16

votes

Are phytates/phytic acid no longer an issue?

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created November 29, 2011 at 5:57 PM

See "Is phytate really a problem?" by Lucas Tafur:

http://www.lucastafur.com/2011/10/is-phytate-really-problem.html

"The dangers of phytic acid have been overestimated. Contrary to popular the paleo belief, phytic acid might be beneficial in small doses and might have anticancer effects. As seen with gluten degradation by Rothia species, the phytase activity present in some exclusive human Bifidobacteria shows that adaptation to wheat/grains is indeed happening. Once again, the microbiota plays a dominant role.

"From epidemiological data, foods with high phytate content are not associated with increased risks for several chronic diseases. As association doesnt means causation, we cannot conclude that whole-grains are healthy but we cant also conclude that whole-grains are unhealthy. With the increasing attention to paleolithic and similar diets, it is of utmost importance that all evidence is critically analyzed and reviewed. Making unsupported statements and cherry-picking data would only cause rejection by scientists. Dogma is not good in science (or in anything else, for that matter)."

Gads, I hate to even bring this up and add more to the general confusion, but I would appreciate your thoughts (especially the thoughts that are well backed up).

Edit:

Thought I would add this, since many of you will not click on the link and read the whole thing (I recommend the comments, especially the exchange between our very own Travis and Lucas).

"I dont recommend whole-grains and legumes because there are foods more nutritious, as well as because whole-grains and legumes are very high in carbohydrates. The potential benefits of phytate can be obtained by eating other phytate rich foods, such as nuts and cocoa; as well as soluble fiber and oligosaccharides as the main dietary fiber type. The problem with high levels of phytate is only relevant when the diet is deficient in micronutrients and essential food sources. Finally, maintaining a proper gut flora is essential for phytic acid metabolism and adequate mineral absorption."

14b8422e9b449a21e06fa3349953d4f7

(220)

on August 06, 2013
at 01:36 AM

The benefits of paleo come from the elimination of processed foods, sugar, and industrial oils. Whole grains that are prepared the correct way are a fairly nutrient dense food, but as people say, still not nearly as nutrient dense as animal products

68655ec9711d207d69a63ebf96b37573

on June 30, 2013
at 04:14 PM

What is the rational behind drinking so much water? I eat when I'm hungry, I drink when I'm thirsty. I don't really think people in the paleolithic would have spent their day next to the waterhole, drinking excess water just for shits and giggles

Medium avatar

(10611)

on June 30, 2013
at 03:00 PM

Grain is certainly a NAD. But the effect is seen mainly when grain is overeaten to the point of obesity.

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on November 30, 2011
at 11:28 AM

In the footsteps of the Kraken! I just hate it when I have to re-evaluate what I think I know. But thanks for making me think. And it's still not an excuse to plow into the Wonder bread. But I can be slightly less afraid of nuts and dark chocolate.

1f8384be58052b6b96f476e475abdc74

(2231)

on November 30, 2011
at 01:28 AM

this is the most level headed response i think i have ever read on here

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on November 29, 2011
at 08:39 PM

I don't know if I buy the whole phytates don't matter because we have gut microbes break phytates down liberating bound metals. This breakdown has to occur in a segment of our GI tract prior to the segment where mineral absorption takes place. Unfortunately most beneficial gut bacteria are found too far into the GI tract and beyond the regions where we can absorb nutrients they produce.

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on November 29, 2011
at 06:58 PM

I agree about the comments. They are actually the best part and I must say this guy is trying to be very logical. At the end, when he talked about oral and gut flora and the effects of antibiotics he gained much more of my attention.

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on November 29, 2011
at 06:57 PM

I agree about the comments. They are actually the best part and I must say this guy is trying to be very logical. At the end, when he talked about oral and gut behavior and the effects of antibiotics he gained much more of my attention.

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on November 29, 2011
at 06:55 PM

I saw that, Dave, and it does provoke thought. I can blame my gut! It's not my fault! :-))

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on November 29, 2011
at 06:43 PM

Blame my tastebuds; the only grain I'm interested in is wheat. I also like corn and I'm not aware of it causing problems for me but I don't digest it (yes, comes out mostly untouched) so I avoid it too.

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on November 29, 2011
at 06:36 PM

I would ask that you look at this post as well: http://www.lucastafur.com/2011/10/rothia-to-rescue.html He is suggesting that if your oral and gut bacteria are working properly both gluten/gliadin and phytate are broken down and do not cause problems.

