Best Foods for Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)

Best Foods for Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)
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Which foods and cooking methods to choose and avoid, given the role advanced glycation end products (glycotoxins) may play in Polycystic Ovary Syndrome.

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Below is an approximation of this video’s audio content. To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video.

“Over the [past] 2 decades there has been increasing evidence supporting an important contribution from food-derived advanced glycation end products (AGEs),” also known as glycotoxins, to “increased oxidative stress and inflammation, processes that play a major role in the causation of chronic diseases”—including, potentially, polycystic ovary syndrome. Women with PCOS tend to have nearly twice the circulating AGE levels in their bloodstream.

Polycystic ovary syndrome may be “the most common [hormonal] abnormality” among young women in the United States, a common cause of infertility, menstrual dysfunction, and excess facial and body hair. Now, “the prevalence of obesity” is also higher in women with PCOS. So, since the highest AGE levels are found in broiled, grilled, fried, and roasted foods of mostly “animal origin,” is it possible that this causal chain starts with a bad diet—like lots of fried chicken—which leads to obesity, which then, in turn, leads to PCOS? So, what we eat maybe is only indirectly related to PCOS, through weight gain? No, because the same link between high AGE levels and PCOS was found in lean women, as well.

“As chronic inflammation and increased [oxidative] stress have been incriminated in the [disease process] of PCOS, the role of AGEs as [pro-]inflammatory and [pro-]oxidant mediators may [indeed] be linked with the metabolic and reproductive abnormalities of the syndrome.” And, further, the buildup of AGE inside polycystic ovaries themselves suggests “a potential role of AGEs” contributing to the disease process itself, beyond just some of the consequences.”

“RAGE [is] highly expressed” in ovarian tissues. In other words, the receptor—that’s the R in RAGE—the receptor in the body for these advanced glycation end products—is concentrated, for some reason, in the ovaries. So, ovaries may be particularly sensitive to their effects. So, AGEs might indeed be contributing “to the cause of polycystic ovary syndrome…and infertility.” So, should we just cut down on meat, cheese, and eggs? Or, we can always come up with AGE absorption-blocking drugs.

We know that “AGEs have been implicated in the development of many” chronic diseases. Specifically, “food-derived AGEs…play an important role;” diet is a major source of these pro-inflammatory AGEs. Indeed, cutting down on these dietary glycotoxins “reduces the inflammatory response.” But, stewed chicken just doesn’t taste as good as fried chicken. So, therefore, you can have your KFC and eat it, too. Just take this drug with it every time you eat, to cut down on the absorption of these toxins. And, it works—it actually lowers AGE blood levels. This oral absorbent drug, AST-120, is just a preparation of activated charcoal. That’s like what you give for drug overdoses, and when people are poisoned. I’m sure if you took some ipecac with your KFC, your levels would go down, too. You know, there’s another way you can reduce your absorption—by reducing your intake in the first place.

Simple, safe, and feasible. The first thing you do is stop smoking. The glycotoxins in cigarette smoke “may contribute to” the increase of heart disease and cancer among smokers.  Then, you can decrease your intake of high-AGE foods, while increasing your intake of foods that may help pull AGEs out of your system, like brown rice and mushrooms. And, we can eat foods high in antioxidants, like berries, herbs, and spices.

“Dietary AGE intake can be…decreased [even just by] changing the method of cooking” from the high temperature dry cooking methods to low heat, higher humidity. In other words, moving away from “broiling, searing, [and frying” to more “stewing, steaming, and boiling.” But, what we eat may be more important than how we cook it. For example, boiled chicken has less than half the glycotoxins of roasted chicken. But, even deep-fried potatoes [have] less than boiled meat. 

We could also eat foods raw, which doesn’t work as well for blood pudding, but we can choose raw nuts and nut butters, which may have 30 times less glycotoxins than roasted. And, we can stay away from high-AGE processed foods, such as puffed, shredded, and flaked breakfast cereals.

Why does it matter? Because study after study has shown that switching someone to a low-AGE diet can lower the inflammation in their bodies. Even just a single high-AGE meal can profoundly impair our artery function within just two hours of consumption. Fried or broiled chicken breast and veggies, compared to steamed or boiled chicken breast and veggies. The same ingredients; just different cooking methods. Now, you’ll notice that even the steamed or boiled chicken meal still impaired arterial function. So, you could certainly choose to eat even healthier, but significantly better than the fried or broiled.

