Phytates for the Prevention of Cancer

Phytates for the Prevention of Cancer
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Phytic acid (phytate), concentrated in food such as beans, whole grains, and nuts, may help explain lower cancer rates among plant-based populations.

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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.

“Cancer prevention strongly acknowledges the importance of diet, as dietary factors are the most important environmental risk factors for cancer. Within recent years, a large number of naturally occurring health-enhancing substances of plant origin have been recognized” to have beneficial effects on cancers, known as phytochemicals. Yes, beans, chickpeas, split peas, and lentils are packed with all sorts of nutrients we need.

But, the reason they may protect against several degenerative diseases may be due to non-nutritive compounds in plants, or even so-called “antinutrient” compounds, like phytates. “The reputation of [phytate] has had a roller coaster ride ever since its discovery; it has undergone alternate eminence and infamy.” What everyone can agree on though is that phytates, also known as phytic acid, “is one of the most fascinating bioactive food compounds and is widely distributed in plant foods.”

In the U.S., colon cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death. But, in some parts of the world, they’ve had just a tiny fraction of our rates, with the highest rates reported in Connecticut, and the lowest in Kampala, Uganda. The famous surgeon Dr. “Burkitt spent 24 years in Uganda,” and most of the hospitals in Uganda he contacted “had never [even] seen a case of colon cancer.” Noting they live off diets centered on whole plant foods, he figured that maybe it was the fiber that was so protective.

Studies like this, though, called that interpretation into question. Danes appear to have more colon cancer than Finns, yet “Danes consume almost twice the dietary fiber.” What else, then, could explain the low cancer rates among plant-based populations? Well, fiber isn’t the only thing only found in whole plant foods, missing from processed and animal foods. Maybe it’s the phytate.

“[D]ietary phytate, rather than fiber per se, might be the most important variable governing the frequency of colon[ic] cancer,” as we know phytate is “a powerful inhibitor of [the] iron-mediated production of hydroxyl radical[s], a particularly dangerous” type of free radical. So, the Standard American Diet may be a double whammy—the heme iron in muscle meat, plus the lack of phytate in refined plant foods to extinguish those iron radicals.

This may account for what was found in the Adventist study. They found excess risk of cancer for higher intakes of “both red meat and white meat,” suggesting “all meats contribute to…colon [cancer formation].” About twice the risk for red meat eaters, and three times the risk for those eating chicken and fish. But, those eating meat could reduce their risk in two ways—by cutting down on meat, or by eating more beans, an excellent source of phytates.

So, it’s not just how much meat we eat, but our meat-to-vegetable ratio. “Between the two extremes (high-vegetable, low-meat diet[s] versus high-meat, low-vegetable diet[s]), a risk ratio of about 8 appears to exist, sufficient…to explain a substantial part of [that] international variation in the incidence of colorectal cancer.” Those with the worst of both worlds—high meat and low vegetable—were at eight times the risk.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Images thanks to cookbookman17 and vanhookc via flickr

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.

“Cancer prevention strongly acknowledges the importance of diet, as dietary factors are the most important environmental risk factors for cancer. Within recent years, a large number of naturally occurring health-enhancing substances of plant origin have been recognized” to have beneficial effects on cancers, known as phytochemicals. Yes, beans, chickpeas, split peas, and lentils are packed with all sorts of nutrients we need.

But, the reason they may protect against several degenerative diseases may be due to non-nutritive compounds in plants, or even so-called “antinutrient” compounds, like phytates. “The reputation of [phytate] has had a roller coaster ride ever since its discovery; it has undergone alternate eminence and infamy.” What everyone can agree on though is that phytates, also known as phytic acid, “is one of the most fascinating bioactive food compounds and is widely distributed in plant foods.”

In the U.S., colon cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death. But, in some parts of the world, they’ve had just a tiny fraction of our rates, with the highest rates reported in Connecticut, and the lowest in Kampala, Uganda. The famous surgeon Dr. “Burkitt spent 24 years in Uganda,” and most of the hospitals in Uganda he contacted “had never [even] seen a case of colon cancer.” Noting they live off diets centered on whole plant foods, he figured that maybe it was the fiber that was so protective.

