Doctor's Note

Eating healthy can help us avoid other drugs as well. See, for example:

Alkaline Diets, Animal Protein, & Calcium Loss is another surprising video on bone health.

How might one counteract some of the mineral blocking effects? See New Mineral Absorption Enhancers Found.

Beans might not just help our skeleton last longer, but the rest of us as well. See Increased Lifespan From Beans.

For more context, check out my associated blog post: How Beans Help Our Bones.

I have a bunch of other videos coming up about the surprising benefits of phytates—stay tuned! If you haven't yet, you can subscribe to my videos for free by clicking here.

  • BeetsBeansButts

    I had no idea beans were important to bone health.

    Thanks Dr G

  • Guest

    I eat a can of black beans per day – over 1 1/2 cups – and I am concerned that I may be taking in too much manganese. When I add up other vegan sources of food in my daily food intake that are high in manganese (grains) I end up exceeding the daily recommended allowance – by a lot! I am assuming manganese is a heavy metal – should I be concerned if I have days of over 200 percent of RDA? Does the body need a few days off from ingestion to eliminate overload of certain minerals?

  • guest

    Should we not soak beans now? To preserve phytate?

    • http://nutritionfacts.org/ Michael Greger M.D.

      Replied to similar question below–thanks for your interest in my work!

    • Eileen

      Try sprouting them.

  • DH

    Significantly off topic, but I have decided not to eat any more raw uncooked cruciferous vegetables and will be steaming mine, after I did a thorough review of the animal and human literature on eating brassica (cabbage, cauliflower and broccoli). I don’t mind eating a small, occasional quantity uncooked, but the consumption of large amounts is thyrotoxic in that it causes goiter; moreover, in people with marginal iodine status, it is a risk factor for thyroid cancer (though appears not to be, in iodine-replete individuals). I’ve also been advised by a vegan RD to steam them and not eat them raw. If they are cooked, there is absolutely no risk of thyroid problems.

    • Leslie

      Are you 100 percent positive in your last statement, that there is absolutely no risk of thyroid problems if the brassica foods are cooked? Does steaming truly eliminate the thyroid risk? Is there convincing research that puts this issue to rest? Thanks.

      • DH

        No one can be 100% positive in an area like this, until a definitive randomized trial is performed, preferably in a closed metabolic ward. But one study which puts the issue to rest was a 4 week study on cooked brussel sprouts which was published more than 30 years ago:

        Journal Title: Human toxicology
        Article Title: Preliminary observations on the effect of dietary brussels sprouts on thyroid function.
        Year: 1986-1
        Volume: 5 (1)
        Pages: 15-19

        ( http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2419242 )

        I’ve also seen animal data suggesting that cooking dramatically reduces the goitrogenic risk.

    • Leslie

      You wrote: ” If they are cooked, there is absolutely no risk of thyroid problems.” Are you certain of this? Does the research to date guarantee that steaming brassica insures no thyroid risk?

    • http://www.eatandbeatcancer.com/ Harriet Sugar Miller

      Scientists at last month’s annual conference of the American Institute of Cancer Research presented new evidence showing that steaming most crucifers briefly is helpful for maximizing cancer-fighting compounds, especially if you eat the steamed crucifers along with a little raw radish, wasabi or spicy mustard. http://eatandbeatcancer.wordpress.com/2013/11/30/anti-cancer-recipes-groundbreaking-news-about-crucifers-another-bombshell/

      You could also opt for a little arugula or watercress (both crucifers) instead.

      • DH

        Harriet, I have been steaming mine for a good 4 minutes until the broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower is semi-soft (not too soft, but not still hard). My concern is the risk of goitrogens in consuming large amounts of daily cruciferous vegetables in a raw condition, and I think there’s enough evidence – mechanistic, animal, and human (both controlled and case reports) – to suggest this is a bit of a concern.

        • http://www.eatandbeatcancer.com/ Harriet Sugar Miller

          The scientists at the conference suggested 3 to 4 minutes for broccoli (and didn’t discuss cabbage or cauli.) If you cook too much, you destroy the myrosinase enzyme, which starts the reaction that produces the cancer-fighting compounds. To get more of that enzyme, however, just eat a little–not much– of the suggested raw crucifers (radish, etc.) http://eatandbeatcancer.wordpress.com/2013/11/15/anti-cancer-recipes-groundbreaking-news-about-crucifers/

          • DH

            Myrosinase is exactly that which I wish to inactivate, since it hydrolyzes and liberates the glucosinolates which are goitrogens (in humans and animals). I will get the wasabi though. I think that’s a great idea. Happy Saturday to you!

          • Kate Scott

            Glucosinolates are also the anticancer compounds. You maybe throwing the baby out with the (broccoli) water. Raw crucifers are not thought to be a problem if you get enough iodine in your diet.