Ironically, “the amount of AGEs administered during this [high-AGE] HAGE intervention,” the profoundly-impair-your-artery-function amount of AGEs, “was similar to the average estimated daily intake by the general population,” the Standard American Diet. That’s why you can decrease inflammation in people, putting them on a low-AGE diet. But, an increase in inflammation was less apparent when people switched from their regular diet to a high-AGE diet, because they’re already eating a high-AGE diet, so many of these glycotoxins in their regular diet.

Do we have evidence that reducing AGE intake actually helps with polycystic ovaries? Yes. Within just two months, baseline diet; switch to a high-AGE diet, to a low-AGE diet, and you see parallel changes in insulin sensitivity, oxidative stress, and hormonal status, with the take home being that those with PCOS may want to try a low-AGE diet, which in the study meant restricting meat to once a week that’s only boiled, poached, stewed or steamed, and cutting out fast food-type foods and soda. What about instead of steamed chicken, we ate no meat at all?

Rather than measuring blood levels, which vary with each meal, like if you just ate some roasted nuts or something, we can measure the level of glycotoxins stuck in your body tissues over time instead, with a fancy gizmo that measures the amount of light your skin gives off, because AGEs are fluorescent. And so, no surprise, this turns out to be a strong predictor of overall mortality. So, the lower the better, and “the one factor…consistently associated with” reduced skin fluorescence, this reduced AGEs coming out of your body, was a vegetarian diet, which suggests that eating more plant-based “may reduce exposure to [these] preformed dietary AGEs,” potentially reducing tissue AGEs, as well as chronic disease risk.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Image credit: Wordink via pixabay. Image has been modified.

Below is an approximation of this video’s audio content. To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video.

“Over the [past] 2 decades there has been increasing evidence supporting an important contribution from food-derived advanced glycation end products (AGEs),” also known as glycotoxins, to “increased oxidative stress and inflammation, processes that play a major role in the causation of chronic diseases”—including, potentially, polycystic ovary syndrome. Women with PCOS tend to have nearly twice the circulating AGE levels in their bloodstream.

Polycystic ovary syndrome may be “the most common [hormonal] abnormality” among young women in the United States, a common cause of infertility, menstrual dysfunction, and excess facial and body hair. Now, “the prevalence of obesity” is also higher in women with PCOS. So, since the highest AGE levels are found in broiled, grilled, fried, and roasted foods of mostly “animal origin,” is it possible that this causal chain starts with a bad diet—like lots of fried chicken—which leads to obesity, which then, in turn, leads to PCOS? So, what we eat maybe is only indirectly related to PCOS, through weight gain? No, because the same link between high AGE levels and PCOS was found in lean women, as well.

“As chronic inflammation and increased [oxidative] stress have been incriminated in the [disease process] of PCOS, the role of AGEs as [pro-]inflammatory and [pro-]oxidant mediators may [indeed] be linked with the metabolic and reproductive abnormalities of the syndrome.” And, further, the buildup of AGE inside polycystic ovaries themselves suggests “a potential role of AGEs” contributing to the disease process itself, beyond just some of the consequences.”

“RAGE [is] highly expressed” in ovarian tissues. In other words, the receptor—that’s the R in RAGE—the receptor in the body for these advanced glycation end products—is concentrated, for some reason, in the ovaries. So, ovaries may be particularly sensitive to their effects. So, AGEs might indeed be contributing “to the cause of polycystic ovary syndrome…and infertility.” So, should we just cut down on meat, cheese, and eggs? Or, we can always come up with AGE absorption-blocking drugs.

We know that “AGEs have been implicated in the development of many” chronic diseases. Specifically, “food-derived AGEs…play an important role;” diet is a major source of these pro-inflammatory AGEs. Indeed, cutting down on these dietary glycotoxins “reduces the inflammatory response.” But, stewed chicken just doesn’t taste as good as fried chicken. So, therefore, you can have your KFC and eat it, too. Just take this drug with it every time you eat, to cut down on the absorption of these toxins. And, it works—it actually lowers AGE blood levels. This oral absorbent drug, AST-120, is just a preparation of activated charcoal. That’s like what you give for drug overdoses, and when people are poisoned. I’m sure if you took some ipecac with your KFC, your levels would go down, too. You know, there’s another way you can reduce your absorption—by reducing your intake in the first place.

