The feasibility of a diet which enhances inositol availability

Main Article Content

Ramona Frida Moroni
Emanuela Cazzaniga
Paola Palestini
Michele Sculati


diet, insulin-resistance, myo-inositol, phytic acid


Background: Supplementation of myo-inositol has proved effective in different pathological conditions associated with insulin-resistance, including polycystic ovary syndrome, diabetes, gestational diabetes, and metabolic syndrome. At the same time, dietary habits in developed countries tend to reduce inositol intake, due to reduced consumption of whole grain foods, legumes, and nuts, rich in phytic acid, the main source of inositol.

Aim: The review aims at providing a collection of foods with high phytic acid content to be used for diets that can make available as much inositol as is obtained from nutritional supplements commonly present in the market.

Methods: An extensive review concerning the phytic acid content of foods was obtained from literature; furthermore, we designed an exemplifying phytic acid rich diet in by means of a specific nutritional software.

Results: Foods with high phytic acid content are: cereals (0.04-3.3% on the dry matter), legumes (0.2-2.4%), oil seeds (0.4-5.7%), and nuts (0.2-9.4%). A moderate amount of phytic acid has been found in root vegetables, tubers and fruits, while low levels are found in the leafy green vegetables. Using these data, we developed an example of weekly diet which provides a mean phytic acid content of 5 g/1660Kcal.

Conclusions: This study shows that it is possible to increase phytic acid intake, and consequently inositol availability, by means of an appropriate diet as a complementary treatment to dietary supplements. In people who regularly consume fruits and vegetables, the gut microbiota efficiently degrades phytic acid to myo-inositol phosphate products, therefore this diet could be proposed to patients with increased inositol needs, such as those suffering from polycystic ovary syndrome and in insulin resistance.


