Phytic Acid and Its Health Hazard

Phytic Acid and Its Health Hazard

Phytic Acid and its health hazards

Fig: Structure of Phytic Acid

Phytic acid technically known as the inositol polyphosphate was discovered in the 1903 A.D.  This is the saturated cyclic compound with phosphorous, hydrogen, oxygen and cyclo-hexane. Phytic acid has a strong binding affinity to important minerals, such as calcium, iron, and zinc, although the binding of calcium with phytic acid is pH-dependent. The binding of phytic acid with iron is more complex, although there certainly is a strong binding affinity, molecules like phenols and tannins also influence the binding. When iron and zinc bind to phytic acid they form insoluble precipitate and are far less absorbable in the intestines. This process can therefore contribute to iron and zinc deficiencies in people whose diets rely on these foods for their mineral intake, such as those in developing countries and vegetarians. Contrary to that, one study correlated decreased osteoporosis risk with phytic acid consumption. It also acts as an acid, chelating the vitamin niacin, the deficiency of which is known as pellagra. 
The major source of phytic acid are barley, legumes, finger millet etc. The best natural way of reduction of phytic acid is the soak till some grains begin to sprout. This is the best natural way of reduction of phytic acid. 

fig: Pellagra

Abhishek Khadka
M. Tech Food Technology
Central Campus of Technology



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