Simple, safe, and feasible. The first thing you do is stop smoking. The glycotoxins in cigarette smoke “may contribute to” the increase of heart disease and cancer among smokers.  Then, you can decrease your intake of high-AGE foods, while increasing your intake of foods that may help pull AGEs out of your system, like brown rice and mushrooms. And, we can eat foods high in antioxidants, like berries, herbs, and spices.

“Dietary AGE intake can be…decreased [even just by] changing the method of cooking” from the high temperature dry cooking methods to low heat, higher humidity. In other words, moving away from “broiling, searing, [and frying” to more “stewing, steaming, and boiling.” But, what we eat may be more important than how we cook it. For example, boiled chicken has less than half the glycotoxins of roasted chicken. But, even deep-fried potatoes [have] less than boiled meat. 

We could also eat foods raw, which doesn’t work as well for blood pudding, but we can choose raw nuts and nut butters, which may have 30 times less glycotoxins than roasted. And, we can stay away from high-AGE processed foods, such as puffed, shredded, and flaked breakfast cereals.

Why does it matter? Because study after study has shown that switching someone to a low-AGE diet can lower the inflammation in their bodies. Even just a single high-AGE meal can profoundly impair our artery function within just two hours of consumption. Fried or broiled chicken breast and veggies, compared to steamed or boiled chicken breast and veggies. The same ingredients; just different cooking methods. Now, you’ll notice that even the steamed or boiled chicken meal still impaired arterial function. So, you could certainly choose to eat even healthier, but significantly better than the fried or broiled.

Ironically, “the amount of AGEs administered during this [high-AGE] HAGE intervention,” the profoundly-impair-your-artery-function amount of AGEs, “was similar to the average estimated daily intake by the general population,” the Standard American Diet. That’s why you can decrease inflammation in people, putting them on a low-AGE diet. But, an increase in inflammation was less apparent when people switched from their regular diet to a high-AGE diet, because they’re already eating a high-AGE diet, so many of these glycotoxins in their regular diet.

Do we have evidence that reducing AGE intake actually helps with polycystic ovaries? Yes. Within just two months, baseline diet; switch to a high-AGE diet, to a low-AGE diet, and you see parallel changes in insulin sensitivity, oxidative stress, and hormonal status, with the take home being that those with PCOS may want to try a low-AGE diet, which in the study meant restricting meat to once a week that’s only boiled, poached, stewed or steamed, and cutting out fast food-type foods and soda. What about instead of steamed chicken, we ate no meat at all?

Rather than measuring blood levels, which vary with each meal, like if you just ate some roasted nuts or something, we can measure the level of glycotoxins stuck in your body tissues over time instead, with a fancy gizmo that measures the amount of light your skin gives off, because AGEs are fluorescent. And so, no surprise, this turns out to be a strong predictor of overall mortality. So, the lower the better, and “the one factor…consistently associated with” reduced skin fluorescence, this reduced AGEs coming out of your body, was a vegetarian diet, which suggests that eating more plant-based “may reduce exposure to [these] preformed dietary AGEs,” potentially reducing tissue AGEs, as well as chronic disease risk.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Image credit: Wordink via pixabay. Image has been modified.

Doctor's Note

I touched peripherally on marjoram for polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) in Benefits of Marjoram for Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), and on spearmint tea for PCOS in Enhancing Athletic Performance with Peppermint, but this is really my first deep dive. Sorry it took me so long! I dealt with another sorely under-recognized gynecological issue recently, in How to Treat Endometriosis with Seaweed—with more to come.

Because of AGEs, I no longer toast my nuts or buy roasted nut butters. Such a bummer, because they taste so much better. But, as Dr. McDougall likes to say, nothing tastes as good as healthy feels. For more on why it’s important to minimize our exposure to these toxic compounds, see:

If you haven’t yet, you can subscribe to my videos for free by clicking here.

67 responses to “Best Foods for Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)

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  1. Thanks so much for doing this video. Would this info support trying a low fat raw vs low fat cooked plant based diet? If ages are a result of cooking methods wouldn’t a raw diet lead to lower amnts and perhaps quicker healing.