Download data is not yet available.
Abstract 7 | PDF Downloads 0


1. Bizzarri M, Fuso A, Dinicola S et al. Pharmacodynamics and pharmacokinetics of inositol(s) in health and disease. Expert Opin Drug Metab Toxicol 2016;12:1181-1196.
2. Winegrad AI. Banting lecture 1986. Does a common mechanism induce the diverse complications of diabetes?. Diabetes 1987;36:396-406.
3. Chang HG. Mechanisms Underlying the Abnormal Inositol Metabolisms in Diabetes Mellitus. ResearchSpace@Auckland 2011.
4. Dinicola S, Minini M, Unfer V et al. Nutritional and Acquired Deficiencies in Inositol Bioavailability. Correlations with Metabolic Disorders. Int J Mol Sci 2017;18:10.3390/ijms18102187.
5. Croze ML, Vella RE, Pillon NJ et al. Chronic treatment with myo-inositol reduces white adipose tissue accretion and improves insulin sensitivity in female mice. J Nutr Biochem 2013;24:457-466.
6. Giordano D, Russo R, di Prisco G et al. Molecular adaptations in Antarctic fish and marine microorganisms. Mar Genomics 2012;6:1-6.
7. Santamaria A, Giordano D, Corrado F et al. One-year effects of myo-inositol supplementation in postmenopausal women with metabolic syndrome. Climacteric 2012;15:490-495.
8. Vitagliano A, Saccone G, Cosmi E et al. Inositol for the prevention of gestational diabetes: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Arch Gynecol Obstet 2019;299:55-68.
9. Pintaudi B, Di Vieste G & Bonomo M. The Effectiveness of Myo-Inositol and D-Chiro Inositol Treatment in Type 2 Diabetes. Int J Endocrinol 2016;2016:9132052.
10. Schlemmer U, Frolich W, Prieto RM et al. Phytate in foods and significance for humans: food sources, intake, processing, bioavailability, protective role and analysis. Mol Nutr Food Res 2009;53 Suppl 2:S330-75.
11. Clements RS,Jr & Darnell B. Myo-inositol content of common foods: development of a high-myo-inositol diet. Am J Clin Nutr 1980;33:1954-1967.
12. Longvah T, Ananthan R, Bhaskarachary K et al. Indian Food Composition Tables (IFCT). Telangana, India: Longvah T; 2017.
13. Consiglio per la ricerca in agricoltura e l’analisi dell’economia agraria.
14. Food Composition Database for Epidemiological Studies in Italy Version 1.2015 .
15. Anonymous Revisione dei Livelli di Assunzione di Riferimento di Nutrienti ed Energia per la Popolazione Italiana (Larn): SINU; 2014.
16. Ravindran V, Ravindran G & Sivalogan S. Total and phytate phosphorus contents of various foods and feedstuffs of plant origin. Food Chem 1994;50:133-136.
17. Shokrpour M, Foroozanfard F, Afshar Ebrahimi F et al. Comparison of myo-inositol and metformin on glycemic control, lipid profiles, and gene expression related to insulin and lipid metabolism in women with polycystic ovary syndrome: a randomized controlled clinical trial. Gynecol Endocrinol 2019;35:406-411.
18. Celentano C, Matarrelli B, Pavone G et al. The influence of different inositol stereoisomers supplementation in pregnancy on maternal gestational diabetes mellitus and fetal outcomes in high-risk patients: a randomized controlled trial. J Matern Fetal Neonatal Med 2018:1-9.
19. Grases F, Simonet BM, Vucenik I et al. Absorption and excretion of orally administered inositol hexaphosphate (IP(6) or phytate) in humans. Biofactors 2001;15:53-61.
20. Salovaara S, Sandberg AS & Andlid T. Organic acids influence iron uptake in the human epithelial cell line Caco-2. J Agric Food Chem 2002;50:6233-6238.
21. Luo Y, Xie W & Luo F. Effect of Several Germination Treatments on Phosphatases Activities and Degradation of Phytate in Faba Bean (Vicia faba L.) and Azuki Bean (Vigna angularis L.). Journal of Food Science 2012;77:1023-1029.
22. Silva EO & Bracarense AP. Phytic Acid: From Antinutritional to Multiple Protection Factor of Organic Systems. J Food Sci 2016;81:R1357-62.
23. Kumar V, Sinha AK, Makkar HPS et al. Dietary roles of phytate and phytase in human nutrition: a review. Food Chemistry 2010;120:945-959.
24. Kelsay JL. Effects of fiber, phytic acid, and oxalic acid in the diet on mineral bioavailability. Am J Gastroenterol 1987;82:983-986.
25. Okazaki Y, Sekita A & Katayama T. Intake of phytic acid and myo-inositol lowers hepatic lipogenic gene expression and modulates gut microbiota in rats fed a high-sucrose diet. Biomed Rep 2018;8:466-474.
26. Jariwalla RJ, Sabin R, Lawson S et al. Lowering of serum cholesterol and triglycerides and modulation of divalent cations by dietary phytate. Journal of Applied Nutrition 1990;42:18-28.
