Phytates for Rehabilitating Cancer Cells

Phytates for Rehabilitating Cancer Cells
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Unlike most other anticancer agents, the phytates naturally found in whole plant foods may trigger cancer cell differentiation, causing them to revert back to behaving more like normal cells.

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Below is an approximation of this video’s audio content. To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video.

“The recent observations on phytate as an anticarcinogen…have support from [population-based] studies which show lower incidence of cancer in populations consuming vegetarian type diets.” Because phytate is found in beans, grains, nuts, and seeds, the average daily intake of phytate in vegetarian diets is about twice that of those eating mixed diets of plant and animal foods.

“Dietary phytate” has been reported to “prevent kidney stone formation, protect against diabetes, dental cavities, [heart disease] as well as against a variety of cancers.”

“Do all these potentially beneficial effects sound too good to be true?” I mean, are there other examples of compounds made by plants that can have benefits across multiple diseases? Yes. Aspirin, for example, which is actually found throughout the plant kingdom, may also account for some plant-based benefits.

But of all the things phytates can do, “[t]he anticancer activity of phytic acid [also known as phytate, also known as IP6 or inositol hexaphosphate] is [considered] one of the most important beneficial activities.”

Dietary phytates are “quickly absorbed from the [digestive] tract and rapidly taken up” by cancer cells throughout the body, and has been shown to inhibit the growth of all tested cancerous cell lines. Phytates have been shown to inhibit the growth of human leukemia cells, colon cancer cells, both estrogen receptor-positive and negative breast cancer cells, voicebox cancer, cervical cancer, prostate cancer, liver tumors, pancreatic, melanoma, and muscle cancers. All, at the same time, not affecting normal cells. That’s the “most important expectation of a good anticancer agent,” is for it to only affect cancerous cells, and leave normal cells alone. That’s what phytates appear to do.

Leukemia cells taken from cancer patients are killed by phytates. Normal bone marrow cells, however, are spared, which may explain why bean extracts kill off colon cancer cells, but seem to leave normal colon cells alone.

“Both [the] in vivo and in vitro experiments have shown striking anticancer effects…demonstrated that phytate is a broad-spectrum antineoplastic agent,” meaning antitumor agent across different cells and tissue systems.

What are the mechanisms of action by which phytates battle cancer? How do phytates fight? How don’t they fight? Look at this. Phytate targets cancer through multiple pathways, a combination of antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and immune-enhancing activities: detox, differentiation, anti-angiogenesis. In other words, phytate “affects the principal pathways of malignancy.” And, not just some of them apparently, phytate “targets and acts on all of them.”

“The antioxidative property is one of the most impressive characteristics of phytate.” In fact, that’s why the meat industry adds phytates to meat—to prevent the oxidation of fat that begins “at the moment of slaughter.”

“Besides affecting tumor cells” directly, phytates “can act on [our] immune functions” by augmenting natural killer cell activity, the cells in our body that hunt down and dispose of cancer cells, as well as neutrophils, which help form our “first line of defense.” And, then, starving tumors is more of a last line of defense. Not only can phytates block the formation of new blood vessels that may be feeding tumors, they can disrupt pre-formed capillary tubes, indicating that phytates may not only help blockade tumors, but actively cut off existing supply lines.

What’s really remarkable about phytate is that “[u]nlike…other anti-cancer agents, it not only causes a reduction in cancer cell growth, but also what’s called “enhanced differentiation”—reversion of the appearance of cancer cells back to that of normal, meaning it causes cancer cells to stop acting like cancer cells, and go back to acting like normal cells. You can see this with colon cancer cells, for example. In the presence of phytates, human colon cancer cells mature “to structurally and behaviorally resemble normal cells.” And, this has been demonstrated in leukemia cells, prostate cancer, breast cancer, and muscle cancer cells, as well.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Below is an approximation of this video’s audio content. To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video.

“The recent observations on phytate as an anticarcinogen…have support from [population-based] studies which show lower incidence of cancer in populations consuming vegetarian type diets.” Because phytate is found in beans, grains, nuts, and seeds, the average daily intake of phytate in vegetarian diets is about twice that of those eating mixed diets of plant and animal foods.

