Oatmeal And Phytic Acid

phytic-acid-oatmeal.jpg
A niche group of food bloggers have been buzzing about the content of phytic acid in oatmeal and the implications for their favorite breakfast porridge. Having started the rumor myself here at the Rebuild site, I thought I would speak up on the issue a little more clearly.

My book Rebuild from Depression on nutrients and depression has several food science chapters focused on increasing depression-fighting nutrients in your diet through high-nutrient food choices and through preparation techniques that maximize your body’s absorption of nutrients. A book sample available online as a PDF discusses phytic acid in oatmeal and soaking grains in general. After spending many hours reading about phytic acid only to include a few pages on it in a book, I developed an e-course here on this site in 2006 which ended up with thousands of subscribers. The course is now defunct until I have time to do something with it, though the more extensive and easier-to-read Phytic Acid White Paper is available for purchase.
In any case, thousands of e-course graduates have started alarming people about oatmeal.

What’s Up With Oatmeal And Phytic Acid?

Food bloggers have taken a cue from food writer Sally Fallon in her book Nourishing Traditions and have soaked grains overnight in warm water with a dash of whey or yogurt in order to reduce the phytic acid content in the grains. Phytic acid does, indeed, inhibit your absorption of minerals (calcium, zinc, iron, and magnesium to name a few).

The soaking strategy does work to reduce the phytic acid because it activates the phytase enzyme in the grain to break down the phytic acid. The phytic acid disappears like a traditional foods miracle and you get more minerals out of your food. The problem with oatmeal is that it lacks sufficient quantities of phytase. Soaking it will make it cook faster and that is a great thing on a busy weekday morning, but the soaking does not help from a phytic acid perspective.

How do I know?

The food science literature on phytic acid is voluminous — only bits were captured in the 20-part e-course and in the 40+ page paper. Below is a graphic display of a study from the food science literature comparing the reduction of phytic acid in various grains. Notice that the phytic acid content of wheat, rye, and barley decrease rapidly with soaking. It is apparently the same with buckwheat, kamut and spelt; I have limited information on quinoa, teff, and amaranth. Phytic acid in oats and corn decreases very little over the same 12-hour period. These grains are both noted exceptions in the food science literature. Millet and brown rice are similar as well. It is not as if a 13th hour of soaking would have made a big difference. Soaking simply is not effective with every high-phytic acid food. (Soy milk and phytic acid is a good example.)
Phytic acid oatmeal

What to do?

It seems a drastic measure to stop eating oatmeal. That would be tragic. As it turns out, food science offers a solution.

(1) Complementary soaking

Taking the lead from another phytic acid study, I have recommended in the now-defunct e-course to add a bit of fresh ground wheat, spelt, rye, or buckwheat to the oatmeal and then soaking it. The phytase in these other grains will work to reduce the phytic acid in the oats. I have recommended using about 10% of the complementary fresh ground grain to 90% oatmeal, though often I add a heaping tablespoon to a cup or so of rolled oats. Soak the oatmeal in water above body temperature overnight in a warm spot. Use the same amount of water you usually cook it in and simply throw it all in the pan in the morning. I do not recommend using the yogurt or whey anymore, just stick with the complementary grain for more diligence.

To make this task easy, buy a coffee grinder that you can dedicate to grinding small amount of grain on demand. If you have to power up an actual grain mill, you have added far to much work to your oatmeal. Try to keep your spouse or roommate from using it as a coffee mill.

I have gotten questions about how I know exactly how much complementary grain to add. Research suggests it should be about 10% of the total but there are no oatmeal experiments to test this recommendation explicitly. You can add more if you don’t find that it changes the flavor of the oatmeal. You can add less (which will still help). If you eat large quantities of oatmeal and rely on it for nutrition, perhaps you do want to add another tablespoon.

(2) Don’t worry about it.