          • DH

            Vegans and many vegetarians tend to score very low on iodine levels (according to a recent paper in J. Clin. Endocrin. Metab.). If your iodine intake is marginal, there is a nearly two-fold increased risk of thyroid cancer from consuming high amounts of cruciferous vegetables. I, personally, take a 1/4 of a kelp tablet (which intact provides 650 micrograms per day of iodine), as well as using iodized table salt in cooking. The salt in processed food is not iodized. But I am more concerned about my risk of hypothyroidism than my risk of thyroid cancer (as I have no risk factors for this disease). There are some animal data to suggest that even in iodine-repleted rodents, raw crucifers contain sufficient goitrogenic effects to cause problems (Horm. Metab. Res 27 (1995) 450-454) — “These results emphasize that, moderate intake of iodine, adequate to meet iodine requirement, may not ensure normal functioning of thyroid in the presence of goitrogens.”

            And there are plenty of human and animal case reports of goitrous hypothyrodism from raw crucifers. Thus I am – again personally – trading off the theoretical benefits of anticancer compounds (which I may never need, or which could be obviated by some other dietary factor that I don’t know about) against the real, practical, and documented hazards of consuming large, daily quantities of Brassicaceae in an uncooked state (thyroid cancer and hypothyroidism). From the animal literature, it is very uncertain much iodine would be protective, and where the tipping point into iodotoxicity begins (certainly the UL is 1100 micrograms per day, which is quite low).

          • VegAtHeart

            Interesting discussion.
            FYI, this 2013 paper examined whether there is an association between vegan diets and hypothyroidism.

          • DH

            That data is very reassuring but they did not systematically screen TSH or thyroid indices in all participants. Rather, they relied on people to go to their doctors with symptoms of thyroid problems and get diagnosed that way — that is not a systematic testing procedure, and thus it is prone to all sorts of problems. We know that vegans visit their doctors less for cancer screening procedures such as prostate specific antigen testing. Therefore, they may simply get less bloodwork in general. It is not possible to diagnose thyroid disease without screening bloodwork.

          • VegAtHeart

            Good point, thanks. You will likely find interesting this recent book chapter reviewing the evidence for an association between subclinical hypothyrodism and disease states. I was struck by how unclear such an association seems to be for mild subclinical hypothyrodism (TSH<10 mU/L).

    • Darryl

      I’m eating cruciferous veggies primarily for the isothiocyanates (the prime goitrogenic suspects), absorption of which is higher from raw crucifers.

      I can always take a sea kelp iodine pill at bedtime or in the morning, after the greens are well on their journey.

      • DH

        Your approach is a sensible one, but I am not entirely convinced, from the literature that I have seen, that iodine repletion fully abolishes the goitrogenic effects of raw crucifers:

        1) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16837428
        2) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10520350
        3) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8575723
        4) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1765328

        • Darryl

          One theory that might account for endemic goiter is that its caused not by excess thiocyanates, but by the combination of iodine deficiency, selenium deficiency and high isothionate diets.

          Selenium and the thyroid: how the relationship was established

          Thiocyanate induces cell necrosis and fibrosis in selenium-and iodine-deficient rat thyroids

          The epidemiology of iodine-deficiency disorders in relation to goitrogenic factors and thyroid-stimulating-hormone regulation

          Your second paper was on endemic goiter in West Bengal – Environmental hypothesis: is poor dietary selenium intake an underlying factor for arsenicosis and cancer in Bangladesh and West Bengal, India?

          On the other hand, in North India, it appear iron deficiency is the only good correlate: Persistence of goitre in the post-iodization phase: micronutrient deficiency or thyroid autoimmunity?

          It’s pretty clear science doesn’t have a good handle on the causes of endemic goiter:

          Other dietary factors which could potentially contribute to goitre–vitamin A or selenium deficiency or intake of large amounts of thiocyanate-producing goitrogens–were found not to be a problem among these women. Multiple regression analysis of the causes of goitre, including measures of iodine status and anthropometric variables, could account for only 12% of the variability in goitre grade.

          I came accross a couple of studies where goiter prevalence varied three-fold in neighboring villages with the same iodine & selenium status and presumably similar diets – its a bit bewildering, and I wouldn’t be surprised if the major contribution was by viral infection or autoimmune disorder, with iodine, selenium, and thiocyanates making underlying disorders visible.

          • DH

            The Marwaha study states: “Significantly higher median urinary thiocyanate (USCN) excretion was observed in goitrous subjects (0.75 mg/dl) compared to controls (0.64 mg/dl; P < 0.001) and goitrous girls compared to goitrous boys. "

            In any case, most of these studies were done in the developing world, and extrapolation to vegans in industrialized countries may be difficult, including from some of the studies that I had also quoted.

            Those involved in animal husbandry have known for quite some time that it is a bad idea to forage their animals on cruciferous vegetables; unless low-goitrogen strains have been selected for grazing. Presence of iodine supplementation did not seem to make a difference to these cattle:

            http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1953333

            ("Though thyroid and epithelial cells were enlarged, this enlargement was not so obvious as in animals exposed to higher glucosinolate level. In spite of 1 mg supplementary iodine/kg feed, the feeding of the conventional RSM [rapeseed meal] resulted in a lower serum T4 level a reduced thyroid iodine content and the enlargement of thyroid and that of epithelial cells.")

            Whether we can extrapolate these data to "human grazers" is a question I have — but I don't intend to personally be the one that finds out!

            In the following case report ( http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMc0911005 ), an 88-year-old woman in NYC presented with myxedema coma. The patient "had been eating an estimated 1.0 to 1.5 kg of raw bok choy daily for several months in the belief that it would help control her diabetes. She had no previous history of thyroid disease."

