Phytic acid is a strong chelator of important minerals such as calcium, magnesium, iron and zinc and can therefore contribute to mineral deficiencies in developing countries . For people with a particularly low intake of essential minerals, especially young children and those in developing countries, this effect can be undesirable. However, dietary mineral chelators help prevent over-mineralization of joints, blood vessels, and other parts of the body, which is most common in older persons. The Journal of Environmental Nutrition (April 2004 volume 27 issue 4) has also stated phytic acid may be considered a phytonutrient, providing an antioxidant effect.
Phytic acid's same mineral binding properties may also prevent colon cancer by reducing oxidative stress in the lumen of the intestinal tract. Scientific research  also indicates that it may reduce the risk of colon cancer. Researchers now believe that IP6, found in the fiber of legumes and grains, is the major ingredient responsible for preventing colon cancer and other cancers.
As a food additive, phytic acid is used as a preservative with E number E391.
Food must be well cooked in order to free IP6 from the fiber and enable it to be absorbed in the system. IP6 rarely appears in soluble fiber. It's usually attached to the bran, the hard (insoluble) fiber, which is difficult to digest. IP6 is found in legumes, peas, wheat, barley, and oats. Of any studied legumes, whole soybeans have the highest levels of phytic acid.