This strategy is a much-forgotten one and a good one to keep in mind for kitchen survival. I just ate unsoaked oatmeal this morning for the first time in quite a while and I have to admit that it was fantastic. Had I soaked it, it would have cooked in a few minutes of course. The cook time always gives me an added incentive to soak oatmeal but when the household insists on oatmeal and it is not soaked, I typically make it anyway.

You will never reduce the phytic acid in beans or nuts to zero and they are pretty good foods. You can put oatmeal in the same category.

If you find yourself worrying about the oatmeal as you eat it (soaked or unsoaked) perhaps you should seek out another grain. Worry and stress actually increase our body’s need for nutrients. @AustenFanatic on Twitter recommends buckwheat.
buckwheat-tweet.jpg

If you are going to bite the bullet and embrace the oatmeal, here are some soaked oatmeal recipes from traditional foods bloggers who do the complementary soaking:

More posts like this one:

  1. Corn & phytates: To soak or not to soak?
  2. Phytic acid: Avoid or embrace?
  3. Soaking Grains For Better Mineral Absorption — Resources
54 Responses to Oatmeal And Phytic Acid
  1. Jenn B
    February 2, 2010 | 12:08 pm

    Thanks for the tip! (& reminder, I took the e-course awhile back & forge about complementary soaking) question: I am a nut about sprouting (primarily b/c it’s fun & fascinating for me. The extra planning doesn’t bother me) & discovered that the only oat groats that will sprout are the hulless, the ones w/only the first hull removed. This is supposedly b/c all other oats have been heated to remove the remaining hull. However it’s no good for oatmeal really b/c w/the remaining hull it’s too tough. Anyway: if this is true, doesn’t heating it like that mean you won’t be able to reduce the phytates?
    I’m w/you though on we don’t sweat it if I don’t have a chance to soak or sprout before eating. Once upon a time I did but it was a pretty stress inducing lifestyle!

  2. Amanda Rose
    February 2, 2010 | 12:41 pm

    Jenn,
    To clarify, are you asking if the process of de-hulling (or even rolling) oats affects the phytase level because of the heat? I haven’t actually seen a study on this question but it does makes sense that it would be true. I used to suggest putting rolled rye in with oatmeal because rye is high in phytase, but I doubt that rolled rye is particularly high because of the heat. This may be more reason to turn to buckwheat or put our hands over our ears and sing a happy song while we enjoy our oatmeal. :)
    Amanda

  3. Louisa
    February 2, 2010 | 12:53 pm

    Would sprouting the oat groats before rolling first have any effect on phytic acid? I read that this is what traditional people (such as the Scottish) did, well, actually, they left the oats out in the field before threshing so that it would sprout naturally……
    The Scottish staple was oats, it seems that they thrived on this food and I wonder if the sprouting had anything to do with it?
    great blog btw x

  4. Amanda Rose
    February 2, 2010 | 12:57 pm

    Louisa,
    I haven’t actually seen a study on that question, but I expect sprouting groats and then cooking them would be great. Sprouting isn’t going to get you 100% of the way there and neither is cooking, but together they are something. If you enjoy it this way, I would absolutely do it. I think enjoyment is a really important element to breakfast. :)
    Amanda

    • Bob
      January 14, 2012 | 2:36 pm

      Thanks for all the great info. Has anyone actually sprouted oats? I can sprout just about any grain except oats. The fact that oats are high in Phytic acid explains why oats don’t sprout for me? Thanks for solving that mystery.

  5. virginia
    February 3, 2010 | 1:41 pm

    Is it necessary for the added grain to be freshly ground? would some whole wheat flour from the freezer work?