Studies like this, though, called that interpretation into question. Danes appear to have more colon cancer than Finns, yet “Danes consume almost twice the dietary fiber.” What else, then, could explain the low cancer rates among plant-based populations? Well, fiber isn’t the only thing only found in whole plant foods, missing from processed and animal foods. Maybe it’s the phytate.

“[D]ietary phytate, rather than fiber per se, might be the most important variable governing the frequency of colon[ic] cancer,” as we know phytate is “a powerful inhibitor of [the] iron-mediated production of hydroxyl radical[s], a particularly dangerous” type of free radical. So, the Standard American Diet may be a double whammy—the heme iron in muscle meat, plus the lack of phytate in refined plant foods to extinguish those iron radicals.

This may account for what was found in the Adventist study. They found excess risk of cancer for higher intakes of “both red meat and white meat,” suggesting “all meats contribute to…colon [cancer formation].” About twice the risk for red meat eaters, and three times the risk for those eating chicken and fish. But, those eating meat could reduce their risk in two ways—by cutting down on meat, or by eating more beans, an excellent source of phytates.

So, it’s not just how much meat we eat, but our meat-to-vegetable ratio. “Between the two extremes (high-vegetable, low-meat diet[s] versus high-meat, low-vegetable diet[s]), a risk ratio of about 8 appears to exist, sufficient…to explain a substantial part of [that] international variation in the incidence of colorectal cancer.” Those with the worst of both worlds—high meat and low vegetable—were at eight times the risk.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Images thanks to cookbookman17 and vanhookc via flickr

Doctor's Note

This is the first video in a three-part series describing how phytates may play a role in both cancer prevention and treatment. Stay tuned for Phytates for Rehabilitating Cancer Cells and Phytates for the Treatment of Cancer.

I previously touched on the surprising new science about phytates in Phytates for the Prevention of Osteoporosis.

For more on colon cancer, see Stool Size Matters.

Here are a few of my latest videos on the latest wonders of the musical fruit:

What about that music, though? See my blog Beans & Gas: Clearing the air.

What about soybeans and cancer? See Breast Cancer Survival & Soy and BRCA Breast Cancer Genes & Soy.

Other ways to mediate the effects of meat intake can be found in Reducing Cancer Risk in Meat-Eaters.

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

41 responses to “Phytates for the Prevention of Cancer

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  1. good video – a more in depth explanation on how phytic acid works would have been great. Is it because the phytic acid chelates the iron molecules and prevents the damage that way?

    It would be nice to see one of your graphs on food rankings by phytic acid content.

    As it chelates minerals would there be an argument to eat foods such as beans away from the most nutritional meal of the day, or that we should eat even more nutrient dense foods to offset the lost absorption due to the increased phytic acid? In particular, phytic acid chelates calcium and this may cause concern for people with osteoporosis. Thank Dr. Greger, keep up the good work.




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    1. Calcium is not the most important mineral for bone health. Even junk food addicts rarely have calcium deficiency. The highest dairy/ calcium ingesting populations are the ones with the poorest bone health.




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  2. That’s what I aim to do – at least 3 servings of beans per day, eaten with all 3 main meals. I’ve been doing it largely for the protein, but beans are also a particularly rich source of other important micronutrients. Where the Atkins and LCHF guys hit us hard is in “plant toxins” – e.g. phytates – but this video really questions that belief. Still, I won’t eat anything in excess, as I learned my lesson with broccoli the hard way (cooked is ok, too much raw is bad for marginal thyroids). A healthy balance of a variety of plant-based food groups, with no overwhelming emphasis on one particular type of food, provides a well-balanced diet and some protection against overconsuming substances in excess. As they say often in molecular toxicology and pharmacology, “it’s the dose that makes the poison”. At low-moderate doses, something in a food can be quite healthy, even beneficial, but at very high doses we either plateau our efficacy or start to get into troublesome toxicity. I’ve seen this phenomenon in the literature for years with synthetic micronutrients given in excess, and there is no reason to believe it doesn’t also apply to plants consumed in excess.