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    1. Eva, yes, eating raw plant-based foods will give you fewer AGE’s than eating cooked plant foods. Raw whole foods vegan diets contain the lowest AGE levels of any diet.




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    2. hi Eva, yes a whole foods plant based diet would seem to be best, but there are some plant products that are high in age’s https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3704564/?report=classic (This report is available in downloadable pdf file too if you google it ) Table 1 shows a list of over 500 foods and their AGE content so you can check the foods you frequently eat. After studying this report and the list I now have no qualms about backing away from the nuts, grilled tofu, some cereals, crackers, oils !, avocado etc.




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      1. Susan, I’m assuming that the nuts referred to in the study are roasted? And that raw nuts are better? Same as the grains (toasted, shredded, etc.). If I understand correctly, the way they’re cooked plays a big role in creating AGE.




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        1. hi WFPB Nancy, yes, Dr Greger made mention of how his family now avoids roasting nuts or eating roasted nut butters because of the AGEs. From what I can see, raw walnuts might be half the AGE level. The report is worth downloading for a close look at how you are faring AGE-wise. From what I see, oats barely make it on the chart with less than 15 , but processed cereals are way up there rating at 1000 to 2000 per 100 gm. crisped rice and oat cereals come to mind.

          This being said, I agree with bhrollin that a completely raw diet is unnecessary, and might contain some higher AGE foods unknowingly with using higher fat foods, oils or my beloved dried figs LOL etc. I use the slow cooker a lot, and enjoy roasted or baked vegies,




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          1. There is always a danger in basing an entire diet on one factor. I attended a talk yesterday by Dr. Joel Fuhrman, who specifically advocates nuts and seeds, either raw or lightly dry toasted (not roasted). He cites several studies that show a dramatic decrease in several diseases with increased nut and seed consumption, and a noticeable decrease in death rates. He recommended one to three ounces daily with vegetable meals. It also appears that the fats in nuts increase absorption of nutrients in leafy green vegetables.

            Obviously individual needs vary, but a varied, whole foods, plant based diet, as recommended by Drs. Fuhrman or Gerger, go a long way towards addressing any number of problems.




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            1. hi Michael, thanks for your comment, and I agree with you. I eat a walnut per day or less (LOL its what Im allowed according to Dr Ornish) Dr Greger has number of videos demonstrating the positive effects of including a small amount of nuts in our diet, and included them on his Daily Dozen list. http://nutritionfacts.org/?fwp_search=walnuts&fwp_content_type=video

              I have heart disease so I have to limit them greatly, but the benefits are too good to miss out on. From looking at the list of AGE values for foods found on a wfpb adding some nuts or seeds would be worthwhile. The questions I have about AGEs are sort of related to Stewart’s comment… How many ‘units’ per day of AGEs can be consumed without negative effects ? And, if healthy eating is adopted, can we in part reduce or reverse some of the damaging effects ?




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            2. Michael,

              This information is specifically for people who need to lower their AGE intake due to PCOS issues that are horribly hard to overcome and very prevalent in many women today. If I didn’t have a daughter with PCOS, I probably wouldn’t worry much about a roasted nut here or there, but that is not the case. We are desperately doing everything we can to help her regain control of her hormones.

              Thanks Dr. Greger for the new information. It’s greatly appreciated.




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      2. It doesn’t list tortillas. We eat corn tortillas warmed on the comal every night with out beans. I think it’s ok, but I would like to know.




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    3. Hi Eva, I would agree that a raw wfpbd would be most advantageous in reducing AGEs. However, given the extraordinary difficulty in getting adequate nutrition that way, it strikes me as more important to look at other factors. I think it best to look to just how much more advantage there is in that rather small reduction v the difficulty in getting there. Frying should be out. Period. But even with fried plant food the amount of AGEs is still way lower than just about any cooked meat. Boiling, roasting or microwaving will likely give potentially good culinary results with very low AGEs and open up a great deal more dietary options that can counter AGEs buldup.




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    1. It appears that microwaving foods is one of the better cooking methods, as far as AGEs are concerned. But, I also have seen studies that caution about high nutrient loss when microwaving. I would expect it would depend on the nutrient and the food being microwaved. I don’t know if there are any good studies addressing microwaving.