  6. Amanda Rose
    February 3, 2010 | 2:42 pm

    Virgina,
    Fresh ground grain will be higher in phytase. Flour from the freezer would help. My knee-jerk response on it is if you’re going to go with option (1), grind it fresh, otherwise just go with option (2) — a totally OK option.
    Amanda

  7. Donielle @ Naturally Knocked Up
    February 4, 2010 | 7:25 am

    Great post, I’m glad you decided to fill us all in. :-) I’ve been soaking mine with a bit of spelt and giving it a 24 hours soak. And not worrying about it after that! I figure it’s a million times better than the Lucky Charms and Fruit Loops most kids are getting now days…..
    Thanks for sharing!

  8. Virginia
    February 4, 2010 | 7:31 am

    Wow, such great info and it clarifies the phytic acid mystery! Thanks for posting…
    Virginia
    http://livinglocalnh.blogspot.com

  9. Amanda Rose
    February 4, 2010 | 8:31 am

    Donielle — I think that is *exactly* the attitude we all need to have.

  10. Anjanette
    February 4, 2010 | 11:02 am

    Soaking grains at all is relatively new to me, but with 5 weeks left in pregnancy #2 I have started to have leg cramps. I was also mildly anemic when it came time to deliver in my last pregnancy and ended up with a blood transfusion. I’ve been asking all of the birth professionals I know (natural minded and otherwise) what I can do to increase my nutrient absorption ( I already eat a diet lightyears better than the standard american diet) and no one had any advice. So happy to have found all of you real food folks and am learning a ton!!

  11. Katie @ Kitchen Stewardship
    February 4, 2010 | 9:26 pm

    Amanda,
    You know I’m keeping a close eye on the issue! ;) I bookmarked the post to link back to when I tackle soaking. Thanks for reading through the literature for us! :) Katie

  12. Kelly the Kitchen Kop
    April 21, 2010 | 11:45 am

    Hi Amanda,
    My baked oatmeal post has become popular, so I’m going to make sure to tell people now that they should add a little fresh whole grain flour to this process. I’ve got to get myself a small grain grinder so it’s easier than pulling out my big one for things like this.
    Thanks!
    Kelly

  13. joanna
    April 26, 2011 | 6:28 am

    hi there – I am trying to find one source that explains all the details for soaking oats (and nuts, and grains, and beans, too). There is so much out there on the internet that explains this. I really liked this post because it really goes into detail about the why and the how. And I ran across something else of yours that is equally as valuable here:
    http://www.rebuild-from-depression.com/resources/book/Chapter13.pdf

    But I was wondering if you also rinse the oats after they have soaked? I have seen some sources say that you should drain and rinse thoroughly. Can you offer your insight on that step?
    thank you!!!

    • Amanda Rose
      April 26, 2011 | 8:21 am

      Hi there! Thanks for the question. I don’t rinse my oats. With some grains I do pour off soaking water and replace it with fresh water, but oats soak the water up for the most part and they end up pretty sticky. Typically, I just soak them in the pot I’m cooking them in and then turn the pot on in the morning.

      If you like that portion of the Rebuild book, you might check out the phytic acid paper (http://www.phyticacid.org) It has quite a bit of detail on all foods and displays the research on each point.

      Amanda

  14. nicholas
    June 29, 2011 | 2:29 am

    thank you amanda,good info. i will be ordering the white paper this week. i soaked 1 c. oats (dry) with 2 rounded tbsp. of freshly ground buckwheat groats. i added 2 1/4 cups of 118 degree water and put it in a large stainless steel thermos. i sealed it up for 24 hrs. (airtight). well, it had really SOURED, but of course i ate it anyway (with some cinnamon and ginger, also stevia). it digested ok, just not very palatable. a couple of questions, can you use an airtight container to soak grains, nuts, etc.? it does hold the heat alot longer (thermos). the 50# bag of #5 rolled oats i purchased says “oven-toasted”. can phytates be removed after a product has been heated? are commercial buckwheat groats processed with heat that would destroy the phytase? what did i do wrong?

