Last update Aug. 29, 2021
Phytic acid and its salts, phytates, are phosphorous compounds that are widely distributed in vegetables, especially in cereal, oilseed and legume seeds (Martínez 2002).
Low doses have been attributed therapeutic properties, not well demonstrated, in the prevention of cancer, kidney stone formation and cardiovascular diseases (Chatree 2020, Torrecilla 2020, Garcia 2019, Fakier 2019, Robertson 2017, Curhan 2004, Martínez 2002).
At the date of the last update, there was no available published data on its excretion in breast milk.
Phytates are chelators, that is, they form insoluble compounds with some minerals, such as calcium, iron, copper and zinc, and proteins, making their intestinal absorption difficult. An excess of phytates in the diet can cause a deficit of these minerals in diets poor in minerals (Lawrence 2016 p310, Martinez 2002, Moser 1988).
The daily needs of Zn depend on the daily intake of phytates. In lactating mothers they are 11 mg for low intakes of phytates (≤ 330 mg/day) and 14 mg/day for high intakes (≥ 990 mg/day) of phytates (Haase 2020).
A balanced diet ensures an adequate intake of phytates. With the usual diet, the daily intake of phytates is 300 to 900 mg/day in Western diets, more than 1,000 mg/day in vegetarian diets, and more than 2,000 mg/day in certain African populations (Schlemmer 2009).
Vegetarian diets are very rich in phytates. Vegetarian lactating mothers should avoid excess phytates and bran (Lawrence 2016 p310).
With a varied diet, phytate supplements are not required.
Other dietary treatments to prevent kidney stone formation include reducing meat consumption and increasing vegetables and calcium in the diet (Heilberg 2013, Curhan 2004).
Suggestions made at e-lactancia are done by APILAM team, and are based on updated scientific publications. It is not intended to replace the relationship you have with your doctor but to compound it.
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