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      1. Bill Callaghan: re: ” I don’t know if there are any good studies addressing microwaving.” I wanted to share my favorite article about microwaving. It’s not from an author I would normally refer people to. However, no one is wrong about everything and this author nails it when it comes to microwaves. I don’t know if you would consider the article an answer to your question, but I thought you would be interested.

        http://www.drmyattswellnessclub.com/Microwave.htm




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  2. Wow! You certainly packed a lot into this video. The obvious takeaway that AGEs –> PCOS while sound and important is such a small portion of what you included. I expect I will be reading most of your sources on my flight to Atlanta this week.

    OK a big question for me concerns the reversal of effects of excess serum AGEs. As a T1 diabetic, I have had excess endogenous AGEs for over 45 years. My A1c has generally been under reasonable control for most of that time and I have not eaten meet excessively even before arthritis and the threat of being on methotrexate forced me to change my diet completely. Still my serum AGEs were likely too high. Now I eat a lot of what you mentioned as AGEs reducing food and consume very little now. What I really want to know is what is the cumulative effect and to what extent can that be reversed?

    Though I have never seen it quantified reasonable inference from some of the literature suggests that even for a reasonably controlled diabetic on a standard American Diet, most of our AGEs come from diet. My dAGEs are now very low and my A1c is reasonable so I’m hoping this gives me a significant advantage in reversing some of the effects.




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    1. Stewart, I am one of the site moderators. It sounds like you have really done your homework and made some significant changes. Great job! I only learned about AGE’s a few years ago and was blown away! Most people get that the building block for AGEs are proteins and fats that get complexed (glycated) with glucose but the key feature for forming the AGEs is in the presence of heat. Usually a pretty high heat. This is where some people start advocating for a raw diet – or what may sometimes be termed a “high raw” diet wherein at least 50% or more of your food is raw. This conforms with the Dr. Greger philosophy and others in the plant based movement is you adhere to the giant salad for lunch and dinner.

      Like most parts of the body, we pretty much turn over into a new person every few weeks to years based upon how we remodel the older cells. I would imagine that as you adhere to your much healthier way of eating you will reverse the effects of prior AGE’s consumed.




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  3. Thank you for doing the video on PCOS – it was highly anticipated! I suffer from PCOS, although I eat a healthy vegan diet for over three years now, I don’t smoke, don’t drink soda and my BMI is around 20. Seems like there’s not much I can do about my PCOS other than going completely raw?




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  4. Are roasted veggies bad, then? Every Friday evening I roast a large amount of veggies (usually peppers, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, mushrooms, zucchini). I do it in 2 batches in our not-too-small toaster oven. The veggies are mounded up, so the ones not in the top layer are exposed to less air. I roast them for 45 minutes at what the oven says is 450 (though I doubt it gets that high really since they take 45 minutes to get done). I microwave the Brussels sprouts first for 6 minutes with a little water, otherwise they are not done enough by roasting. The roasted veggies make up about half the cooked veggies I eat each week – the rest I steam. I also eat a lot of raw salad. Am I doing myself harm by eating the roasted veggies? They are SO good!




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    1. hi Tim, I posted this article above https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3704564/?report=classic which Dr Greger has cited in a few videos on AGE’s. Iff you scroll down that page there is a table listing many foods, including vegies. Even roasted potatoes are low in AGE compared to animal products , cheese, bakery items, oils etc. A white potatoe roasted for 45 min with a tsp of oil is only 218 on this chart..a sweet potatoe is 78 ,so I think we’re fine with the roasted vegie mix . I make a roasted vegie soup with kale thats great. The roasting does intensify the flavour.




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  5. After reading this and watching the video on this page I would guess that Dr. G. would not recommend a raw vegan diet.
    http://nutritionfacts.org/topics/raw-food/page/3/
    Dr. McDougall does not recommend them either. I’ve seen pretty many people go on a raw food diet but almost none of them stay on it. Too difficult to get your daily calories, very expensive, and a continual effort to maintain food with a very short shelf life. I’ve read that both canned and frozen veggies are more nutritious because they are packaged very shortly after harvest at the peak of nutrition. “Fresh” veggies spend days in transit and on shelves before they’re consumed.