  15. Rose
    July 23, 2011 | 4:21 am

    very interesting post! My littles absolutely adore oatmeal, so I’m glad to have some more info on it. Question: you mentioned that you no longer recommend adding the yogurt or kefir since you are adding the wheat, but isn’t it the acid medium in soaking liquid that releases the phytase to break down the phytic acid in both the wheat and the oats? I’m not sure I understand that elimination. Thanks!

    • Amanda Rose
      July 26, 2011 | 8:32 am

      Rose,
      The pH matters, but it’s the calcium that interferes in those cases. In my own home, I typically use warm water, but I would add the high phytase grain if I needed to be more diligent.

      Amanda

      • Lisa
        May 28, 2012 | 5:40 am

        Amanda, could you explain what you mean by “it’s the calcium that interferes in those cases”? I have been using whey to soak my oats for some time now and was planning to add some grain. I’m trying to understand, like Rose, why the whey can be eliminated if you add fresh grain.

        • Amanda Rose
          August 12, 2012 | 9:19 am

          Hi Lisa. I just responded to Amy. Basically, I cut out the whey and move on. There have been times when I’ve been iron deficient and then I increase my diligence and add complementary grains.
          Amanda

      • Amy
        June 11, 2012 | 9:40 pm

        Hi Amanda -

        Just want to make sure I am understanding not including the whey any longer. When you combine with a complementary grain, the calcium for the dairy interferes? Could you expound, just want to be sure I am understanding it :-)

        • Amy
          June 11, 2012 | 9:53 pm

          Whoops forgot to ask. I don’t drink coffee, but is there a reason it cannot be ground in the same grinder coffee is ground in? What about nuts and seeds? I use mine for spices, nuts… THANK YOU!!!

          • Amanda Rose
            August 12, 2012 | 9:16 am

            Amy — I just get tired of cleaning the grinder and don’t like the coffee flavor mixed with spices. If you don’t drink coffee, it’s not a big issue. I do clean out the grinder after strong-tasting spices.
            Amanda

        • Amanda Rose
          August 12, 2012 | 9:18 am

          Amy,
          In the article I linked to I describe how the calcium content of a food interferes with the reduction of phytic acid. For oatmeal these days, I just soak it in warm water. When I’ve needed to be more diligent, I add a complementary grain.
          Amanda

  16. carri
    August 24, 2011 | 12:49 pm

    Hi, I heard it is a good idea to eat oranges with your oatmeal, why is that a good idea?

    Thank you, Carri

  17. ben
    September 18, 2011 | 2:02 pm

    So according to the chart, it looks like all grains have equal amounts of phytic acid to start.. is that right?

    I’d like to go with rye, but not sure about giving up some soluble fiber in order to minimize the phytic acid!

    How exactly does soaking work? i.e. Does soaking neutralize the acid, or are you supposed to discard the liquid to actually get rid of it?

    I see that slow cookers can be used on stoned/steel-cut oats, but if you plan on eating the cereal with milk, won’t the milk go bad if its slow-cooking overnight?

    • Amanda Rose
      February 4, 2012 | 12:27 pm

      The phytic acid is neutralized so you don’t need to toss the water. I cook my cereal with water and add milk later when I plan to have milk with it.

  18. Matthew
    October 19, 2011 | 2:54 pm

    Thanks for the great tip! I dont suffer from depressions, but as martial artist i´m trying to keep my body, and bones to, strong, also through nutrition of course. And oats just happen to be a mineral rich food, also for a grain high in for humans quite good absorbable protein, making oats 1 of the ideal existing foods for a martial artist. The chinese also believe them to strenghen qi(energy),blood and yang, strenghten the center burner and digestion(with this also general muscles and tissues conected, but also immune system is included in this, skin partially to, since this also indirectly affects the lung meridian and the upper burner positively) and especially now when the colder seasons start, its a excellent food to warm the body, but generally should never be consumed in excess, specially during warm seasons or in warm environment, as they can provoke heat and yang symptoms. But the additional information about phytic acid led me here.

