You may be eating it every day in the foods you love and not be aware that you’re getting one of Nature’s best disease fighters around – IP-6 fiber. Recently, research has shown that this dense fiber may soon be put to use in the fight against breast, prostate and colon cancer as well. Let me tell you all about how this amazing fiber works.
IP-6 Fiber – Nature’s Gift To Your Health
You’ve likely known for a long time that including enough fiber in your diet is important to your good health and well-being. Studies have shown that getting enough dietary fiber helps in the following ways:
- Lowers cholesterol/risk of heart disease – fiber latches onto LDL “bad” cholesterol fats in your food and moves them out of the colon before they have a chance to be absorbed into your blood stream.
- Helps detox your body – fiber also latches onto toxins in your gut and moves them out of your colon before they are absorbed into your blood stream.
- Normalizes intestinal activity – illnesses like Crohn’s disease, diverticulitis/diverticulosis, and irritable bowel syndrome are helped by more fiber. It both helps bulk up too watery stools and get rid of constipation.
- Stabilizes blood sugar levels/cuts risk of diabetes – fiber slows down absorption of glucose from your food into your blood stream. A high fiber diet can be helpful in managing insulin resistance and diabetes.
- Maintains bowel health/cuts risk of disease: Fiber prevents constipation which can create outpouchings in the colon in a condition called diverticulosis. It can also help in the treatment of this condition.
- Fights obesity. Adequate fiber in the diet adds a feeling of fullness and dampens appetite. High fiber foods typically have less fat/calories so you absorb less. Stable blood sugars help prevent frequent hunger.
Now, added to all those good things that fiber does normally, certain sources of fiber contain IP-6 – short for inositol hexaphosphate or phytic acid – which has a lot of researchers excited about its disease-fighting potential. Here’s why…
Recently, a study out of the University of Colorado Cancer Center revealed that a diet high in IP-6 containing fiber could prevent the spread of prostate cancer in early stage diagnoses. The IP-6 fiber connection was found when researchers were reviewing rates of prostate cancer spread in Asian men versus Western men. The Asian men, while their rates of getting prostate cancer were about the same, had far less occurrence of the spread of the disease. The difference between the two cultures is the amount of IP-6 fiber that Asian men consume (high) versus that in Western countries (low). In addition, mice fed a diet high in IP-6 fiber had far less spread of prostate cancer than mice who didn’t receive it.
IP-6 fiber was also found to be a significant antioxidant that blocks free radical action, which causes cells to oxidize and mutate. The American Cancer Society cites studies in which IP-6 was found to either reverse or slow the growth of breast, prostate and colon cancers. They also cite studies in which IP-6 was found to slow abnormal cell division sometimes even transforming cancer cells back into normal cells.
How Can You Reap the Benefits of IP-6 Fiber?
The answer is simple. You can start by eating more of foods that contain IP-6. The Institute of Medicine recommends the following guidelines for amount of fiber per day:
Age 50 or younger
Age 51 or older
|Men||38 grams||30 grams|
|Women||25 grams||21 grams|
Chart Source: Institute of Medicine 2012/Mayo Clinic
Good sources of IP-6 fiber include: Wheat bran (high), peanuts (high), soybeans (high), barley, whole grain rye, corn, oats (moderate), black beans, mung beans, chick peas (moderate), lentils (moderate). Your daily diet might include the following:
1/2 cup wheat or oat bran cereal
1/4 cup peanuts (snack)
1/2 cup chick peas, lentils
1/2 cup soybeans, black beans, mung beans
Including fiber from many sources in your diet is important to maintaining good health. If research results on IP-6 prove consistent, we may have an exciting new tumor-reduction chemical to naturally address certain cancers.
Although the RDA, and/or medical researchers, has not yet suggested a beneficial daily amount of IP-6 fiber, I feel it would be a good idea to include at least 1 serving of a high-IP-6 source food every day. This will allow you to reap the good health, preventative benefits of IP-6 while research continues.
Mark Rosenberg, M.D.