            "In our patient, the problem was her consumption of considerable amounts of raw bok choy. When eaten raw, brassica vegetables release the enzyme myrosinase, which accelerates the hydrolysis of glucosinolates; the cooking process largely deactivates the myrosinase in these vegetables. This case demonstrates the potential for nutritional factors to have a profound effect on health."

            However, this patient had an extreme diet, and it is difficult to consume 1.0-1.5 kg of raw bok choy every day for several months. No word on what her iodine status was like, but iodine deficiency is rare in North America.

          • Darryl

            I’d like to thank you for bringing this issue to my attention. Curiously, there’s relatively little work on the goitrogenic potential of different isothiocyanates – ideally one could eat isothiocyanates with high chemopreventative and low goitrogenic potential. I found this article pretty interesting:

            Chandra, Amar K., et al. “Goitrogenic content of Indian cyanogenic plant food & their in vitro anti-thyroidal activity.” Indian Journal of Medical Research 119 (2004): 180-185.

            Worst culprits? Not the cruciferous vegetables, but bamboo shoots and cassava. Moreover, cooking didn’t help:

            Boiled extracts showed maximum inhibition of TPO activity followed by cooked and raw extracts. Excess iodide was found relatively effective for raw extract but less effective for boiled and cooked extracts in reversing anti-TPO activity. Inhibition constant (IC50) was found highest with bamboo shoot and least with cabbage.

            Of course, all the usual caveats about in vitro studies apply. There was a fun citing article too:

            Milewski, Antoni V., and Ellen S. Dierenfeld. “Supplemental iodine as a key to reproduction in pandas?.” Integrative Zoology 7.2 (2012): 175-182.

            Clearly, living in low-iodine mountainous regions and eating nothing but the most goitrogenic food can’t be a good combination. Come to think of it, I’ve never seen an intelligent panda, perhaps they all suffer from goitrogenic cretinism.

          • DH

            Darryl, do you think the anti-cancer compounds in cruciferous vegetables are destroyed by steaming, since these are the same compounds that are potentially goitrogenic?

            I take a balanced approach and steam one portion of crucifers for 4 minutes while snacking on red cabbage at dinner. Both get raw horseradish on top. Not sure if red cabbage has enough of the necessary chemopreventative compounds.

          • Darryl

            The beneficial glucosinosolates (Glucoraphanin
            Glucobrassicin, others have some but lesser benefits) are uneffected by steaming, but the enzyme myrosinase that cleaves them to their biologically active isothiocyanate forms (sulforaphane, indole-3-carbinol, there are many others) is rendered inactive. Gut bacteria also have myrosinase, but total isothionate absorption is half or lower of that when cooked, and some important transformations, like conversion of indole-3-carbinol to 3,3′-diindolylmethane catalysed by stomach acid can’t occur.

          • DH

            Thanks, that’s helpful! Do you know whether the comparative amounts of these compounds greatly differ between broccoli, cauliflower, red cabbage, green/white cabbage, and horseradish? Those are my “go-tos”, but for raw food snacking, I mostly eat red cabbage (it is nicely stomach-distending).

          • Darryl

            Some useful papers:

            McNaughton, S. A., and G. C. Marks. “Development of a food composition database for the estimation of dietary intakes of glucosinolates, the biologically active constituents of cruciferous vegetables.” British journal of nutrition 90.3 (2003): 687-698.

            Unfortunately, it doesn’t breakdown the glucosinolate composition. Some, like glucoraphanin (precursor to sulforaphane), mostly in broccoli sprouts and broccoli, are likely considerably more potent in inducing cellular stress responses (yes, that’s a good thing).

            Rungapamestry, Vanessa, et al. “Effect of cooking brassica vegetables on the subsequent hydrolysis and metabolic fate of glucosinolates.” Proceedings of the Nutrition Society 66.01 (2007): 69-81.

          • http://www.eatandbeatcancer.com/ Harriet Sugar Miller

            I talked a bit about this before, but here’s a more detailed explanation:

            At the recent American Institute of Cancer Research conference, food scientist Elizabeth Jeffery, Univ. of Illinois, talked about how certain crucifers can swing both ways, so to speak. For example, when the myrosinase enzyme acts on broccoli’s sulfur-containing compounds, sulforaphane (which fights cancer) or nitriles (which don’t appear to) can be produced. Other crucifers capable of producing nitriles include cauliflower, cabbage and Brussels sprouts, and Jeffery suggested that if you steam these lightly, just until bright green, you’ll keep nitriles from forming.

            Cooking, however, will degrade the enzyme, so she suggested adding it back by eating just a little raw crucifer in the same meal–a couple of radishes or 1/2 teaspoon of mustard or wasabi would be sufficient, she said, based on her research.

          • Darryl
  • Guest

    Same question – Should we not soak our beans if we want to preserve phytates? I soak my beans overnight and cook in a pressure cooker the next day. Is this the best practice?

    • http://nutritionfacts.org/ Michael Greger M.D.

      Still need to presoak dried beans (except lentils and peas) before cooking. Or, can use canned beans if you want to save yourself the hassle (Canned Beans or Cooked Beans?). Soaking nuts to get rid of phytate no longer makes much sense though.