    I didnt know that soaking grains wouldnt lower phytic acid in oats or a few other grains. Thanks for the tip! I am simply going to mix oats with a bit other grains and never use them alone(id personally use it long with wheat, since wheat also needs long soaking time. Since all other grains i personally use, have short to no soaking times, and naturally low to no phytic acid). However thanks for the tip.

    And to the reason i actually post: Sorry to more or less “destroy” your hopes, but i have to add 1 thing about sprouting: Indeed sprouting like soaking(as we see in most cases, not all) significantly reduces phytic acid, thats true. Also its true that the nutritions and compounds change quite a lot. But not ONLY to a positive way and thats not to forget. Also its not to forget that the process of sprouting impacts the actual nutritional value deeper then you might expect at first thought. I came to find and see many nutritional data banks, some of them also very very detailed, which even went so far for example to chemically list the structure of what the carbohydrates are made from. However, thanks to this, in a very few examples at least, i was able to see the nutritional value of fresh or dried grains or legumes, vs sprouted ones.

    Unfortunately, when you see these results, you will realize that sprouted grains have a highly decreased nutritional value. Especially macro nutrients(protein, fat, carbohydrates. Since its grains, some of the to much carbohydrates are reduced to, which is good, but negative is that also especially the protein content falls strongly which is bad) and minerals, the mineral content falls strongly which is very bad. Also often vitamins are decreased on loosed to. On a contrary, as said, carbohydrates fall to, which is good, also less carbohydrates are starch, a part of the starch carbs from the grains get transformed to other(better) carb forms in the sprouts, this is good to of course. There may be often especially minerals, but also vitamins and trace elements loosed, but on a contrary, in a few single trace elements and vitamins, the nutritional value actually increases slightly. However unfortunately, most time it actually decreases rather then increase. Especially minerals and macro nutrients actually ALWAYS decrease in sprouting.

    So, remember that sprouting indeed has its pros, but also its cons. But indeed, also my other research sources underline this, sprouting is highly effective in reducing phytatic acid nearly to zero in nearly all types of grains and legumes with very few exceptions.

    Thats why the best way, as always, is the golden middle. Always soak grains generally of course. But you should not only consume sprouted grains, but also include soaked grains in your diet. Vice versa only soaked grains arent the answer to, and can surely be accompanied with sprouted grains and legumes to. Clear fazit i personally draw out of this: the answer is to not overuse either of both, but mix and use the benefits of both. My tip or that of the ancient chinese health system on this would be: Use sprouted grains more in spring and especially summer warmer seasons, those are lighter and also more cooling to the body. Whole, soaked grains are more suitable for the colder seasons, autumn and winter, when cold and wind increase, here more substancial and nourishing meals are effective to strengthen and warm the body and making it fit for the cold seasons, and unsprouted grains and legumes fit better in this case.

    However, i posted this because i have done my own research, and noticed that sprouting is highly promoted by most people, and that only the good sides are listed, but most people seem to forget that sprouting as said, has its bad sides and also significantly reduces the overall nutritional value, as a standard rule you can say the nutritional value is decreased to half or a third by sprouting.

    I hope you found this helpfull and informative.

  19. chris aylmer
    October 25, 2011 | 12:38 pm

    I really like your approach. Lots of useful information and yet an easy going attitude. An admission that you don’t always stick to the strict rules yourself and also avoid worrying too much about it. I like how you admitted that the unsoaked oats were the best you’d tasted for ages! Some similar sites treat the whole nutrition business as a religious ritual.