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  6. Hello Doctor!
    I’ve been vegan for a while and trying to keep to a healthy lifestyle.
    Recently heard of the benefits of intermittent fasting (either as an 8-10 hour window for eating each day, or restricting to 500 calories twice a week) and came here to look for an opinion from a source I trust. Couldn’t find any posts or videos on the subject.
    Will you cover intermittent fasting in one of your posts, “ask the doctor”, or videos?

    Thank you!




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    1. There are videos on this site that show that fasting lowers methionine in meat eaters which is probably the main benefit. Vegans nave low methionine without fasting.




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    2. Roi: The question about intermittent fasting is one of our most asked questions. It’s my understanding that Dr. Greger plans to tackle this topic in the not too distant future. Stay tuned.




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  7. Human food for humans (repeat after me…). So this means no meat, dairy, eggs, and grains. Raw food for humans (repeat after me…) So this means, don’t cook it (especially NOT in a microwave). If you have to eat some cooked veggies than steam them. Humans need lots of fruit (repeat after me…) and since you did not eat this way since you were born you need to CLEAN out all the mucoid plaque from your intestines. Look into both Dr. Morse and the Master Fast (both on YouTube and on FB).




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    1. Hi Lisa
      No grain? Raw is better than cooked. Please post research. Steam is better than microwave? Please post research. Mucoid plaque? Again I would like to read that info.

      I am not trying to be difficult but that is what separates this website from other. (Link the statement please)

      Thank you.




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        1. Hi Alexandre, You sure about that? How Not To Die Pages 333-334 mentions various forms for various veggies depending on veggie. Soups. Fabulous. Griddling and microwave were gentlest. “Nuking preserves 95 % of antioxidant capacity.”




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  8. Hey,

    I am wondering if you know if a vegan diet can help cold sores been vegan for nearly a year but been getting coldsores monthly now since the switch please can you give some recommendations please.

    Many thanks




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    1. Hi Sara: As you may already know, cold sores are caused by a virus that can’t be cured. Common triggers for outbreaks include viral infection or having a fever (being sick with a cold), hormonal changes (such as those related to menstruation), stress, fatigue, and exposure to sunlight and wind. Try to identify your triggers, then work on ways to prevent outbreaks from there (for example if a trigger is sun and wind – be sure to use SPF and lip balm when spending time outdoors). You can also talk to your doctor about antiviral medications if cold sores are becoming more frequent and difficult to manage. Hope this helps!




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  9. I already have been following a vegan diet for 6 years and avoid foods cooked at high temperature (broiling, frying etc). My one vice is coffee. I have been watching the acrylamide situation with respect to coffee, but have not found sufficient evidence to cut coffee yet (I know there are some benefits too to consuming coffee). What is the situation around coffee and AGE? Any data on how big the AGE load is for say one cup of coffee?




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    1. hi Daniel DuPlessis, thanks for your question – coffee is my beverage of choice and I didnt think to look it up ! Looks like we’re in the clear re AGEs and coffee.. 1.6 on the scale for filter brewed, and max 7.6 if you add sugar to it. Barely even registers on the scale.

      Dr Greger has had some good things to say about coffee in past videos, and even better things to say about green tea http://nutritionfacts.org/video/coffee-and-mortality/ hope this helps.




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  10. Maybe in another 100 to 500 years nutritional science will have all this down but for now it does not matter what your health problem is the place to start is whole plant-based products while focusing on the food that has high nutrients to calories like of course greens, other vegetables and fruits. That then can be refined by Dr Greger’s daily dozen or greens, beans, onions, mushrooms, seeds/nuts and berries among spices on a daily basis. Although a vegan diet is not really pushed on this site I do not consume any animal products, processed foods or soft drinks.

    Maybe it is really not benefically to be soaking nuts, seeds and intact grains but I still do soak nuts sometimes and dry them at 115 F. They are not really toasted and I do not know what it adds to the AGEs but I am not going to wait 100 years to find out.




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  11. Great video Doctor Greger, Thank you.

    The notes mention that you NO LONGER roast your nuts or seeds. How do you sanitize them, how do you make sure to minimize on unnecessary of unsanitary handling of them? As it’s pretty common that even as production workers wear gloves, they (workers) do touch other objects or even their attire. Also, it’s not uncommon to have the product sit at a warehouse for a prolonged period of time…mold loves such conditions.