Aebee51dc2b93b209980a89fa4a70c1e

(1982)

on November 29, 2011
at 06:27 PM

You can eat grains, or bread, without eating wheat glutens.

  • A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

    asked by

    (20436)
  • Views
    9.5K
  • Last Activity
    1407D AGO
Frontpage book

Get FREE instant access to our Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!

7 Answers

best answer

18
68f2734a5078a7106f560a7079df45fd

on November 30, 2011
at 01:11 AM

raydawg said:

Since we know that grains such as wheat cause leaky gut and therefore autoimmune issues, the statement that "but we cant also conclude that whole-grains are unhealthy" is clearly incorrect.

This theory is too simplistic to explain the overall evidence. There is a tendency to discard studies which contradict the common dogma (grains are evil) and support studies which support the dogma. This happens in nearly every science field. In the paleosphere, epidemiological studies are seen as useless. This is completely wrong. Epidemiology doesnt tell us causation, but gives us facts that should be addressed directly.

If grains were in fact, the main root of all evil, we should expect to see increased risk of inflammatory diseases in people eating more grains. The same for autoimmune diseases. Epidemiological data suggests that there is no increased risk, and sometimes, there is even lower risk of certain diseases. There is in fact, many people who eat a heavy grain diet and are healthy. Many people have no problems digesting grains and show no signs of intestinal damage.

Certainly, grains are problematic. But this is mostly because of inflammation. In an inflammatory condition, grains aggraviate the problem. In the absence of chronic inflammation, a small amount of grains is perfectly fine, but should not be the base of the diet. Compared to animal foods, grains are nutritionally poor.

1f8384be58052b6b96f476e475abdc74

(2231)

on November 30, 2011
at 01:28 AM

this is the most level headed response i think i have ever read on here

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on November 30, 2011
at 11:28 AM

In the footsteps of the Kraken! I just hate it when I have to re-evaluate what I think I know. But thanks for making me think. And it's still not an excuse to plow into the Wonder bread. But I can be slightly less afraid of nuts and dark chocolate.

14b8422e9b449a21e06fa3349953d4f7

(220)

on August 06, 2013
at 01:36 AM

The benefits of paleo come from the elimination of processed foods, sugar, and industrial oils. Whole grains that are prepared the correct way are a fairly nutrient dense food, but as people say, still not nearly as nutrient dense as animal products

7
7d64d3988de1b0e493aacf37843c5596

(2861)

on November 29, 2011
at 06:49 PM

To a certain degree, phytates (and lectins) are just rationalizations of why grains are bad. The thing is, nuts are high in phytates, and even some seafood has lectins. We don???t really know why grains have correlated with poorer health, but we have come up with various potential mechanisms. Some people focus on the proteins like gluten.

I don???t think it is ever been clear to what degree phytates and lectins affect health outcomes; most of the talk has been about specific potential mechanisms, not overall outcomes.

Also, according to Dr. Harris's terminology, wheat is a NAD, but not phytic acid or even all grains, so to some degree phytates were never really that big of an issue to begin with.

I think in actually applying the Paleo principle and in picking foods to eat it might be better to look at the whole food.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on June 30, 2013
at 03:00 PM

Grain is certainly a NAD. But the effect is seen mainly when grain is overeaten to the point of obesity.

4
32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on November 29, 2011
at 07:15 PM

A lot of things in the paleo movement make sense initially, but then when you take a closer look or try to get the big picture, it seems that what we initially thought and supported is less and less certain. Low carbohydrate paleo is one. I think phytates and other anti-nutrients are going to be next.

2
96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on November 29, 2011
at 06:18 PM

This question provokes a range of emotions for me. I applaud your courage for asking this question!

There's the wistful longing for having eggs on toast again, my favorite breakfast since I was a toddler.

There's the shudder from the last time I ate foods that included wheat and got SO sick--if it wasn't the wheat, what was it? It wasn't the sugar because my BG is fine.

It will take a lot of evidence plus clarification of why I have problems before I gather enough nerve to try again.

EDIT: I will concede it's plausible that I can't tolerate wheat because I have the wrong gut flora; I'm not saying it's true, just plausible.

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on November 29, 2011
at 06:43 PM

Blame my tastebuds; the only grain I'm interested in is wheat. I also like corn and I'm not aware of it causing problems for me but I don't digest it (yes, comes out mostly untouched) so I avoid it too.

