Bruce Fife on Phytates in Coconut

The Godfather of Coconut, Bruce Fife, wrote to the Weston A. Price Foundation’s quarterly journal about the recent rumblings on the Phytic acid content of coconut. Recent talk in the Traditional Food World have suggested that Phytic acid should be a concern for us coconut-lovers. Phytic acid is one of the major downsides to and reasons for avoiding grains because it basically binds – “chelates” – minerals, rendering them unusable by the body. Here’s an excerpt of what Fife had to say:

“Phytic acid occurs in nuts and seeds in two forms – Phytic acid and Phytic acid salts [Reddy, NR and Sathe, SK (Eds.) Food Phytates. CRC Press, 2001]. Both are generally referred to as “phytates.” Together, these two compounds make up the total percentage of phytates reported in various foods. However, they do not possess the same chelating power. So the chelating effect of the phytates of corn, wheat or soy are not the same as those in coconut. You cannot predict the chelating effect based on total phytate content alone.

“The mineral-binding effect of the phytates in coconut is essentially nonexistent. It is as if coconut has no phytic acid at all.”

Fife goes into greater detail, but it’s great to hear an “expert” view of the topic.

(Excuse my ratty writing – I’m stuck in an airport where service is spotty and fog is impeding my journey to the WAP Conference! Naturally I’m using the time to review my WAP journals. Join the WAP Foundation – the quarterly journals are worth their weight in gold!)


10 Comments to “Bruce Fife on Phytates in Coconut”

    • Unfortunately, no. It wasn’t an article, but a letter from Bruce Fife to the journal, which is issued to members of the Weston A. Price Foundation. While the WAPF does publish research articles from their quarterly journals to the web (, they don’t typically web-publish letters. I anticipate more research on this topic in the future, however.

  1. Phew, I was afraid it was bad news. Thanks for sharing.

  2. I’m curious to know how this translated to the phytates in nuts.

  3. ah…. coconut again ….. the perfect food……

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