Phytic acid is phosphorus stores in nuts, edible seeds, beans/legumes, and grains. It is often referred to as anti-nutrient. Phytates (phytic acid) have been shown to decrease absorption of minerals, including iron, calcium, zinc and manganese. Phytates decrease the absorption by binding to the minerals before their uptake in the stomach and intestines. 5-10mg of phytic acid can decrease iron absorption by 50%. 1 This research done on non-WLS patients but is something to be aware of if you are having iron deficiency anemia or low calcium issues.
There are ways to combat the effects of phytic acid such as heat, soaking, fermenting, Vitamin C, protein, probiotics, and sprouting. 2
Phytic acid has many benefits such as preventing kidney stones, anti cancer effects, cardiovascular health protectant, binding with heavy metals and free radicals. It becomes an antioxidant and is a secondary messenger in cellular activity.
Phytate intake is something to be looked at if you are experiencing iron or calcium deficiencies.Adjusting your intake of phytates containing foods, combining them with high Vitamin C containing food items, and/or prepping them before consumption can decrease the mineral binding capacity. It would also be prudent to be aware of the timing between eating phytic acid containing foods and any vitamin or mineral supplementation.
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