Phytase (myo-inositol hexaphosphate phosphohydrolase) is a phosphorolytic enzyme, which is a catalyst for the hydrolysis of phytic acid – a non-digestive, organic form of phosphorus that occurs in cereal grains and seeds of oil plants. The presence of this enzyme was found in plant organisms and in some animals, bacteria, and fungi. Human body does not produce phytase, however, the intestinal microflora of some people (especially vegetarians and vegans) have been proved to contain microbes capable of producing phytases.
Phytase promotes degradation of phytic acid, and thus increases the bioavailability of certain nutrients and minerals such as calcium, magnesium, zinc, copper, and iron. In addition, it promotes better digestion and reduces the symptoms that may accompany the consumption of cereals and legumes. In supplementation, phytase does not occur in the form of a mono-preparation. Most often it is one of the components of mixtures containing various digestive enzymes.