Phytic acid (known as inositol hexakisphosphate (IP6), or phytate when in salt form) is the principal storage form of phosphorus in many plant tissues, especially bran and seeds. Phytate is not digestable to humans or non-ruminant animals, however, so it is not a source of either inositol or phosphate if eaten directly. Morever, it chelates and thus makes unabsorbable certain important minor minerals such as zinc and iron, and to a lesser extent, also macro minerals such as calcium and magnesium.
According to the American Cancer Society, scientists have found IP-6 can sometimes slow the growth of tumor cells in petri dishes. There is also evidence to suggest it may help prevent tumors from forming in specific organs in lab animals. At present, however, researchers do not know if it exhibits similar effects in humans. Moreover, high levels of dietary phytate can potentially bind and lock up certain minerals like calcium and zinc, preventing the body from absorbing them. It is recommended that if IP6 is taken as a supplement is should not be water and no food on an empty stomach since metals chelated in the stomach.