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IP6 & Inositol in Cancer Prevention and Therapy

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Inositol and its phosphorylated form - inositol hexaphosphate (IP6) are naturally occurring carbohydrates, abundantly found in certain high-fiber diets, such as cereals and legumes. They, as well as other inositol phosphates with fewer phosphate groups (IP1-5) are contained in almost all mammalian cells, although in much smaller amounts, where they are important in regulating vital cellular functions. A striking anticancer action of IP6 was demonstrated in different experimental models. Although inositol possesses a modest anticancer activity, the most consistent and best anticancer results were obtained from the combination of Inositol + IP6. In addition to reducing cell proliferation, IP6 increases differentiation of malignant cells, often resulting in reversion to normal phenotype with decreasing production of tumor markers such as CEA, PSAP, and AFP. Exogenously administered IP6 is rapidly taken into the cells and dephosphorylated to lower inositol phosphates, which further affect signal transduction pathways resulting in cell cycle arrest. Enhanced immunity and antioxidant properties also contribute to tumor cell destruction. Because it is abundantly present in regular diet, efficiently absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract, and safe, Inositol + IP6 holds great promise in our strategies for both prevention and therapy of cancer. Inositol + IP6 enhances the anticancer effect of conventional chemotherapy, controls cancer metastases, and improves the quality of life, as shown in pilot clinical studies. Emerging clinical and rather vast amount of laboratory data accumulated so far strongly suggest its role either as an adjuvant or as an "alternative" to current chemotherapy for cancer. In addition to cancer, Inositol + IP6 has great potential in prevention of kidney stones, diabetic complications and atherosclerotic cardiovascular diseases, ailments that afflict people throughout the world.
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Keywords: cancer prevention; cancer treatment; differentiation; inocell; phytic acid

Document Type: Review Article

Affiliations: University of Maryland School of Medicine, Department of Pathology, 10 Pine Street, Room 700, Baltimore, MD 21201-1116, USA.

Publication date: 2005-11-01

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  • Current Cancer Therapy Reviews publishes frontier reviews on all the latest advances in clinical oncology, cancer therapy and pharmacology. The journal's aim is to publish the highest quality review articles dedicated to clinical research in the field. The journal is essential reading for all researchers and clinicians in cancer therapy.
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