Phytic acid. A natural antioxidant

J Biol Chem. 1987 Aug 25;262(24):11647-50.


The catalysis by iron of radical formation and subsequent oxidative damage has been well documented. Although many iron-chelating agents potentiate reactive oxygen formation and lipid peroxidation, phytic acid (abundant in edible legumes, cereals, and seeds) forms an iron chelate which greatly accelerates Fe2+-mediated oxygen reduction yet blocks iron-driven hydroxyl radical generation and suppresses lipid peroxidation. Furthermore, high concentrations of phytic acid prevent browning and putrefaction of various fruits and vegetables by inhibiting polyphenol oxidase. These observations indicate an important antioxidant function for phytate in seeds during dormancy and suggest that phytate may be a substitute for presently employed preservatives, many of which pose potential health hazards.

MeSH terms

  • Adenosine Diphosphate / pharmacology
  • Antioxidants / metabolism*
  • Catechol Oxidase / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Chemical Phenomena
  • Chemistry
  • Ferrous Compounds / pharmacology
  • Food Preservation
  • Hydroxides
  • Hydroxyl Radical
  • Iron / metabolism
  • Oxidation-Reduction
  • Oxygen Consumption / drug effects
  • Phytic Acid / metabolism*


  • Antioxidants
  • Ferrous Compounds
  • Hydroxides
  • Hydroxyl Radical
  • Adenosine Diphosphate
  • Phytic Acid
  • Iron
  • Catechol Oxidase