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  3. Dr G can I make a request? Do a vid and/or find studies on the benefits of fermented foods?? I have just started fermenting purple cabbage and usinging it with every meal. It’d be awesome to know what to expect in the long run from doing this. (I know about the purple pigment bennies). I also make pickles. Also a vid on stomach acid and digestion and the need for it, cuz I wonder that a lot of folks have compromised digestion which may be a bump in the road when animal eaters want to make the change to a plant based diet. I know one who started losing her hair after a week without meat, so she RAN back to it and was told butter is good for her. . . In other words, we lost one. I’d love to help meat eaters transition seemlessly, and fearlessly to plant foods. I’m sure you would too. I think these subjects would be a good place to get help. . . . Oh one more, a vid on medium chane fatty acids. . like coconut? Any bennies/need at all statistically, for say enzyme production of any kind at all? Thanks! You’re the greatest.




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  4. Yes for my neurological isuses which are often correlated with too much iron, I’d love more info if any is available. All I can find on the web is nay saying. Oh another infamous one I think has a bad rap is oxylates. Any further info on that would be REALLY awesome, cuz i don’t buy that either, especially since they are in those dark leafies we need so much, and green juicing is my bag, so I KNOW oxylates are not bad and suspect, like phytates, are GOOD for a body. You’re the man sir, so I’m asking. Thanks for all every single day sir. Much respect and admiration. Toodles!




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    1. You should blend your veggies not juice m.
      Blending retains all the fibers.

      I eat/drink 3-4 1 liter green blended shakes a day with some soy protein powder 30gr. I cram a liter cilinder full of kale, red cabbage , carrots etc together with zante currants other dried fruits for sweetness. Pumpkin or sunflower seeds for oils/protein and just blend it smooth. Adding a bit of flax can make a more homogenous texture, nice and good stuff too.

      Once you are accustomed to getting loads of fibers in your diet you can eat again after 2-3 hours blending up more vegetable goodness and can load up another 400 grams to your daily total.

      Can’t see a reason in the world how juicing should be the better way to go.




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      1. WOW!!! That’s quite a smoothy!! Lol! Wellsir, you do do a bit of predigesting in the blending so. . . . but I agree wholly that as we go, and heal, a nice blend of all you put in your smoothy sounds like it’d be eassily digested, including even oils. Bravo!! can’t disagree in the least. . . . except sir, in taste, for myself anywho. I like my greens with fatty nuts and lemon and salt, and my red cabbage fermeted and dolloped onto my beans and salads. Currents and other dreid fruits for nightime nibbling, and pumpkin seeds and other nuts (always in shell) for mid day snacks as well as on salads and the like. I pass on flax. . . can’t really get a bead on that seed. Never liked it. But I get plenty omegas from my nuts and from a lb of chlorella monthly. . . . And I agree about eating every few hours and feeling great in the belly about it, with nutrition packed foofd as we’ve agreed on, like food soul mates. Lol. ;)). . . My only small hurdle is I feel so good I want to go back for more earlies thatI should, a bit too ofetn, but I’ve got a rein on it. . . ;) Thanks for the hello Arjan!




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        1. That fermenting you do is that to get vitamin K2? Is it the same fungus as natto?