      • Leslie

        What about enzyme inhibitors that block trypsin? I read that seeds, nuts, and beans contain these trypsin inhibitors, and that they impair our ability to digest protein effectively, causing us to miss out on certain amino acids. A concern?

        • Brian Humphrey

          Until a study is done or your hair and teeth rot out, don’t sweat it. If so take a protein supplement separately.

        • Han

          I’ve never heard of people being protein deficient, unless it was in severely malnourished people. Please stop worrying about protein.

      • http://www.eatandbeatcancer.com/ Harriet Sugar Miller

        Would you mind further explaining this statement? Why is there an exception for lentils and peas? Why doesn’t it make sense any longer to soak nuts? What about soaking and sprouting oilseeds such as pumpkin and sesame?

      • Veganrunner

        Ok. I am confused. Why would we soak beans if we don’t need to worry about phytates?

        • Darryl

          It takes time for the inner part of larger beans to rehydrate. Cook a kidney bean, or worse garbanzo bean without soaking, and you’ll get a soft bean around a hard, unpalatable core.

          There’s also a potential benefit from releasing oligosaccharides into the soaking water, reducing fuel gut fermentation for good (reducing flatuence) and bad (the same oligosaccharides promote beneficial bacteria). This is best achieved by boiling briefly to break bean cell membranes, then soaking for hours as usual, discarding the soak water, and rinsing.

          • Veganrunner

            Ok. For cooking but not regarding the phytates. I cook beans a couple times per week so I have that down. Thanks Darryl

      • Guest

        Thank you!!!

  • David

    To soak nuts and seeds, or not? What if you don’t soak them? What if you do? Advantages and disadvantages? Soaking: How long? Overnight? Or generally allow them to soak and store in refrigerator?
    Thank you!

    • copykitty

      The natural way is the best. Soaking nuts is “processing”, isn’t it? I’ve never done this since I think that in the wild nobody was probably thinking of soaking nuts and seeds… and they were fine and healthy. So healthy we are here now.

  • Annoyed by Paleofraud

    Phytates v. osteoclastogens, phytates win! Take that, anti-legume nuts!

  • jeannie

    This is probably the same phenomenon long known as phosjaw or phossyjaw in industries that use certain forms of phosphorus. The makers of this drug must have seen this coming.

  • Hilla

    I find this topic very interesting and relevant, as someone who eats lots of phytate-rich foods. However, it sounds to me like these studies make conclusions that are from correlation and not causation. How do we know that high-phytate foods don’t have something else really healthy in them that is good for bone health? (In fact, I’m sure they do.) A much better study would be to compare two groups of people who eat high-phytate foods, but one group soaks/ferments/sprouts their food and the other does not. This would be much more telling!

  • lagaya

    Does the beans’ ability to inhibit the osteoclasts also lead to the same brittleness seen in users of the osteo drugs?

  • HemoDynamic, M.D.

    Sounds Corny but. . . I love you man!
    Just an amazing production!

    Beans, beans, the more than magical fruit,
    The less you eat, the more you stoop!

    Everyday I feel I should take the position with PCRM just so I can be around the geniuses (you, Neal and the crews that support you both!) that are at the forefront of medical change!

    I must also apologize for not being able to comment more. I have just been way too busy with my new position and I wish I had more time to be an active team member. Keep up the good work everyone!

  • Coacervate

    Phytate binds binds AND RELEASES calcium so may act as a calcium buffer that mitigates against bone loss during periods of metabolic acidity. I’m so tired of hearing about the dreaded phytate. I always wondered where that fear came from. Hope the tomato effect does not apply to this one too.

    • http://ClinicalPosters.com/ ClinicalPosters

      “Tomato effect?” Are you referring to night shades?

      • Coacervate

        No, I was referring to an earlier vid about the powerful herd mentality that prevents humans from accepting new positive information. I meant that someone close to me who won’t eat certain foods or drink some good stuff because she heard it contained toxic phytatic acid…O Ayyyaannnn…you listening … its just a bogeyman.

        I can’t resist telling this, I’m 60 now…I remember my third grade teacher, the wonderful Mrs. May, telling us about how people used to call tomatoes the “Death Apple” because they thought it had so many seeds it would choke a person. She said we should always question things and think for ourselves.

  • JoAnn Downey

    Hmmm. 9 years ago at age 58 I was diagnosed with osteoporosis (dexascan) My doc told me to get off meat and dairy and start lifting heavy weights for all muscle groups. So I did. And that’s exactly when I started eating about a cup of beans a day for protein. A few years later I had reversed the osteoporosis to the mid-osteopenia range. My increased bone density probably results from a combo of the changes I made, but hey, the beans could have played an important part!

    • Sebastian Tristan

      Kudos.

    • Esther Salomon

      Jo Ann. Would you be so kind to share………do you soak your beans? That would help to clarify my doubts I an also concerned with osteoporosis. Thanks

      • JoAnn Downey

        Esther, I soak dried beans overnight, dump the water and rinse thoroughly before cooking. I also use Eden Organic no added salt beans which come in a BPA free can when I’m lazy! I eat a LOT of kale and other high calcium plant foods so my daily calcium intake is always around 1000mg according to the Cronometer.