27. Lee SH, Park HJ, Chun HK et al. Dietary phytic acid lowers the blood glucose level in diabetic KK mice. Nutrition Research 2006;26:474-479.
28. Barker CJ & Berggren PO. Inositol hexakisphosphate and beta-cell stimulus-secretion coupling. Anticancer Res 1999;19:3737-3741.
29. Iqbal TH, Lewis KO & Cooper BT. Phytase activity in the human and rat small intestine. Gut 1994;35:1233-1236.
30. Markiewicz LH, Honke J, Haros M et al. Diet shapes the ability of human intestinal microbiota to degrade phytate--in vitro studies. J Appl Microbiol 2013;115:247-259.
31. Famularo G, De Simone C, Pandey V et al. Probiotic lactobacilli: an innovative tool to correct the malabsorption syndrome of vegetarians?. Med Hypotheses 2005;65:1132-1135.
32. Holscher HD. Dietary fiber and prebiotics and the gastrointestinal microbiota. Gut Microbes 2017;8:172-184.
33. David LA, Maurice CF, Carmody RN et al. Diet rapidly and reproducibly alters the human gut microbiome. Nature 2014;505:559-563.
34. Nissar J, Ahad T, Naik HR et al. A review phytic acid: As antinutrient or nutraceutical. Journal of Pharmacognosy and Phytochemistry 2017;6:1554-1560.
35. Facchinetti F, Orru B, Grandi G et al. Short-term effects of metformin and myo-inositol in women with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS): a meta-analysis of randomized clinical trials. Gynecol Endocrinol 2019;35:198-206.
36. Harwood AJ. Lithium and bipolar mood disorder: the inositol-depletion hypothesis revisited. Mol Psychiatry 2005;10:117-126.
37. Greiner R & Konietzny U. Phytase for food application. Food Technol Biotechnol 2006;44:125-140.
38. Kamis AB & Edwards HMJ. The analysis of inositol phosphate in feed ingredients. Sci Food Agric. 1998;76:1-9.
39. Coulibaly A, Kouakou B & Chen J. Phytic acid in cereal grains: structure, healthy or harmful ways to reduce phytic acid in cereal grains and their effects on nutritional quality. Am J of plant nutrition and fertilization technology 2011;1:1-22.
40. Ferguson EL, Gibson RS, Thompson LU et al. Phytate, zinc, and calcium contents of 30 East African foods and their calculated phytate: Zn, Ca: phytate, and [Ca][phytate]/[Zn] molar ratios. Journal of Food Composition and Analysis 1988;1:316-325.
41. Harland BF & Oberleas D. Phytate in foods. World Rev Nutr Diet 1987;52:235-259.
42. Harland BF, Smikle-Williams S & Oberleas D. High performance liquid chromatography analysis of phytate (IP6) in selected foods. Journal of Food Composition and Analysis 2004;17:227-233.
43. Lestienne I, Icard-Verniere C, Mouquet C et al. Effects of soaking whole cereal and legume seeds on iron, zinc and phytate contents. Food Chem 2005;89:421-425.
44. Lehrfeld J. HPLC separation and quantitation of phytic acid and some inositol phosphates in foods: problems and solutions. J Agric Food Chem 1994;42:2726-2731.
45. Fischer MM, Egli IM, Aeberli I et al. Phytic acid degrading lactic acid bacteria in tef-injera fermentation. Int J Food Microbiol 2014;190:54-60.
46. Wise A. Dietary factors determining the biological activities of phytate. Nutr Abstr Rev 1983;53:791-806.
47. Erba D, Manini F, Meroni E et al. Phytate/calcium molar ratio does not predict accessibility of calcium in ready-to-eat dishes. J Sci Food Agric 2017;97:3189-3194.
48. Tajoddin MD, Shinde M & Lalitha J. In vivo Reduction the Phytic Acid Content of Mung Bean (Phaseolus aureus L) Cultivars During Germination. American-Eurasian J Agric & Environ Sci 2011;10:127-132.
49. McEachern JC & Shaw CA. An alternative to the LTP orthodoxy: a plasticity-pathology continuum model. Brain Res Brain Res Rev 1996;22:51-92.
50. Lolas GM, Palamidis N & Markakis P. Phytic acid total phosphorus relationship in barley, oats, soybeans, and wheat. J Agric Food Chem 1976;53:867-871.
51. Chen QC. Determination of phytic acid and inositol pentakisphosphates in foods by HPIC. Agric Food Chem 2004;52:4604-4613.
52. Amirabdollahian F & Ash R. An estimate of phytate intake and molar ratio of phytate to zinc in the diet of the people in the United Kingdom. Public Health Nutr 2010;13:1380-1388.
53. Venkatachalam M & Sathe SK. Chemical composition of selected edible nut seeds. J Agric Food Chem 2006;54:4705-4714.
54. Reddy NR & Sathe SK. Food phytates: CRC Press Boca Raton; 2001.

DB Error: Unknown column 'Array' in 'where clause'