  20. chris aylmer
    October 27, 2011 | 2:12 am

    Addendum: I tried soaking my jumbo oats in lemon juice with some wholemeal flour yesterday…..disgusting! Apart from the poor flavor, all the lovely texture of the oats had gone. Usually the oat grains sort of burst open in your mouth as you eat it, but it was all a mush.
    I’m not convinced of this idea to soak and ferment things if it destroys the texture of the food. OK, so you get less phytate and a soggy bag of minerals to eat, but you might as well take a supplement. Give me real food! It has texture, flavor, vitamins and fiber. The phytates may also have other benefits such as antioxidant and anti cancer. They are thought to help mop up unnecessary iron in the large intestine which may increase the chance of bowel cancer(see wiki). Also a good proportion of the minerals are still available, phytic acid or not. In a paper from 1991 I was reading, they showed that 60% to 70% of calcium is absorbed from whole grain wheat, whether in bread form or unfermented cookies…that was a greater proportion than was absorbed from milk. Milk and dairy products are still a much better source of calcium because they contain so much more calcium. Therefore, if you eat dairy products and/or a good variety of other foods I don’t think there is any need to worry too much about whether or not all the minerals are absorbed from grains, nuts, seeds etc.
    Thanks for your interesting blog.

  21. chris aylmer
    October 27, 2011 | 2:44 am

    PS
    It occurred to me that when we eat eggs we automatically throw away the shell into the compost bin. The shell contains nearly all the calcium content of the egg and a number of other minerals, yet we do not try and soak the eggshell to get out all the minerals. We eat the eggs for the protein, vitamins and fats and are happy with that. Why not with other foods?
    When food is soaked in hot water of 50C the vitamin content would also be expected to decline with time. Some people advocate soaking overnight or even for days. I would rather have fresher whole food with more vitamins.

    • Amanda Rose
      February 4, 2012 | 12:07 pm

      Chris — That’s a fair point. If you don’t need the minerals in the oatmeal, you probably wouldn’t have found this post because I don’t know why you would then be concerned about phytic acid

  22. Al
    November 10, 2011 | 2:38 pm

    Most folks do not have enough time in the day to go through these techniques. I have very bad teeth and the more i learn the more i seem to want to starve because i have to be so picky and so much time has to be taken out to make the changes if i am to save my teeth. I have irish oatmeal from trader joes, should i throw that away? I have rye bread, unbleached, what about that, what about jasmine rice and basmati rice? This is rather annoying because of the time and expense involved.

    • Amanda Rose
      February 4, 2012 | 12:02 pm

      Al — Eat whatever you want to eat, but if you are concerned about oatmeal and phytic acid, you can reduce the phytic acid more by adding a complementary grain when soaking. If your schedule is pressed, put your oatmeal on to soak the night before and it will cook like quick oats.

  23. Al
    November 10, 2011 | 2:45 pm

    Also, in biblical times grains were a huge deal and i do not recall that being an issue at all. Potatoes and carrots are high in this acid as well, Stop eating those. I call BS on that as well. No way am i stopping with those. It seems to me that this is borderline going hungry. I mean, no offense but what can we eat?

    • Amanda Rose
      February 4, 2012 | 12:00 pm

      Potatoes and carrots are not high in phytic acid, not particularly.

  24. Arlene Zsilka
    November 28, 2011 | 11:21 am

    I have been reading much conflicting information about the benefits or detriments of consuming Phytic Acid. Some sources (eg: Diet for the Atomic Age) say it is GOOD for you, as it has a chelating effect and absorbs the heavy metals, toxins, etc. from your body. Should you have unsoaked grain some of the time? Or are beans enough to give you some of the benefits? And since the original idea was to soak it in buttermilk or yogurt (fermented milk,) but the calcium inhibits the change, would water kefir or kombucha give any added benefit? Or would it start a fermentation that would be unacceptable?

  25. Michael Haley
    December 9, 2011 | 6:41 am

    Is the phytic acid on the outside or inside of the grain? Does it have to be ground to break down the phytic acid or does soaking whole grains also break it down?

  26. Maggie
    December 20, 2011 | 11:56 am

    Amanda,
    I’m new to steel cut oats and your site has answered alot of questions, namely why I was experiencing tummy problems. I am gluten intolerant so what can I add to the soaking oats to help break down the phytic acid?
    Thanks for all the great info!