          I usually safe my savoury nuts for nibling time too :) LOL




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          1. I do the ferments to help with digestion and and ahppy for al the rest I get from the cabbage, from the prple and such. I don’t care for the lentils either but. . . you know, kidney beans are like some kind of miracle. don’t care much for the pinto or black kind though they are all 3 kidney type aids according to TCM. Your issues sound like your water sytem needs a deep deep healing, and as fr my own body this has been my own focus, so I’ll shsare what I’ve learned on this and what helps me. Green juicing and green foods ad nausium, and no grains, lots of good fats (LOTS), and kidney beans to build and also to infuze the ewntire body with cleansing blood, so issues/blood/fear/memories etc are not hidden and stored. The greens pull the blood through. the kidney beans seem to infuze the kidney which cleans it all with superpowers. I have awoke from sleep feeling like I worked out at the gym. Seriously. And I’ve had a similar history of strength and then sickness and weakness, and would also like to be back on my game”. Al the foods you mention seem like nitrogen and thus activity/go foods. In order to do the relaesing that would be required to heal from PTSD (and it’s mental/physical mirrors) we’d need to infuze the body with the capacity to ebb, breath out, and let go. I found magnesium was the lynchpin for my process. ^ weeks on green juice alone made me clench down until I heard about magnesium and stated nightly baths, and taking internally as well. the nit was “katy-bar-the-door” and the let down was UNBELIEVABLE. I spent 3 months weating nightly like through several shirts a sweater and a hoodie. My baths produced a yellow, oily film, my stools were unendingly productive, despite little fodder (just psyllium for bulking). My room smelled of death from my breath in the monrning. The after 3 months I felt like a new person. Tired and wiped out, but fresh, like the day after a lng sickness you know you’re on the mend. It took aother couple years to figure the right diet. Grains were my burden, and other high glycemic starches. beans have been a godsend, and the kidney one has beeen, as I said, like some super power in my body. I’m still not sure of the affects in the long run as it’s just been over a winter eating them. Sure seems to be doing so me very deep nurishing beyond anything I’ve felt before them, so I’m sharing that experience, in case it may be of use to you. Love to hear back and update if it is. Cheers and best of luck!




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  5. My Online Dictionary says:
    > Moreover, phytic acid chelatesand thus makes
    > unabsorbable certain important minor minerals such
    > as zinc and iron, and to a lesser extent, also macro
    > minerals such as calcium and magnesium; phytin
    > refers specifically to the calcium or magnesium
    > salt form of phytic acid.

    So, if you eat a lot of “phytates” have problems with
    zinc, iron, calcium and magnesium?

    I have just watched Gary Taubes video about carbohydrates
    and how he says that it is carbs that promote fat. How does
    this square with this other stuff that talks about vegetarianism
    and not eating meat. What is the story on carbs from a
    phytate point of view?




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  6. It’s worth noting how your discussion on lead in triphala and amla relates to this topic. Apparently, the problem is worse than you indicated. Organic India has been forced to put stickers on their products in California warning consumers of possible lead toxicity. I hope the phytic acid in my diet has given me some protection me from the lead I ingested from Organic India products over the last 3 years. Does phytic acid help move lead out of the body?




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    1. Esther: Phytate issue completely aside: If you soak your beans, they cook faster and (I understand) are less likely to give someone gas.

      My *guess* is that most people soak their beans. And thus my guess is those studies showing so many benefits to people who eat beans are based on people who eat soaked beans. And thus, my guess is that it certainly doesn’t hurt to soak beans if that is what you want to do.

      Just something to think about.




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      1. Mater of fact, I started soaking very recentlly….because of ALL the controversy…….and gas is never an issue if added sugar is not present. So…is it o k not soaking?




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        1. Esther: I never thought that soaking was required for health reasons, just that it was helpful for the reasons I state above.

          I’m not an expert in these areas, so I can’t say an opinion with any authority. I personally do not see how soaking would be necessary from a health stand point. But maybe I am missing something…




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          1. Sprouting amplifies nutritional value of legumes such as beans. Soaking still provides benefit of decreasing phytic acid and thus increasing bioavailability of certain nutrients in seeds. Whilst phytic acid is beneficial for health, if one is already soaking or sprouting their beans, there’s no reason to stop; it just means we shouldn’t be scared of phytic acid.

            You don’t have to soak beans, but it’ll still be something I do (I actually sprout all my beans before cooking) for the increased benefits and easier digestion.




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            1. Robert: Thanks for adding to the discussion. I find it very interesting what people do to prepare their food.

