The Other Side of Phytates: Episode 279

Phytates have gotten a bad reputation as "anti-nutrients." But if you're going out of your way to avoid them, you could be missing out on important health benefits. Nutrition Diva reports.

Monica Reinagel, MS, LD/N, CNS
2-minute read
Episode #279

Sponsor: This episode is brought to you by NatureBox. Discover smarter snacking with a new NatureBox each month. Get 50% off your first box when you go to NatureBox.com/qdt.

Many people have started soaking and sprouting their dried beans, nuts, and grains in an effort to remove or reduce the amount of phytic acid they contain. The concern is that the phytates in these foods will interfere with the absorption of calcium, iron, and other minerals.

Not only is this probably unnecessary, but these folks could be missing out on important benefits. This week, I discuss several ways that phytates protect your health, such as:

I also have some advice on how to balance the pros and cons of phytate-rich foods in your diet. Just click the Play button in the upper right hand corner to listen to the show, or click on the links above to go straight to the topics that interest you.

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Benefits of a Varied Diet


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Schlemmer U, Frølich W, et al. Phytate in foods and significance for humans: food sources, intake, processing, bioavailability, protective role and analysis. Mol Nutr Food Res. 2009 Sep;53 Suppl 2:S330-75. 

López-González AA, Grases F, et al. Protective effect of myo-inositol hexaphosphate (phytate) on bone mass loss in postmenopausal women. Eur J Nutr. 2013 Mar;52(2):717-26. 

Arriero Mdel M, Ramis JM, et al. Inositol hexakisphosphate inhibits osteoclastogenesis on RAW 264.7 cells and human primary osteoclasts. PLoS One. 2012;7(8):e43187.

Vucenik I, Shamsuddin AM. Protection against cancer by dietary IP6 and inositol. Nutr Cancer. 2006;55(2):109-25. 

Bacić I, Druzijanić N, et al. Efficacy of IP6 + inositol in the treatment of breast cancer patients receiving chemotherapy: prospective, randomized, pilot clinical study. J Exp Clin Cancer Res. 2010.

Lanza E, Hartman TJ, et al. High dry bean intake and reduced risk of advanced colorectal adenoma recurrence among participants in the polyp prevention trial. J Nutr. 2006 Jul;136(7):1896-903. 

About the Author

Monica Reinagel, MS, LD/N, CNS

Monica Reinagel is a board-certified licensed nutritionist, author, and the creator of one of iTunes' most highly ranked health and fitness podcasts. Her advice is regularly featured on the TODAY show, Dr. Oz, NPR, and in the nation's leading newspapers, magazines, and websites. Do you have a nutrition question? Call the Nutrition Diva listener line at 443-961-6206. Your question could be featured on the show.