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  12. So what is the technique for visualizing the AGEs in skin? People could have AGING parties where they could compare their biological ages and have some fried chicken on the side….

    Does anyone have a link to some pics of skins at various ages?




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  13. Could it be that vegetarians have more chlorophyll pigments[1] in their serum which will skew the fluoresence measurements[2]?

    If I look at the method[3] used:

    Skin AF was based on the ratio of the average light intensity per nanometer in the range between 420 and 600 nm and the average light intensity per nanometer in the range between 300 and 420 nm (AF in arbitrary units [AUs]).

    and at the absorbance spectra of cholorphyll a and b then there is a bit of an overlap!

    Eating lots of green leafy vegetables may hide some of the light your serum AGEs are emitting!

    [1] J Cell Sci. 2014 Jan 15;127(Pt 2):388-99. doi: 10.1242/jcs.134262. Epub 2013 Nov 6.
    Light-harvesting chlorophyll pigments enable mammalian mitochondria to capture photonic energy and produce ATP.

    [2] Nongnuch A, Davenport A. The effect of vegetarian diet on skin autofluorescence measurements in haemodialysis patients. Br J Nutr. 2015 Apr 14;113(7):1040-3.

    [3] Graaff R, Arsov S, Ramsauer B, Koetsier M, Sundvall N, Engels GE, Sikole A, Lundberg L, Rakhorst G, Stegmayr B. Skin and plasma autofluorescence during hemodialysis: a pilot study. Artif Organs. 2014 Jun;38(6):515-8.




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  14. Thank you for looking into this topic. I have PCOS and am also disturbed by how prevalent it is among women I know and also how dismissive my OGBYN and endocrinologist were in treating it. I don’t want to take birth control or metformin so any information on the causes and how to mange the syndrome are very helpful. Please continue to look into this pervasive syndrome.

    I don’t smoke, drink, eat meat, and try to avoid sugars and high glycemic foods (though I am not flawless as the low GI diet) and I have been having a relatively regular period for the first time in my life – I still struggle with abundant hair growth however and have felt like there is more about this condition to be explored. I will definitely be looking into AGEs now. Thank you and keep up the info – there is much light needed upon this subject.




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  15. I have a concern not really related to PCOS since I’ve already been tested for that but I’m a person who has been eating a WFPB for 4 years now and within the past year I started having a lot of issues with my hair falling out and thinning out and have been to several doctors who couldn’t really help me. I got blood work down wth an endocrinologist in February and he said everything was fine except my cortisol and testosterone levels were high and he thinks that’s what also causing my hair to fall out so he prescribed me metformin but I refuse to take it. I’m only 25 years old and I used to have sooo much hair and every day my hair falls out so easily and I’m starting to bald in the front part of my head. We did a stress test to make sure the cortisol wasn’t stemming from a tumor or cyst or anything and luckily it wasn’t but does this mean that my hair isn’t going to get better unless I bring my cortisol levels down? I don’t even feel stressed out but I will say I feel fatigued all the time when I never used to.

    Thanks in advance, I’m really concerned about this as it has made me super self conscious and unhappy lately




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    1. Adding onto that, I’ve been on birth control since I was 16 and the endocrinologist said that birth control should actually help with testosterone levels. He also said because I have sensitive skin (pimples) that that’s causing my hair to fall out too. The only reason I got on birth control was to control my skin back then and it has really been the only thing to help me with it. I also exercise regularly but nothing is helping. Literally every time I touch my hair it falls out and I don’t know what to do next




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      1. Anonymous,

        May I respectfully suggest you have a functional medicine physician evaluate your situation.

        It sounds, without giving any medical advise, that your thyroid function is one of the top considerations. Remember the two tests done typically, FT4 and TSH, are inadequate to evaluate the organs function. Not having a more in depth history, the other consideration that clearly stands out is the use of BCP’s. I would encourage you to read the well done work by Dr. Ross on this subject and emphasis that the B6 levels in particular, coupled with the changes in your hormones and from my experience, zinc levels, may be the root cause of the issues, not the diet directly.

        Consider some supplementation and discontinuation of the BCP’s. Good move on the metformin…. it would then decrease your B-12 levels further……and remember that hair takes some time to change as it goes through cycles……. be patient and hang in there.

