Ask EN

April 2004 Issue

From Antinutrient to Phytonutrient: Phytic Acid Gains Respect

Q. I’ve heard that phytic acid interferes with the body’s ability to absorb important minerals. Now I see it sold as a supplement in the health food store. Is it one and the same?

A. Yes. Phytate or phytic acid has long been considered a nutrition “bad guy.” However, new research from animal and test tube experiments has shown that phytate also functions as an antioxidant and may actually play more of a protective role in health.

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