    • Amanda Rose
      February 1, 2012 | 5:30 pm

      Maggie

      Try buckwheat and report back on your stomach and the flavor.

      Amanda

  27. Darris
    January 5, 2012 | 10:13 am

    Fabulous post, great information.

    In the chart above the PH is stated as 4.5. This is quite acidic. I would imagine that using the ‘waste’ water from the alkaline water process would be perfect to soak grains, etc. I’ve been soaking my almonds (for almond milk) in alkaline water but quite possibly I’ve been doing a disservice to our digestive system.

    Your thoughts on this would be greatly appreciated.

  28. Tom Hennessy
    February 8, 2012 | 5:11 pm

    I’m not really sure why anyone would be trying to avoid phytic acid. Phytic acid has been shown to limit excess iron in the body. The most recent study has shown , definitively , a womans’ menses keeps her iron levels LOW.
    “Menstruation-associated blood loss may explain gender differences in brain iron”
    “These higher levels may be part of the explanation for why men develop these age-related neurodegenerative diseases at a younger age.”
    “Contributes to the development of abnormal deposits of proteins associated with several prevalent neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and dementia with
    Lewy bodies”
    This confirms previous research which seems to show the monthlies rids the body of excess iron and keeps a woman free of disease when compared to men.
    “The results of this study, he said, suggest that menstruation-associated blood loss may explain gender differences in brain iron.”
    When a woman reaches menopause and her menses cease , or when a hysterectomy interrupts the menses her iron levels rise into those areas known to cause disease.
    “They found the women who had undergone a hysterectomy had higher levels of iron in their brains than the women who hadn’t, and further, they had levels that were comparable to men”
    Phytic acid has been shown to be an iron chelator and looks to be a ‘crystalization inhibitor’ which would make it a ‘stand in’ for the osteoporosis drugs , the bisphosphonates also known to be crystalization inhibitors.
    “Phytate exhibits effects similar to those of bisphosphonates”

    Contrary to any theorised NEGATIVE effects in the body , phytic acid seems to be nothing but POSITIVE , including a cancer ‘killer’.
    “Anticarcinogenic efficacy of phytic acid extracted from rice bran”

    I hope I didn’t burst any bubbles.

    • Amanda Rose
      February 12, 2012 | 1:09 pm

      Tom,

      Menstruation and the blood requirement of pregnancy is a big reason that women under 40 are at risk for iron deficiency. If you are iron deficient and rely on grains for iron, phytic acid is a big concern.

      For men and women who have too much iron, the best remedy may be to donate blood if you are not otherwise in a high risk group that’s not allowed to donate.

      Amanda

      • Tom Hennessy
        February 16, 2012 | 1:53 am

        Women are fully capable of absorbing enough iron to safely carry a child. The ‘anemia of pregnancy’ has been shown to be the womans’ own body producing a hormone which keeps the iron level low to control the amount of iron for the SAFE gestation of an egg. Doctors recognise this ‘low iron’ and routinely prescribe iron.
        “Women who used iron had two-to-three-fold higher rates of gestational diabetes, hypertension, and metabolic syndrome.”
        “Iron supplementation in pregnancy may have negative consequences.”

        • Linda Browne
          July 17, 2012 | 9:08 am

          Tom
          I am very very interested in reading more about the information you posted here regarding excess iron and gestational diabetes. Can you please post the paper from which this information was taken.
          Thank you so much.
          Linda

  29. Bren
    March 20, 2012 | 10:25 pm

    Tom, I would love to know where you found that info on iron and pregnancy, I am very interested.
    As for soaking oats and other grains, I am very confused. I thought it was a good thing but after seeing all of these comments about heat used in the rolling and de-hullling process (what about steel-cut oats?), phytic acid being a good thing, etc, I am now totally confused…..

