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Greiner R et al.  
Phytate - an undesirable constituent of plant-based foods?

Journal für Ernährungsmedizin 2006; 8 (3): 18-28

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Keywords: Diabetes mellitusErnährungsmedizinKardiologieOnkologiePhytate

Phytate (myo-inositol (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6) hexakisphosphate), a naturally compound formed during maturation of plant seeds and grains is a common constituent of plant-de-rived foods. The major concern about the presence of phytate in the diet is its negative effect on mineral up-take. Minerals of concern in this regard would include Zn 2+, Fe 2+/3+, Ca 2+, Mg 2+, Mn 2+, and Cu 2+. Especially zinc and iron deficiencies were reported as a consequence of high phytate intakes. In addition, a negative effect on the nutritional value of protein by dietary phytate is discussed. Consumption of phytate, however, seems not to have only negative aspects on human health. Dietary phytate was reported to prevent kidney stone formation, protect against diabetes mellitus, caries, atherosclerosis and coronary heart disease as well as against a variety of cancers. Furthermore, individual myo-inositol phosphate esters have been proposed to be metabolically active. D-myo-inositol (1, 2, 6) trisphosphate, for example, has been studied in respect to prevention of diabetes complica-tions and treatment of chronic inflammations as well as cardiovascular diseases and due to its antiangiogenic and antitumour effects myo-inositol (1, 3, 4, 5, 6) pentakis-phosphate was suggested as a promising compound for anticancer therapeutic strategies.
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