IP6 For Potential Cancer Treatment and Prevention

More than 500,000 Americans died from cancer in 2008, and millions more lost their battles against cancer worldwide despite decades of research and billions of dollars invested. It would seem with such overwhelming figures that all hope for a cure is lost, and that cancer is too powerful an opponent to be matched. That was until a seemingly ordinary scientist from the University of Maryland, Dr. Abulkalam Shamsuddin, emerged with an interesting set of hypotheses.
Shamsuddin believed that there may be, in fact, a biomolecule that could be effective in fighting cancer, particularly in the colon. This molecule, Inositol Hexophosphate (IP6), quickly gained following in the holistic medicine community. However, it gained little traction in the mainstream markets, believed to be too simplistic to have such a drastic impact. However, recent studies done by Shamsuddin and his team at the Department of Medical and Research Technology and Department of Pathology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine suggest otherwise. A separate team at the University of Colorado Cancer Center sought to see if they could provide more evidence to support or disprove Shamsuddin’s now 15-year-old beliefs.
Remarkably, each team found that IP6, especially when combined with Inositol, can help reduce and prevent cancer growth.
IP6 is classified as a polyphosphorylated carbohydrate present in almost all plant and mammalian cells. It is used primarily for regulating vital cellular functions and acts as an intracellular messenger for many primary cellular activities. Again, seemingly unremarkable and ordinary, IP6 is found in particular high concentrations in traditional food items such as cereal and legumes, as just one-half cup of whole kernel corn contains a whopping 650 mgs of IP6. Thus, because it is derived from food and not chemically engineered, IP6 has no toxic effects in the body, even at high doses.
– Scientists had previously found that IP6 increased the activity of genes that control proteins in human prostate cancer cells lacking functional p53, the gene that provides much cancer protection. The two recent studies at the University of Maryland and the University of Colorado, expanded on these findings and discovered that IP6 works as a cancer preventative on several different levels.
– IP6 helps to normalize the rate of cell growth and cell physiology which helps limit malicious gene mutations and reestablish control within the cell, thus slowing cancerous growth and existence.
– IP6 also helps enhance white blood cells in the body, whose primary function is to boost the natural immune system and kill any potential threats.
Additionally, IP6 affects two other primary cell functions, apoptosis and angiogenesis. Apoptosis is the orderly programmed process by which cells die off naturally, a process that cancerous cells try to resist. IP6 enhances this ability, which helps the body in its fight to maintain healthy surrounding tissues. Angiogenesis, instead, is the process by which tumors set up their own blood supply, to assure themselves of receiving enough nutrients necessary to grow. This assurance allows them to flourish and spread the cancer throughout the body. IP6 has been shown to inhibit this process and by starving the cancerous cells, subsequently forces their death.
Furthermore, IP6 inhibits Health Careers High School San Antonio three harmful processes:
– metastasis
– inflammation
– free radical production.
Metastasis is the spread of a disease from one organ or part of an organ to another non-adjacent organ or part of the body. IP6 stops this spread by preventing the adhesion of these cells to extra-cellular matrix proteins. Inflammation levels are one key indicator used in predicting the survival rate for a cancer patient. If too much inflammation occurs, the cells in the body will ultimately become too mutated and damaged to survive. By maintaining proper stability and inter-cell communication, IP6 halts this production. Lastly, free radicals work to damage DNA strands, which allows for a greater rate of cell mutation. Working as a powerful antioxidant, IP6 binds with the free radicals rendering them harmless.
Specifically in the prostate, researchers found that IP6 inhibited the progression of the cancer cells in the area and was highly effective in reducing adenocarcinoma. 95% of all prostate cancers are adenocarcinoma-based, meaning the cancer has developed in the lining or inner surface of the gland. With a greatly reduced adenocarcinoma rate, the cancer is much less likely to develop and spread.
In one of the studies, primary early testing was completed on rats. Rats were divided into five groups and fed a diet that contained 0 percent, 5 percent, 10 percent or 20 percent Kelloggs’ All-Bran cereal; a fifth group received 0.4 percent IP6 in their drinking water; an amount equal to 20 percent bran. After 29 weeks, they found that in the 5 to 20 percent bran cereal groups, tumor incidence decreased 11 to 17 percent. However, rats that were given IP6 in their water had an even lower incidence of tumor formation. In fact, drinking IP6 seemed to work twice as well as eating the high-bran foods.
IP6 is not just a cancer preventative– it has other beneficial health benefits such as inhibiting kidney stone formation and reducing the risk of developing cardiovascular disease. In addition, further research has shown its potential for treatment of diabetes, depression, osteoporosis, heart disease, and even Parkinson’s disease. Further studies confirm that the combination of IP-6 with Inositol yields much greater effects than IP-6 alone.
While the molecular mechanisms underlying this anticancer action are not still fully understood, these two studies further show the potentially life-changing effects IP6 can offer. Even Dr. Shamsuddin admits that more research needs to be done before more specific dosage recommendations are given, but he stresses the importance of consuming a sufficient daily dose of IP6 through a combination of supplements and cereals, rice, wheat bran, and other legumes.
Dosages suggested by Dr. Shamsuddin:
– Individuals with greater risk for cancer should take Emerging Public Health Threats at least 4 grams daily as a preventative measure.
– If you have already been diagnosed with cancer, a recommended dosage is a minimum 8 grams daily. This will not only give you the benefits explained earlier, but can prove to be even more effective when used in combination with other treatment options such as chemotherapy.
While cancer remains a major health problem in the United States and in other developed countries, with the emergence of IP6, a hope for a cure may be closer than we think.