        • Esther Salomon

          Thanks. Very kind to share your experience. I find wise advise and appreciate this group of people for ther generosity sharing more than knowledge
          Best wishes and full recovery

  • Michelle Blaxall

    I couldn’t help thinking that the positive correlation found between phytate levels and bone mass could largely be explained by the micronutrients that tend to accompany phytates, such as boron, magnesium, vitamins B6 & B9. But the lab study does point to phytates directly inhibiting bone breakdown. Thanks for bringing it to our attention and lets hope more research happens soon! As an aside, I wonder about that other calcium-binding “anti-nutrient” found in many green leafies: oxalic acid. Is it bad for bones, or has it been maligned?

  • MischiefMack

    Are calcium supplements safe? Do they protect bone health, or are they harmful like some other supplements? How easy is it to get enough calcium eating greens and beans (Does one have to eat gigantic portions?)?
    How about the daily recommended intake of calcium, have there been studies that suggest the intake should be different for plant based eaters?
    if the reccomentdate daily intake is 1000MG of calcium, does this mean I need to eat 334 almonds daily? (based on a calcium content of ~3MG per almond)

    • DH

      I do not have any problem with getting 1000 mg or more of calcium in my diet, but I eat 1/2-cup portions of beans throughout the day, and take half a cup of fortified unsweetened almond milk in the morning. I’ve become very creative about how I incorporate beans into my diet, including black soybeans into salads, green soybeans into pasta dishes, and black chickpeas into smoothies. I am getting over 1000 mg by doing that. In general, nuts, seeds, and leafy greens have much less bioavailable calcium content. Peanut butter, a legume product, also has a fair bit of calcium content.

      The one study I am aware of addressing your question is EPIC Norfolk which found that vegetarians with less than 530 mg/day of calcium intake had a higher risk of bone fragility fractures, so you definitely want to aim above 530 mg. I would not take supplements unless there was absolutely no way to get calcium from your diet – there is some evidence that supplements may be harmful in terms of cardiovascular risk.

      Jack Norris has an excellent evidence base on this at:

      http://veganhealth.org/articles/bones

      • Toxins

        It is important to limit sodium intake and animal product intake to minimize calcium balance levels.

        Calcium needs for humans are not as high as the DRI may recommend, and if we consumed a low sodium diet low in animal protein, our calcium needs can be as low as 450 mg per day as discussed more extensively in this article from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN. As represented in the figure below, and citing from the article “In a western-style diet, absorbed calcium matches urinary and skin calcium at an intake of 840 mg as in Figure 14. Reducing animal protein intakes by 40 g reduces the intercept [calcium balance] value and requirement to 600 mg. Reducing both sodium and protein reduces the intercept value to 450 mg.”

        http://www.fao.org/docrep/004/Y2809E/y2809e0h.htm#bm17

        • DH

          It may be incorrect to assume that vegans are somewhat protected from osteoporosis by virtue of the fact that they do not consume any animal protein in their diet. This is not exactly what you were saying in that last post, but one could have drawn that as a corollary (incorrectly).

          http://www.theveganrd.com/2013/08/calcium-and-protein-and-bone-health-in-vegans.html

          http://jacknorrisrd.com/calcium-and-vitamin-d-for-vegans-summarized/

          If what these nutritionists are saying is true, then it may be mythological that we need less calcium simply because we don’t eat animal protein.

          Having not researched this area myself in detail, I can only go by what experts are suggesting based on their own review of the literature (I have no ‘skin’ in the game).

      • MischiefMack

        Thank you, that is helpful! Sadly where I live there are no calcium fortified foods. Beans it is!

    • Darryl

      You’ll find 1000 mg of calcium in 3/5ths a cup of firm tofu, or 5 cups dark greens (collards, mustard greens, kale etc.), in both cases about or under 200 calories. To get the same amount from almonds would be a whopping 2200 calories.

      Nuts are the densest sources of minerals, but are poor in nutrient density per calorie.

    • Susan

      After fracturing my pelvis due to a bad fall, my physician who was also my surgeon for a total hip and knee replacement in 2006 and 2007, told me today that he would expect to see new bone to be created after 3 months, but I had created new bone
      in less than one month after the fracture. My fall and fracture took place November
      22, 2013. At the time, I was recovering from a spinal fracture, and yes, I have osteoporosis. So I guess my spine has also healed.

      I had been eating an average of 4-8 cups of cooked chopped organic collard greens per day, sometimes mixed with kale, and lately mixed with cannellini beans, which I’ve learned are high in calcium, magnesium and other nutrients.
      http://www.cannellini.com/beans

      I steam well washed collards without salt, but add up to one half tablespoon of certified organic and non-GMO Eden Organic Shiro miso after they are cooked. This contained the lowest quantity of salt of all the misos (and added my sweetness to the collards).

      I chose Eden Organic miso because it is Non-GMO Project verified as well as certified organic. This means it is not sprayed with Roundup/Glyphosate or other weed killing mineral chelators . Mineral chelators bind calcium, magnesium and other necessary minerals and make them
      unavailable to the plants, as well as the people and animals who eat the plants. Hence, if I’m NOT careful, GMO crops will cause me not to heal properly and there is nothing that physicians or new medicines can do to change this. The same is true with collards, which can be high in pesticides and herbicides. I want those grown by the organic method ONLY.

