Inositol hexaphosphate (IP-6)

The vitamin-like substance present in animals, plants like nuts, legumes, and cereals, is called Inositol hexaphosphate (IP-6); IP-6 can be prepared in the laboratory (Harland & Oberleas, 1987). IP-6 is a naturally occurring polysaccharide. It helps reduce the chances of cancer or reduce the side effects of cancer treatment and willing in diabetes, anaemia, and other treatments. In the food industry, it is beneficial to prevent food storage. It is an antioxidant. It prevents cancer by reducing the production of cancerous cells. In can of colon cancer, it binds to minerals and decreases the risk of colon cancer. 

There are some other known uses, but there is a lack of evidence in some cases like,

Cancer damages the immune system, but oral consumption or application to the skin decreases the side effects of cancer.

IP-6 reduces the level of uric acid, and uric acid is the cause of Gout. But there is no evidence if it reduces the symptoms of gout or not. 

Some say it proves to reduce heart risks.


IP-6 anticancer function has been observed in both in-vitro and in-vivo studies. Myo-Inositol is the parent compound of the IP-6. The unique phosphate group in IP-6 provides its ability to form a solid antioxidant property.

IP-6 is present in almost all cells in different forms like PI (1-5); Inositol phospholipid is present in the plasma membrane and playing a different role in controlling diverse cellular activities. Other cellular protein also binds to inositol polyphosphate for regulating the cellular function like exocytosis, protein trafficking, (Menniti et al., 1993) (Graf & Eaton, 1990) (Sasakawa et al., 1995) (Shears, 1996) (Zi et al., 2000)


 Shamsuddin et al.showed that a diet containing a high IP-6 level helps bite colon cancer. Then he proposed that cells internalize IP-6 and then dephosphorylate to IP(1-5) involving to inositol pool and then inhibit the tumour growth. (Shamsuddin et al., 1988), (Shamsuddin & Ullah, 1989), Another study stated that Inositol phosphate is involved in cellular mechanisms like signal transduction of many cells, people can observe this action of inositol in many cells. (Shamsuddin et al., 1988), (Shamsuddin & Ullah, 1989),

Some evidence said that on the oral administration of Inositol hexaphosphate reaches the target cells and is taken up by the malignant cells. By evaluating the metabolism of IP6 in HT-29 human colon carcinoma and cells of hematopoietic lineage, IP-6 was found that IP-6 is intake by pinocytosis or endocytosis mechanisms. Another study data showing that IP-6 incubated with MCF-7 human breast cancer resulted in 86% recovered radioactivity. In the rat study, there was Higher absorption of IP-6 by the stomach and upper intestine, and also absorbed material is transported to other organs.


IP-6 can be used in a way that it blocks the heparin-binding domain of essential fibroblast growth, hence no receptor-domain interaction ahead. The mechanism is possible due to its chair domain conformation, similar to the pyranose structure in heparin.

Besides these other mechanisms of action are also available. [] Morisson, R. S., Shi, E., Kan, M., Yamaguchi, F., McKeehan, W., Rudnicka-Nawrot, M. & Inositol hexaphosphate (InsP6): An antagonist of fibroblast growth factor receptor binding and activity. In vitro cell. Dev. Biol. 30A: 783–789]. (1994) Palczewski, K. 

One was of performing the function by IP-6 is in the case of cancer:

It aids the chelation of iron and suppresses the OH formation. Hence this antioxidant function of IP-6 helps reduce carcinogenesis by suppressing the active oxygen species. This property is possible due to its unique phosphate grouping at position 1, 2, 3, help to interact with iron species. On the other way, it can bind to Zinc, affecting the kinase activity, which is a DNA synthesis enzyme or removes the iron, which reduces the chances of colorectal cancer. (Shamsuddin, 2002), ((No Title), n.d.) (The Effect of Iron on Experimental Colorectal Carcinogenesis – PubMed, n.d.) (Thompson & Zhang, 1991), 

Along with this Anti cancerous activity, it helps to recover the damaged mother’s cells in the cancer patient, and it normalizes the activity of natural killer cells in in-vivo studies (Baten et al., 1989)


IP-6 affects the tumor cells or malignant cells only, but it is not harmful to normal cells when CD34+ cells were treated with IP-6, and the toxicity resulted was only detrimental to leukemia cells and it remains unaffecting to the normal cells. 

The harmful effect can be because both normal cells and malignant cells have different metabolism activities, expressing receptors. Still, further investigation is needed for the action of IP-6 on carcinogenic cells and differentiating these activities from normal cells. 


Mood and anxiety disorders:

It improves depression, mental disorders and stimulates the release of Feel-Good hormones like serotonin and dopamine. (Chiappelli et al., 2015). This hypothesis is supported when a clinical study reported a higher amount of Myo-inositol concentration in blood and reported a clinical depression. 

In another study, 18gram of Myo-inositol was recommended for the patient for four weeks by providing the 150 mg dose of Luvox for four weeks. The reduction in the panic attacks per week was observed when compared with patients without having Myo-inositol treatment.  

Other studies proved to treat depression when consumed along with selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors. 

And it has been proven that 12 gm daily dose of inositol is better to treat people with depression as compared to placebo treatment (Levine et al., 1995)

Polycystic ovary syndrome(PCOS)

Inositol is helpful to manage PCOS when 20 women were given 6 grams of D-chiro-inositol once daily for six weeks, and it improved side symptoms of PCOS like Increased blood fats and high blood pressure. (Iuorno et al., 2002)

Therefore, Inositol proves to improve the treatment of PCOS and improve its symptoms more efficiently compared with placebo treatment. 


It is helpful in metabolic disorders like diabetes, metabolic syndrome, Blood pressure. A study reported that patients who have type-2 diabetes when given three months inositol and diabetes resulted in decreased fasting blood glucose. (Pintaudi et al., 2016),

It also improves the treatment of metabolic syndrome in postmenopausal women. Women treated with Myo-inositol for six months resulted in improved blood pressure and cholesterol levels compared to placebo. 

Hence also decrease cardiovascular disease. (Giordano et al., 2011)


Generally, it is considered safe, but mild side effects can result in nausea, stomach pain, tiredness, headache, dizziness. Suppose taken with an increased dose above 12 g per day. 

Inositol is helpful in bipolar disease, especially in IP-6 treatment is helpful in bipolar disorder. But in some cases, it reduces zinc, calcium, iron absorption resulting in a nutritional deficiency even after consuming a fully healthy diet. 

And the consumption and dosage of inositol are not tested for pregnant women, nursing mothers, and children, so it’s better to contact a doctor before opting for this remedy. 


There is no scheduled dosage standardized for IP-6 consumption and is available as tablets and capsules.  

Some manufacturers recommend some dosage of 2 grams two times a day for metabolic syndrome, 2 grams 2 times a day for PCOS treatment, 12 grams for Anxiety and panic attacks. Lithium-related psoriasis is recommended with 6 grams for a time in a day.