Until recently, most published reports on phytic acid (myo-inositol hexaphosphoric acid, IP6) have focused on the possible decreased mineral bioavailability. Because myo-inositol is known to function as a lipotropic factor, studies in my laboratory were conducted to investigate whether dietary IP6 also reduces excessive liver lipids. Male Wistar rats were fed sucrose or corn starch diets, supplemented with myo-inositol or IP6 for 12-14 days. Equimolar myo-inositol and IP6 similarly depressed the rises in hepatic levels of lipids and in hepatic activities of lipogenic enzymes due to sucrose feeding. However, dietary myo-inositol and phytate did not prevent orotic acid-induced hepatic lipid accumulation, which is known to be caused by severe inhibition of hepatic lipoprotein secretion. These results suggest that myo-inositol and phytate might both protect against fatty liver resulting from elevated hepatic lipogenesis.