Phytate (myo-inositol (1,2,3,4,5,6) hexakis - phosphate), a naturally compound formed during maturation of plant seeds and grains is a common constituent of plantderived foods. This paper is aimed to review the scientific information concerning the potential health benefits and adverse effects associated with phytate in foods. The adverse health effects of phytate in the diet is its effect on mineral uptake. Minerals of concern in this regard would include Zn2+, Fe2+/3+, Ca2+, Mg2+, Mn2+, and Cu2+. Especially zinc and iron deficiencies were reported as a consequence of high phytate intakes. In addition, a the adverse effect on the nutritional value of protein by dietary phytate is discussed. Consumption of phytate, however, seems not to have only adverse health effects but also potential benefits on human health. Dietary phytate was reported to prevent kidney stone formation, protect against diabetes mellitus, caries, atherosclerosis and coronary heart disease as well as against a variety of cancers.