Wednesday, May 25, 2011

"Phytic Acid Good or Bad?"

Phytic acid is stealing your minerals
"A Review of Food Science"  Wow.  I guess there really is a web page for everything now.

This is a pretty cool page, actually, although since starting to eat paleo I don't eat much grains or beans, but I am a big macadamia nut fan.

The author is selling a white paper on how to reduce phytic acid in foods which may be of interesting to you. Seems steep at $11.97, but there you go.

From Wikipedia:

"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.[1] Phytate is not digestible to humans or nonruminant 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.

"...This process can therefore contribute to mineral deficiencies in people whose diets rely on these foods for their mineral intake, such as those in developing countries.[10][11] Contrary to that, one study correlated decreased osteoporosis risk with phytic acid consumption.[12] It also acts as an acid, chelating the vitamin niacin, the deficiency of which is known as pellagra.[13] In this regard, it is an antinutrient, despite its possible therapeutic effects (see below). For people with a particularly low intake of essential minerals, especially those in developing countries, this effect can be undesirable."
By "developing countries", they're being polite.  Poor people is developing countries are pretty much vegetarian, because they're too poor to afford much meat, so they often suffer from typical vitamin deficiencies, as grains don't give up their minerals too easily.