      Dr. Don Huber, Ph.D., soil and plant pathologist, professor emeritus from Purdue
      University has said that all weed killing chemicals are mineral Chelators and he explain what mineral chealators are doing to plants, especially herbicide resistant Genetically Engineered seeds.

      If I want to heal, I must avoid GMO’s at all costs!

      I’ve been eating basically
      dark leafy greens, red onions, mushrooms, berries and
      calcium/magnesium rich beans, as well as minimal amounts of cashews,
      almond butter and seeds every day or every other day, trying to get
      the right nutrients in my bones so I could heal better.

      Before I was diagnosed with
      osteoporosis, I had ingested 1000 mg of calcium-magnesium supplements
      per day, but they did not protect my bones from osteoporosis.
      And, a number of alternative medicine physicians (online or via
      books) suggested getting most nutrients from food not pills.
      Hence, I’ve been purchasing bone support in addition to basic
      vitamins and minerals from Andrew Weil, M.D. and getting most of my
      calcium, magnesium, boron, and other nutrients from food. This
      way I receive the entire complex, rather than individual
      vitamins/minerals.

      I must be doing something
      right, because my physician (who had also been a surgeon for former
      injuries) said he could see massive amounts of new bone building
      after less than a month. It was what he expected to see after 3
      months.

      For most of my 70 years and
      counting, I consumed lots of dairy, which did NOT help me prevent
      osteoporosis even with the vitamin/mineral supplements. Back
      then, physicians only recommended 400 IU vitamin D, which is not
      enough, for people who spend most of their lives inside on computers
      rather than basking in the sun for 15 minutes during the most
      dangerous times of the day.

      I was worried about skin
      cancer, and chose to stay in protective clothing or in shade. My skin
      has not wrinkled or aged, but I do have osteoporosis. However,
      eating a healthy vegan diet, I am healing faster than my physician
      had ever seen anyone heal before.

      Using the goal of consuming through food and minimal use of calcium citrates to achieve 1500 mg calcium per day. However, I added several raw (organic cashews, and other seeds minimally eaten. Because I got tired of just collards, I ate cannelini beans with the collards, which also contain calcium. I even added Eden Organic crushed tomatoes and quinoa pasta to make food more interesting and add more plant protein, amino acids and other nutrients. I did not know what I was doing, but they tasted better than eating just collards.

      • Thea

        Susan: That’s some story. I’m sorry to hear you have osteoporosis, but it was nice of you to take the time to share your experiences and what you have done about it. Very inspiring.

  • Sven

    Since we all really enjoy your videos and would like to see them continue forever, could you add the funding graphic to the main page? I mean the one which shows how much has been donated so far to meet the 50K yearly goal! This will help to maintain awareness and has worked very well for other causes!

  • feeling better every month

    Now this is the kind of non mainstream reporting that knocks conventional thinking and makes this interesting to come back to watch. As per Sven’s comment, I donating $20.

  • stacy

    Don’t these compounds also bind to vital minerals like zinc and also impair gut integrity, thus leading or perpetuating leaky gut and inflammation?

  • Ronald Chavin

    I agree with Dr. Greger that the phytochemical, phytate, delivers substantial health benefits that far exceed its one disadvantage. Here are the 5 advantages of eating phytate-containing, plant-source foods:

    (1)Phytate partially blocks the absorption of calories from proteins and starches, thereby causing less weight gain than the calories contained in phytate-containing foods would predict.

    (2)Phytate partially blocks the absorption of toxic heavy metals such as arsenic, lead, mercury, cadmium, and barium by binding with them.

    (3)Phytate partially blocks the absorption of iron, which like copper, manganese, and aluminum, is a pro-oxidant which, if consumed in excess, will damage every cell in our bodies and cause heart disease, cancer, and a dozen other killer diseases.

    (4)Phytate is a moderately powerful antioxidant which will partly block the damage to our cells inflicted by free radicals.

    (5)Phytate always comes together with over 100 other beneficial phytochemicals contained in the same foods.

    The only disadvantage of phytate is that it partially blocks the absorption of zinc, which like selenium and iodine, is a beneficial antioxidant. Scientific studies show that vegans are not deficient in zinc. However, people who still want to swallow zinc supplements for the antioxidant benefit or to treat or prevent diarrhea should buy zinc gluconate tablets because zinc gluconate is always much lower in cadmium than all other forms of zinc supplementation.

    For preventing and treating osteoporosis, phytate is just one of more than 100 antioxidants in plants that will work together to protect our bone-building osteoblasts. Garlic and onions have been shown to have the strongest benefit in inhibiting bone resorption. All green vegetables have been shown to be moderately beneficial in inhibiting bone resorption. However, the inhibition of bone resorption is just one of many variables that needs to be optimized in planning our defense of our bone health.

    Green tea and soy have been shown in real populations to be moderately beneficial in maintaining bone density and preventing future bone fractures even though green tea and soy did not prevent bone resorption at all in the same scientific studies that garlic, onions, and green vegetables prevented bone resorption well.

