IP6--a cure for cancer?
Question: I recently listed to part of a radio interview with a cancer researcher talking about touting something called IP-6 as a natural cure for cancer. What can you tell me about this substance?
Answer: (Dr. Michael Murray) I believe you probably heard an interview with A. K. M. Shamsuddin, M.D., Ph.D., Professor of Pathology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. Dr. Shamsuddin is the world-renowned expert on IP-6 which is short for inositol hexaphosphate. Cure might be too strong of a word to use to describe IP-6, but it certainly is extremely promising.
IP-6 is found in whole grains and beans, but is absorbed much better when it is taken on its own in pill form. IP6 is a natural anti-oxidant. It has anti-tumor function and enhances our body's natural resistance against cancer by stimulating the immune system.
In animal experiments, Ip-6 has demonstrated impressive effects in preventing and reversing cancer. Unfortunately there are no studies with IP-6 in humans with cancer. Even so, based on its safety (it is completely non-toxic) and possible benefit, I am recommending IP-6 to my patients with cancer. Why would I elect to prescribe IP-6 before clinical documentation exists? What we know about IP-6 at present is that it is a relatively inexpensive natural substance that poses absolutely no health risk, yet holds the promise of being a real answer to one of the most deadly diseases on this planet - cancer. There is no downside and based on the work of Dr. Shamsuddin and others the potential upside is enormous.
It is certainly in our patient's best interest to give them the opportunity to experience the possibility that IP-6 promises. Unlike many of the other natural substances often promoted to cancer patients, I believe that IP-6 offers real hope.
Extrapolation of data from animal studies to human suggests that for the otherwise normal healthy individuals, a total daily amount of 1 - 2 g of IP6 should be sufficient supplement to the diet. For individuals with a high risk for cancer or cardiovascular disease, kidney stone, fatty liver etc., this amount should be doubled. And finally for treatment of existing cancer, Dr. Shamsuddin suggests even high dosages.