“Dietary phytate” has been reported to “prevent kidney stone formation, protect against diabetes, dental cavities, [heart disease] as well as against a variety of cancers.”

“Do all these potentially beneficial effects sound too good to be true?” I mean, are there other examples of compounds made by plants that can have benefits across multiple diseases? Yes. Aspirin, for example, which is actually found throughout the plant kingdom, may also account for some plant-based benefits.

But of all the things phytates can do, “[t]he anticancer activity of phytic acid [also known as phytate, also known as IP6 or inositol hexaphosphate] is [considered] one of the most important beneficial activities.”

Dietary phytates are “quickly absorbed from the [digestive] tract and rapidly taken up” by cancer cells throughout the body, and has been shown to inhibit the growth of all tested cancerous cell lines. Phytates have been shown to inhibit the growth of human leukemia cells, colon cancer cells, both estrogen receptor-positive and negative breast cancer cells, voicebox cancer, cervical cancer, prostate cancer, liver tumors, pancreatic, melanoma, and muscle cancers. All, at the same time, not affecting normal cells. That’s the “most important expectation of a good anticancer agent,” is for it to only affect cancerous cells, and leave normal cells alone. That’s what phytates appear to do.

Leukemia cells taken from cancer patients are killed by phytates. Normal bone marrow cells, however, are spared, which may explain why bean extracts kill off colon cancer cells, but seem to leave normal colon cells alone.

“Both [the] in vivo and in vitro experiments have shown striking anticancer effects…demonstrated that phytate is a broad-spectrum antineoplastic agent,” meaning antitumor agent across different cells and tissue systems.

What are the mechanisms of action by which phytates battle cancer? How do phytates fight? How don’t they fight? Look at this. Phytate targets cancer through multiple pathways, a combination of antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and immune-enhancing activities: detox, differentiation, anti-angiogenesis. In other words, phytate “affects the principal pathways of malignancy.” And, not just some of them apparently, phytate “targets and acts on all of them.”

“The antioxidative property is one of the most impressive characteristics of phytate.” In fact, that’s why the meat industry adds phytates to meat—to prevent the oxidation of fat that begins “at the moment of slaughter.”

“Besides affecting tumor cells” directly, phytates “can act on [our] immune functions” by augmenting natural killer cell activity, the cells in our body that hunt down and dispose of cancer cells, as well as neutrophils, which help form our “first line of defense.” And, then, starving tumors is more of a last line of defense. Not only can phytates block the formation of new blood vessels that may be feeding tumors, they can disrupt pre-formed capillary tubes, indicating that phytates may not only help blockade tumors, but actively cut off existing supply lines.

What’s really remarkable about phytate is that “[u]nlike…other anti-cancer agents, it not only causes a reduction in cancer cell growth, but also what’s called “enhanced differentiation”—reversion of the appearance of cancer cells back to that of normal, meaning it causes cancer cells to stop acting like cancer cells, and go back to acting like normal cells. You can see this with colon cancer cells, for example. In the presence of phytates, human colon cancer cells mature “to structurally and behaviorally resemble normal cells.” And, this has been demonstrated in leukemia cells, prostate cancer, breast cancer, and muscle cancer cells, as well.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Doctor's Note

This video is the second of a three-part series on phytates and cancer. If you missed it, see the first, Phytates for the Prevention of Cancer, and then the exciting conclusion, Phytates for the Treatment of Cancer.

This video reminds me of the recent one on the spice turmeric—Turmeric Curcumin Reprogramming Cancer Cell Death.

Aspirin as a phytonutrient? See Aspirin Levels in Plant Foods.

What else can we eat to improve the cancer-fighting front of our immune system? See Boosting Natural Killer Cell Activity.

More on the concept of starving tumors of their blood supply in Anti-Angiogenesis: Cutting Off Tumor Supply Lines.

Is there clinical evidence of plants actually reversing cancer progression? You won’t believe your eyes:

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