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Iron, Phytic Acid, Longevity, and Health

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created November 28, 2011 at 10:11 PM

I've seen posts about phytic acid - with people arguing both points. People seem to almost unanimously denounce phytic acid, but others cite sources and have some agreement that any method to control long term iron aborbtion would be beneficial to long-term health (like how the Japanese eat rice and drink tea, other cultures drink coffee): http://paleohacks.com/questions/67953/iron-in-meat-a-factor-for-inflammation-and-aging#axzz1exisMj4g

Obviously giving blood is a way to do this. But also, i think this is a truly legitimate question considering the source above:

Is phytic acid healthy and beneficial for humans?

Other reactions to this point above?

Ec7cb2a7a68655954a01f03e95be1383

(1453)

on September 07, 2013
at 01:28 AM

I don't think phytic acid is necessarily healthy but I am quite sure that excess iron is toxic and leads to degenerative diseases. This is one of the most important topics which is almost completely ignored in the paleosphere. I think figuring out how to minimize iron absorption on a paleo diet must be considered before going on a long term paleo diet and this question must be asked by any legitimate researcher.

96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84

(19413)

on November 29, 2011
at 07:08 PM

I've never seen any evidence that cyanide can kill people either, having eating the one or two random apple seeds occasionally. Doesn't mean I'm stupid enough to consume them regularly.

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5 Answers

5
Da3d4a6835c0f5256b2ef829b3ba3393

on November 29, 2011
at 01:56 AM

Don Matesz has an interesting take on it:

http://donmatesz.blogspot.com/2011/10/phytate-facts.html

"I have never seen any evidence that dietary phytate causes mineral deficiencies except in the context of overall poor quality diet, such as people attempting to live on diets composed entirely of unleavened grains and legume flours without adequate intake of vegetables, fruits, and other mineral sources"

96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84

(19413)

on November 29, 2011
at 07:08 PM

I've never seen any evidence that cyanide can kill people either, having eating the one or two random apple seeds occasionally. Doesn't mean I'm stupid enough to consume them regularly.

3
Cfc7dee889a66db9cd76c4f348109294

on November 29, 2011
at 01:15 AM

Some literature, mostly animal studies, tout the anti-cancer properties of phytic acid: http://jn.nutrition.org/content/133/11/3778S.long.

While many studies say ip6 from phytic acid can't be digested, this says the opposite:

"Contrary to the dogma and skepticism at that time, we showed that IP6 is taken up by malignant cells (21) and that orally administered IP6 can reach target tumor tissue distant from the gastrointestinal tract (22). Because of the highly charged nature of IP6, it was a common misconception that it could not be transported into the cells."

Some correlation between high iron and colon cancer: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11396694,

Iron chelation therapy from phytic acid can help with excess of certain mineral overloads. http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/ben/cmc/2003/00000010/00000012/art00005

Here's my take. The verdict is still out on phytic acid, but depending on your needs, you may be better avoiding it-if you have bone loss, or low iron for instance. However, if you have high iron, maybe you might be okay with it in some amounts. I think ultimately it will come down to ratios of specific minerals. Also, if you are eating nuts on a paleo diet, you will be consuming a high amount of phytic acid.

Mat Lalonde eat black beans and I think Travis on this site says he might be OK with beans/legumes as long as they are eaten separately from other foods like meats.

2
64433a05384cd9717c1aa6bf7e98b661

(15236)

on November 29, 2011
at 01:48 AM

As someone with relatively high ferratin (around 150, which is lab 'normal' but too high for optimal health in my opinion), I actually eat rice or drink some tea with my meat on purpose sometimes. Before I lose my paleohacks license, I would say I eat rice less than once a week.

I give blood somewhat regularly but that hasn't done much to lower my ferratin levels. I eat around half pound of meat/day and used to consume very little phytic acid so this is my current experiment.

1
9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on November 29, 2011
at 02:39 AM

To clarify what Anonymous Chump posted from Don, most of the studies on Phytic acid having a negative effect are in the context of women during the childbearing years and children in poor countries with low-quality diets. And by low-quality I mean too low in calories and very reliant on a single often-questionable grain like millet. I think people with digestive issues , woman who are pregnant/menstruating/nursing/menopausing, and young children are the only people who really need to worry about phytic acid levels. For many men, particularly of certain ethnicities, it can be a positive thing.

0
368568eb91f1b58d2f52c9c566d331b5

(182)

on November 29, 2011
at 03:27 PM

Phytic acid doesn't make my list of things to worry about. I know what foods confound/interfere with nutrient absorption, so I make certain I don't take my supplements when consuming them.

As far as iron, I was surprised to see that iron isn't listed on my blood work.. I have no idea where mine is at. As someone who was anemic as a child I probably should know that.

I noticed on the blood donations thread that Dr Rowe states "there must be enough protein in the diet to sequester iron". Anyone know what that means? I was under the impression that the heme iron in meats was the problem here (paleo/primal diet).

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