Inadequate knowledge and intake of a balance diet is a contributing factor of micronutrient deficiencies in developing countries. Phytic acid contributes in inhibiting the bioavailability of some micronutrients. In spite of the anti-nutritional effect of phytic acid, it is known to exhibit some medicinal effects. This study investigated the medicinal significance of phytic acid as an indispensable anti-nutrient in diseases.
Relevant scientific literatures from the major databases such as Pubmed, Medline and Google Scholar. The keywords searched and reviewed in this study were phytic acid, anti-nutrients, minerals, diseases and plants.
The published peer reviewed literatures searched showed that phytic acid, though an anti-nutrient, plays an indispensable role directly or indirectly in several disease conditions. It exhibits antioxidant function, a property that qualifies it to possess multiple medicinal values like: anti-diabetic, anticancer, anti-inflammatory properties to mention a few. Its chelating property affects the absorption and toxicities associated with essential and nonessential heavy metals, a scenario that could prevent neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson diseases and other related diseases.
The medicinal values of phytic acid outweighed its negative impact. Hence, there is critical need for developing countries to improve on the dietary pattern of its people in addition to nutrition education.