        Dr. Alan Kadish moderator for Dr. Greger




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        1. Thank you for your reply! So you’re saying even if I had an extensive blood panel done with the doctor and everything came back normal, it’s still possible it could be a thyroid issue? I have no family history of that nor diabetes. Maybe a few things to follow up with is that the year before I switched to a WFPB lifestyle that my hair did thin out but not along the front part of my scalp and it only lasted for a little while. Now it is full on falling out at a rapid rate and you can visibly see my scalp but I was thinking it really maybe it just stress? Another thing is I noticed when my hair started to do this last year, I started noticing white stuff in my stool and have been tested multiple times for parasites, but all came back negative. Got checked for IBS and got an ultrasound and all that as well. I just recently came across something called candida and feel like I have similar symptoms but once again, don’t know.

          I looked up doctor ross but couldn’t find anything on B6 unfortunately

          I feel like if it were BCP related that I would’ve experienced this a long time ago? I really do not know though and obviously am not a doctor such as yourself!

          My next step is probably going to a hair specialist but I just really didn’t want to spend more money trying to figure out my issues because it’s starting to get expensive.




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          1. Anonymous,

            Please consider more exploration of your issues and I do appreciate the cost considerations. Were all of the tests for thyroid done ? With out the full panel your not going to know what’s up……, Did you have an in-depth look at your hormones via a panel such as the Dutch test ? And you don’t need to see a doc to do these tests.

            Seeing a hair specialist is probably not my best suggestion…. The stool test, not just for some parasites……should yield a very big clue as to what’s going on. If indeed white materials are present …. test don’t guess. As an example, consider Genova diagnostics and do a CDSA 2 test and actually find out what’s up. FYI most parasite tests are limited to the obvious critters and there are multiple styles ranging from simple microscopy to dna fragment evaluations….with huge differences in results. You will find that getting the rest of the story will actually direct you to the cause.

            Dr. Alan Kadish moderator for Dr. Greger




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    1. Hi Michelle: You can actually do some really tasty cooking and roasting without oil. You can find some tips from our friends at Fork Over Knives here.




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  16. Could someone please tell me if dry roasting is as bad/the same as normal roasting? I have PCOS and would love to not make the issue worse by eating the peanut butter I bought. (It doesn’t have anything else added to it – just specifies that the peanuts are dry roasted). Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!




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  17. Hi Seraphina, thanks so much for your question! I didn’t know what dry roasting meant until pretty recently.

    Dry roasting simply means that it was not roasted in oil. It was roasted dry, or completely by itself, with nothing added. Therefore, dry roasted peanuts would typically be preferable to (oil) roasted peanuts. I hope this answers your question!




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  18. Hi Leela,

    I am a volunteer moderator who helps Dr Greger answer questions posted to NutritionFacts. I am a whole foods plant based dietitian nutritionist located in Scottsdale, Arizona. I am not 100% sure what you mean by “fortified” soy milk, so it’s a bit tough for me to answer your question with precision. However, I recommend organic, unsweetened plan soy milk for my clients (and drink it myself) along with a wide variety of whole fresh plant based foods. There is a nice, new plant milk on the market called Ripple which is made from yellow peas, with a protein content equivalent to cow’s milk. Although Dr Greger has weighed in with the question, “how much soy is too much?” it of course is not specific to PCOS. Spoiler alert: Dr G recommends sticking to 3-5 SERVINGS of soy foods a day to be safe and avoid any negative effects from increased insulin growth factor (IGF).

    It is an older, non science based recommendation that those with PCOS avoid soy foods due to their purported estrogenic effects in the body. We know now from the science that soy foods have a different type of estrogen (the beta versus the alpha) which may actually serve as a block in our estrogen receptors thus providing protection from estrogen sensitive conditions. So, I do not recommend my clients with PCOS avoid soy foods, but do recommend limiting intake to 3 servings or so a day based on possible IGF issues. Finally, back to Ripple, the plant milk I referenced above. It is made from yellow peas, a legume and great source of protein. So eat more legumes, limit soy, and enjoy a wide variety of foods!

    Thanks for your question –

    Lisa Schmidt, MS, CN
    THE Mindful Nutritionist
    Scottsdale, Arizona




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