    In one scientific study, people who swallowed pills containing the soy isoflavone, genistein, developed substantially better bone densities than people who swallowed the placebo pills. However, in other scientific studies, people who ate flaxseeds did not have better bone densities than people who didn’t eat flaxseeds.

    However, the combined effect of all of the beneficial phytonutrients in all plant-source foods is still inadequate. Although their risk of future bone fractures is about the same, the bone densities of real populations of vegans is just slightly worse than the bone densities of real populations of omnivores. Why?

    (1)Real populations of vegans are eating mostly only white bread, white noodles, white rice, and white potatoes and not eating enough green vegetables.

    (2)Real populations of vegans would have substantially better bone health if they swallowed one 600mg calcium carbonate tablet daily. However, swallowing more than 600mg of calcium daily would do more harm than good to their overall health.

    (3)Real populations of vegans would have substantially better bone health if they consumed a little more protein, perhaps from soy foods, fenugreek seeds, other legumes, yogurt, fish, or oysters.

    (4)Real populations of vegans would have substantially better bone health if they consumed plenty of EPA and DHA, perhaps from algal DHA or double-strength fish oil softgels.

    The fermented Japanese soybean food called, natto, is by far the healthiest food for our bones. Eating tofu, edamame, or soybean meat will deliver only about one-fourth to one-third of the total health benefit to our bones that eating natto will deliver. The map of where hip fracture risk is highest in Japan is virtually identical to the map of where natto is least consumed in Japan. There was absolutely no correlation between the high hip fracture risk map and the consumption map of any other soybean food (soft tofu, firm tofu, fried tofu, miso, edamame, shoyu, okara, soymilk, soy flour, soy sprouts, soy yogurt, or soybean meat) in Japan:
    http://j-nattokinase.org/en/jnka_nattou_03.html
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16614424
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21394493
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11369171
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17012826

    About half of all people who suffer from heart disease have calcified arteries when examined by chest X-ray. Natto is the only food that can prevent, treat, and reverse calcified arteries. Natto removes the calcium from the calcified arteries and puts that calcium where it belongs – in our bones where it prevents future bone fractures. No other food and no prescription medicine can reverse arterial calcification. The statin drugs that medical doctors prescribe will dramatically improve our cholesterol numbers but they will also make calcified arteries much worse!!! Natto also contains generous amounts of nattokinase (subtilisin), which prevents, treats, and melts away pathogenic blood clots in both humans and animals.

    • DanielFaster

      GREAT POST! Thanks for taking the time to put this much detail into it. I’ve been making a lot of things with koji lately, but having a lot of trouble trying to find any nutritional info so this was a helpful post.

    • dogulas

      Removes the calcium for the calcified arteries? Seriously? That’s incredible! Any negative effects from natto? Where do you like to buy it?

      • DanielFaster

        Usually the Asian markets like H-Mart will carry it. It comes frozen in bundles of 3-4 individual 45-50g polystyrene packed servings. There may be a lot to choose from and hard to tell, but the main diffeerence is the little sauce packets that come with the plain natto and you should just throw those away and use your own flavoring, e.g., a bit of miso, soy sauce, mustard, sauerkraut, etc. or some combination of that. So it doesn’t really matter what the ingredients say or which brand you buy if you are trying to stay vegan the fish stuff is in the sauce that you toss. I take a set out of the freezer and put it in the fridge to thaw out overnite etc. Do NOT try to make this at home (very stinky)!

        • dogulas

          Thanks! Yeah I read that it’s incredibly stinky. Is it alright to cook or does that destroy the beneficial properties? Like if I microwaved it and added hot brown rice or something. I was unable to find a study showing reduction in artery calcification, do you know where I can look?

        • dogulas

          Awesome, thank you. Again, do you have any source on the artery decalcification you mentioned? I would love to read the study! Can’t find anything with a Google search.

  • stacy

    What about phytates and leaky gut, crohns, and colitis?

  • Tan

    Legumes are good for you. What’s new.

  • Lynda

    My question is about poop. I love beans and would be glad and happy to eat a can or cup a day but with the high fiber and whole grain, soybean, greens, fruit, seeds & nuts, etc. etc. I have very urgent “alerts” and very soft stools, today I was at the grocery store (and that is not the place I WANT to go but what can you do) I have learned not to try to wait. I do have osteoporsis and have been a vegan for 3 years (year ago scan saw positive movement to the better) but this poop-thing has stayed the same…., well at first it was just diarrhea (sorry for the more delicate) but I thought I was getting rid of toxins then. I wonder about absorbing the nutrients though, any help would be appreciated.

    • DH

      Lynda, you may want to check out the following Q & A from Dr G:

      http://nutritionfacts.org/questions/does-adding-baking-soda-to-soaking-beans-reduce-raffinose/

      Also, you should look at the one of the first comments there, by Billy Baker:

      http://nutritionfacts.org/questions/does-adding-baking-soda-to-soaking-beans-reduce-raffinose/#comment-721749843

      You don’t eliminate toxins through your gut but rather through your kidneys and liver.

