Inositol hexa phosphoric acid (phytic acid), a nutraceuticals, attenuates iron-induced oxidative stress and alleviates liver injury in iron overloaded mice

Biomed Pharmacother. 2017 Mar;87:443-450. doi: 10.1016/j.biopha.2016.12.125. Epub 2017 Jan 6.


Inositol hexa phosphoric acid (IP6) or Phytic acid, a natural antioxidant of some leguminous plants, known to act as a protective agent for seed storage in plants by suppressing iron catalyzed oxidative process. Following the same mechanism, we have tested the effect of IP6 on iron overloaded in vitro oxidative stress, and studied it's in vivo hepatoprotective ability in iron-dextran (injection)-induced iron overloaded liver injury in mice (intraperitoneal). Our results showed that IP6 had in vitro iron chelation (IC50 38.4μg/ml) activity, with the inhibition of iron-induced lipid peroxidation (IC50 552μg/ml), and deoxyribose sugar degrading hydroxyl radicals (IC50 448.6μg/ml). Oral administration of IP6 (0-200mg/kg) revealed significant decrease in biochemical markers such as serum iron, total iron binding, serum ferritin and serum enzymes. Histopathology of liver stained with hematoxylin-eosin and Prussian blue showed reduced hepatocellular necrosis, ballooning and inflammation, indicating the restoration of normal cellular integrity. Interestingly, the IP6 was found to down-regulate the mRNA expression of tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α, Interleukin (IL)-1β, and IL-6 in iron overloaded liver tissues. Thus, we provide an insight that IP6, a natural food component, can serve as an iron chelator against iron overload diseases like Thalassemia, and also as a dietary hepatoprotective supplement.

Keywords: Anti-inflammatory; Anti-oxidant; Dietary supplement; Inositol hexaphosphoric acid; Serum ferritin; Thalassemia.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antioxidants / pharmacology
  • Chemical and Drug Induced Liver Injury / drug therapy*
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Down-Regulation / drug effects
  • Inositol / pharmacology*
  • Interleukin-1beta / metabolism
  • Interleukin-6 / metabolism
  • Iron / adverse effects*
  • Iron Overload / drug therapy*
  • Iron Overload / metabolism
  • Lipid Peroxidation / drug effects
  • Liver / drug effects
  • Liver / metabolism
  • Mice
  • Oxidation-Reduction / drug effects
  • Oxidative Stress / drug effects*
  • Phosphoric Acids / pharmacology*
  • Phytic Acid / pharmacology*
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology
  • Protective Agents / pharmacology
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / metabolism


  • Antioxidants
  • Interleukin-1beta
  • Interleukin-6
  • Phosphoric Acids
  • Plant Extracts
  • Protective Agents
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha
  • Inositol
  • Phytic Acid
  • Iron
  • phosphoric acid