Aebee51dc2b93b209980a89fa4a70c1e

(1982)

on November 29, 2011
at 06:27 PM

You can eat grains, or bread, without eating wheat glutens.

2
96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84

(19463)

on November 29, 2011
at 06:10 PM

I suppose phytates are wonderful if you're overdosing on magnesium, potassium, etc. :) Other than that... I highly doubt it. In terms of "small doses," if you eat nuts/seeds, they contain phytates also.

Since we know that grains such as wheat cause leaky gut and therefore autoimmune issues, the statement that "but we cant also conclude that whole-grains are unhealthy" is clearly incorrect.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on November 29, 2011
at 08:39 PM

I don't know if I buy the whole phytates don't matter because we have gut microbes break phytates down liberating bound metals. This breakdown has to occur in a segment of our GI tract prior to the segment where mineral absorption takes place. Unfortunately most beneficial gut bacteria are found too far into the GI tract and beyond the regions where we can absorb nutrients they produce.

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on November 29, 2011
at 06:36 PM

I would ask that you look at this post as well: http://www.lucastafur.com/2011/10/rothia-to-rescue.html He is suggesting that if your oral and gut bacteria are working properly both gluten/gliadin and phytate are broken down and do not cause problems.

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on November 29, 2011
at 06:55 PM

I saw that, Dave, and it does provoke thought. I can blame my gut! It's not my fault! :-))

1
Medium avatar

(10611)

on June 30, 2013
at 07:10 PM

Oops nevermind........

0
0e3870aa91461904091ccecc96505b89

(0)

on June 30, 2013
at 12:33 PM

it is said that death begins in the Colon and I would go as far as to say death begins with the degradation of the whole digestive system. If your system is not healthy, (stomach not producing enough acid), not enough good flora and so on, then eventually no matter what you eat problems will follow.

It makes no sense that these natural products that nature gave us were not meant to be consumed. I think the bigger issue probably lies with the fact that we do not drink enough water and do not consume raw salt (specifically sea salt) and finally our balance of Omega 6 to omega 3 acids is out of sync. Nothing causes more inflammation then when this ratio is out of balance. Ideally you the balance should be 1 to 1 but if one is healthy (which most of us are not) then you can push it to 1 omega 3 for every 3 omega 6. Modern diets lack raw sea salts, we consume more coffee which is a diuretic, we drink less than half the water we need (we think sodas, coffee, teas, etc are good enough replacements, they are not) and we consume way too much omega 6 acids. The average American ratio of omega 6 to omega 3 is 20-1 sometimes higher.

Simple recipe

Drink half your body weight in water (divide your weight in pounds by half and that number will tell you how many ounces you need to drink a day). Spread it throughout the day. For example if you are 180 pounds, you need to drink 90 ounces (roughly 11 8 ounce cups a day)

You need to drink every 16 ounces with 1/8 of TSP of sea salt (Celtic raw unprocessed sea salt is one good example)

Next stop using all commercially produced vegetables oils. The only oils you should use are coconut, olive (not for frying) and flax seed oil. Flax seed oil should be taken 3 times a day (1 Tbsp) it will help restore the Omega 3 to omega 6 ratio

Avoid all margarine, hydrogenated fat like the plague. Try your best to use only raw butter if you can, if you cannot use organic butter.

Cut down all milk consumption unless its raw milk. But you can eat a lot of eggs (organic or free range). I eat 6 a day and my cholesterol is prefect and so are my triglycerides.

Finally the following supplements will help.

Magnesium citrate 450mg, Potassium citrate 100-200mg (more if you are low on it), b6 (100mg a day and also take the B complex combo), Liquid chlorophyll (desouza's is a good brand 1 oz 2-3 times a day).

Once you are in good health you can eat whatever you want in moderation.

I know individuals who are in their 90's an some close to hitting the 100 mark that never had any issues regardless of what they ate. If you ask gerontologists they have not found any marker in any diet that has pointed to individuals who live past 90. These individuals mostly have a balanced diet, have low stress and have a positive outlook on life.

68655ec9711d207d69a63ebf96b37573

on June 30, 2013
at 04:14 PM

What is the rational behind drinking so much water? I eat when I'm hungry, I drink when I'm thirsty. I don't really think people in the paleolithic would have spent their day next to the waterhole, drinking excess water just for shits and giggles

Answer Question


Get FREE instant access to our
Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!