    • fineartmarcella

      Perhaps you should bump up your probiotics? You may find that you are low, lots of things in our environment that bring them down and they are the KEY to good stool (after adeq fiber). BTW, it is easy for a vegan to hit 40-60 grams of fiber a day compared to those joke of fiber pills that have 2-3 grams. Regular docs just don’t get how much healthier we are :). Regarding probiotics though, I was told by a vegan doc in order to really be affective you need 100 billion a day, you can get probiotics capsules that high, but then I decided to just do a cup of water kefir daily, stools are now great! Perhaps try spouting your beans first too? Water Kefir is packed with vitamin b’s and others. The Kefir you buy in the store is really just probiotic mix of a couple. What you want is to get some Water Kefir grains, they are about 40-50 strains of probiotics, about 100 billion per spoon full of kefir water, I drink a cup a day, started giving it to my chronically constipated 83 yr mother and it straightened out her colon. You can buy it on amazon, ebay, lots of places, a couple good ones (I had to replace my batch due to mis-feeding), anyway, the best batch I got was from a guy named Michael-Paul Patterson
      at kefir-grains. org, then also on amazon had a good one Keysands, remember order ‘WATER’ kefir not milk kefir to get the better vegan kefir. Read up about them first before you order so you will have everything ready, one set of grains should last you a lifetime if you treat them right as about a cost of 6-10$. You just keep making them everyday for the next day, really easy and so very healthy for your colon. Anyway, thats an idea for you

  • Lynda

    Thanks DH but I really have no problem with gas it’s just the very urgent need to go and the softness of the stool, I go very often, even at 5 in the morning before any food, etc. I’m not going back to the SAD but thought someone might have the same problem. The gastro doctor at my last colon exam said fiber supplementation but once a day dose doesn’t help very much, I will try the baking soda though.

    • DH

      Lynda I find that it is gas and cramping that prompts the rectal urgency that signals me to go. Yes it’s possible to be a hyperdefecator on the basis of irritable bowel syndrome (rapid intestinal transit) without any evidence of increase flatulence, but how do you think we push out the stool in the first place? Intestinal gas production from anaerobes like Clostridium perfringens plays a major role, as does mucus production and intestinal peristalsis. I am thinking of trying that hing stuff mentioned in Billy Baker’s post.

  • Sebastian Tristan

    Lynda, I had similar problems as you until I tried soaking the beans with baking soda. That simply solved most issues.

  • Darryl

    Phytates may also be important in preventing atherosclerosis:

    McNally, J. Scott, et al. “Role of xanthine oxidoreductase and NAD (P) H oxidase in endothelial superoxide production in response to oscillatory shear stress.” American Journal of Physiology-Heart and Circulatory Physiology285.6 (2003): H2290-H2297.

    Oscillatory shear stress occurs at sites of the circulation that are vulnerable to atherosclerosis…Xanthine oxidase is responsible for increased reactive oxygen species production in response to oscillatory shear stress.

    Muraoka, Sanae, and Toshiaki Miura. “Inhibition of xanthine oxidase by phytic acid and its antioxidative action.” Life sciences 74.13 (2004): 1691-1700.

    Generation of the superoxide was greatly affected by phytic acid; the IC50 was about 6 mM, indicating that the superoxide generating domain of xanthine oxidase is more sensitive to phytic acid.

  • Greensong

    1. I’ve only heard recommendations to soak nuts and seeds with reference to their ENZYME inhibitors, not their phytate content.
    2. Don’t osteoclasts “eat” only spent bone spicules that need to be removed, not healthy bone tissue?

  • Lynda

    Wow, I have been thinking about probotics, thanks so much fineartmarcella, my husband thinks the milk kefir worked well for him with his gut problems but I have tried to get him to take supplements and he won’tt do it. I had never heard of water kefir but will definitely get some, have already watched a couple of youtube things on it. My husband says are you sure they aren’t making beer, he would be in line to try that…..yeah right. I will get some, thanks again. I have been off my broccoli and a lot of beans but will try sprouting the beans I know I need these for health.

  • Ruby

    Well, that was a tickler. I just finished a week long pot of sprouted kidney beans (shredded raw veggies with of course) and feel pretty springy in my step. Now i know why. :))

  • Shelley

    Thank you for this information. I am looking forward to reading more articles on phytates. I have recently been diagnosed with osteoporosis with a moderate 10 year fracture rate. My doctor has prescribed Fosamax but I do not wish to take this drug. I eat a low fat, plant based starch diet and am researching the benefits of nutrition over medication. I wonder if you could suggest a daily minimum amount? What is a good phytate level and how do I achieve that with diet?
    Thank you so much for the work you do.

  • Kathy (so confused)

    i read that healthy high fibre high bran foods and legumes cause calcium to chelate and therefore leach ?
    What to believe?

  • Ruth Ann

    I’m a 61 year old woman recovering from a foot stress fracture & diagnosed with osteoporosis & also osteoarthritis. I’ve been eating WFPB for 2 years now & am oil free, following Dr. Esselstyn’s plan, even though I’m not really a heart patient. My cholesterol dropped from 210 to 165. However, the osteoporosis is the most pressing concern. Do you recommend continuing strictly WFPB for the bones? I take calcium and Vitamin D in addition to eating plants full of calcium. Thank you in advance for help. Thank you also for NutritionFacts.org. It’s a gem.