  30. Jim Lowery
    March 27, 2012 | 4:28 pm

    Great Book! Does instant oatmeal in the packets have the same issues with phytic acid as regular oatmeal? What about the larger container of quickoats? An even more important question is does the phytic acid in say brown rice inhibit the absorption of the minerals in the rice, or in everything consumed at the meal as well such as vegetables or fish/chicken? Do certain things eaten with the brown rice help lessen its affect?

  31. Hallucinogen
    April 1, 2012 | 1:35 pm

    I’m a professional Bio-Chemist and Naturopath-Nutritionist, everything written in the main article is mostly tried and true,
    i did a LOT of experimenting myself,
    and i have read about using cultured products like Kefir as acidic medium, and i also know about calcium in it and it acting as a buffer,

    I am here to wave off your delusions about not wanting to use Kefir whey-base liquid as acidic medium,
    First of all, EVERYTHiNG, including Calcium in Kefir whey liquid is already stabilized, and it will ONLY get SOURER by producing MORE Lactic acid with time at room temperature (that’s how Kefir is ripened)
    and SECOND of all, Whatever Calcium is already present IN THE LiQUiD will have a Very Great affinity to bind with the freshly freed Phytic Acid from phytates in the grain, Thus NEUTRALiZING it,
    which means it WONT bind to other minerals in your digestive tract anymore, especially to calcium !

    There you have it kids, – the one and only thing left is figuring out the PERFECT TEMPERATURE for homemade Kefir + grains that contain phytase (or + freshly ground flour ),
    I believe ~22C would be optimal for 12-24hours in this,
    instead of 40C+, because 22C is the perfect temperature for Kefir Equilibrium,
    and you Do Not want to send it out of balance, because it might promote the growth of pathogenic bacteria !

    ANOTHER VERY IMPORTANT Dillema ->
    We have to resolve the Exact Location of Phytase in grains, and i think all the Phytase is mostly found in the BRAN and outer shell of the grain, together with most of phytic acid…
    i am reading this right now to help me answer this Question – http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1198109/pdf/biochemj00898-0118.pdf

    Anyways, its most likely ALL in the outer shell which Does Not grind into powder in a normal Coffee Blender
    !
    Sooo, what you do is you grind you fresh rye flour in coffee blender, for a relatively short time,
    then sift out all the bran (which will be a hooping 40-50% !)
    then you take filtered 40C water and soak All that bran in water for an hour, then you put it all in a super clean blender, blend it very well for 5+mins,
    then strain all the liquid from it and just use that liquid for soak + fresh Kefir whey liquid !

    The Probiotic bacteria blend in the soaking process is very important alongside presence of phytase, they make phytase much more active (:

    ENJOY ! – For Your Health .

    • Amanda Rose
      August 12, 2012 | 9:14 am

      I’m sorry I haven’t responded to you guys, but I thought I’d quickly point out that this commenter did not leave a real e-mail and what he or she is suggesting is really over the top, IMO. I’ll write an article related to this issue soon and post a link here.
      Amanda

  32. Susie
    April 6, 2012 | 11:18 am
  33. Heather H.
    April 18, 2012 | 1:29 pm

    Amanda, Thank you so much for the work and research you have put into this site. It is so refreshing to find someone who is using a clear, unbiased head to figure this issue out. No matter how much I read about this issue, I am still confused at the end. You are helping me so much. Thank you again!

  34. Amy Chang
    April 24, 2012 | 8:07 pm

    I’m concerned about phytic acid content in oatmeal as well and instead of soaking or doing anything to it, I’m trying to take my vitamins apart from my oatmeal breakfast.

    Also, the consumption of probiotiocs can help to catalyse the release of phosphate from phytate, helping with mineral absorption. Is this correct? This is something I’ve read.

    • Amanda Rose
      August 12, 2012 | 9:20 am

      Maybe so. I haven’t seen studies on this particular issue.

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