.

IP-6 is Inositol Hexaphosphate , sharing a difficult name with its main researcher, Dr. Abulkalam Shamsuddin, M.D. Dr. Shamsuddin, a professor of pathology at the University School of Medicine, has been studying IP-6 for 15 years. The culmination of his research was an international symposium on IP-6 held in June 1998 at Kyoto, Japan.

In 1958, a study done by Doctors working at Massachusetts General and Harvard Medical School detected no toxicity or side effects related to use of this substance. It was used in a 2 year study to inhibit the formation of kidney stones, and after as little as three months they determined it was highly effective, both in reducing the size of existing stones and preventing the formation of new ones.

IP-6 is found in highest concentrations in the bran part of rice, and is found also in corn, sesame seeds and in all unprocessed grains and legumes. However, it is not possible to get a therapeutic dose this way. While ensuring that one’s diet is a good source of it makes excellent sense, since it leads to eating healthy foods, Dr. Shamsuddin points out that eating enough of the source foods to get a significant supply of IP-6 also involves large amounts of calories, carbohydrates and (gasp! did you ever think to hear me say) too MUCH fiber.

IP-6 is present in all cells of both animals and plants, and if I understand Dr. Shamsuddin correctly, his thesis is that because IP-6 is related to a compound called Inositol Triphosphate which plays a role in communicating to the cell what its reaction should be to stimuli, it may regulate either the manner in which the signal is transmitted, or even act as a censor for unacceptable messages. Be that as it may, the results of his studies show unequivocally that IP-6 brings about reduction in the size of all the tumors he monitored in rats, colon, mammary glands, lung, liver, skin – you name it. As he says, if the mode of operation of IP-6 is as outlined above, then it will be effective against all forms of cancer. Cancer is the uncontrolled division of cells bringing about uncontrolled growth: a nutrient that can cancel out the message to the cells that causes this rogue reaction would (in Dr. Shamsuddin’s words) “reduce this abnormal growth rate of cells down to the normal growth level.” Dr. S’s work found that combining IP6 with Inositol was more effective than IP6 alone, and that is the combination  he has patented.

The one study abstract I have seen to date is on inhibition of Rhabdomyosarcoma , a common connective tissue cancer in children. In this study, performed on mice, they showed under certain dose conditions, a 49% reduction in tumor growth, growth which resumed once the IP-6 was no longer administered. Dr. Shamsuddin speaks also of the first tests he did, when he was still unaware of what, exactly, IP-6 did. In these, he used IP-6 to try and protect against cancer, and found that the incidence of cancer was lower and tumor sizes smaller. He is therefore very enthusiastic about its use to prevent health problems, not limited to cancer but including cardiovascular disease and kidney stones. In Kyoto, they are also presenting papers on its use to regulate lipid metabolism and cholesterol.

There are many naturally occurring substances besides IP-6 being investigated at the moment for their anti-cancer and cancer-preventing roles, and I would not want you to think this is the only one. However, it is to my mind of particular interest for four reasons:

  1.  it appears to promote health in other areas beside cancer. For example, it can be a helpful co-therapy in cases of iron build-up, or high iron levels – technically known as hemochromatosis.  The phytates in IP6 bind to iron and help carry it out of the body unabsorbed.

  2. Studies are ongoing to test its application in kidney stones

  3. for people who have had cancer it acts as a potent defense against recurrence.

  4.  where cancer is present it has been shown to be effective against it, while at the same time increasing the body’s immune strength rather than decreasing it as many conventional approaches to cancer unfortunately do.

  5.  it is totally without harmful side effects.

I feel sure we will all be hearing a good deal more about IP-6 as further research is published.

Find the recommended supplements here

Hemachromatosis  can also be helped by lactoferrin, which binds iron in your blood, denying it to cancerous cells and other pathogens such as viruses and bacteria that require it for growth.

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For Jarrow’s IP6 click here