              FYI: Dr. Greger covers the nutritional benefit of sprouting at a couple places on this site. I just make the distinction between sprouting and soaking.

              Thanks again for weighing in.




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              1. Sprouting and soaking are indeed different, but soaking is the initiation of sprouting.

                “On 6 hours soaking, the percent loss ranged from 4 to 5 in peas. With an increase in the period of soaking, i.e. 6 12 and 12-18 hours, further reduction in phytate content of peas was noticed. With longer the periods of soaking, greater the losses in phytate content occurred.”

                “No doubt cooking of unsoaked pea seeds lowered the phytic acid content but the loss appeared to be less than in peas cooked after soaking.”

                Also, pressure cooking appears to reduce phytic acid even further: “Pressure cooking of soaked as well as soaked-dehulled seeds caused a greater loss in phytic acid content than that of unsoaked field and vegetable pea seeds.”

                “In conclusion, germination (48 hours) is the best method followed by

                pressure cooking and ordinary cooking of soaked-dehulled seeds, dehulling and soaking for lowering the levels of phytic acid and polyphenols in field and vegetable peas. These are the simple and inexpensive processing methods which can be followed to increase the nutritive value of legumes.”

                So, if you wanted to retain as much phytic acid as possible, cooking legumes without soaking appears to be the best method. Though my favourite method of cooking beans still remains sprouting and then cooking in a pressure cooker; any left over liquid I then turn into a sauce. (It does however require pre-planning.)

                (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7971780)




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    1. One of the limitations of this study is that due to the relatively low number of vegans, they lumped together those following a vegan diet with vegetarians that also consumed milk, eggs and fish. The authors also report that they did not collect much information of the totality of the diets. Often times, vegetarians (especially in the US) consume a large quantity of processed foods that are high in vegetable oils. This can create a rather significant imbalance in the Omega 3 to Omega 6 ratio. There are several videos on this site detailing the potential health issues associated with dairy, egg and fish consumption. Since Dr. G recommends a whole foods plant based diet, this study doesn’t really offer much to refute his recommendations.

      Another interesting limitation is that this was a cross sectional study. This is a very useful type of epidemiological study, but it typically is not used to identify direct causal relationships.

      I hope this was helpful.

      Matt




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      1. So not only did they have vegetarians that consumed lots of animal products but also they didn’t differentiate between vegetarian diet eating people that started after a chronic disease was diagnosed and people who started healthy on a vegetarian diet. Would seem to call in to question some/all of their conclusions rather heavily. Thanks for the comment.




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  7. I have read that traditional cultures always soak grains and legumes before cooking and thereby eliminate the phytic acid. This which would include traditional cultures in many parts of Africa. So there are a lot of assumptions in Dr. Greger’s thesis.

    However, I rarely have time to soak beans and grains. Now instead of getting down on myself for not getting rid of the phytic acid, I’m relieved. I will now eat unsoaked beans and pray that phytic acid will rid my body of heavy metals like lead.

    Esther—I guess it’s your call. You could get tested to find out if you excess iron and then decide what’s best.




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  8. Great Video. But I couldn’t watch it. That’s because I was totally engrossed in the subtitles. ;-) I like the new addition but I found it difficult to watch. I found myself fighting with my focus for the subtitles over the video. I didn’t realize that I have tunnel vision for subtitles.
    Interesting!




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  9. How were the beans in the study prepared? Did they just grind them up and measure the phytates or did they cook the beans and for how long? This variable is not always considered or reported in these studies, but could mean a big difference. I prefer raw sprouted for the raw fiber, active probiotics, and intact phytonutrients, why do we consider heat when we look at changing molecular structures under a microscope, but ignore it’s affect when we talk about applying heat to food?




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      1. Poison? What is the name of this poison that outlives sprouting Robert? I am living well and I do not cook sprouted beans, and there is no one I know personally who does even non-raw fooders. Can you identify the ‘poison’?




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          1. Hi, even ann wigmore stated raw beans have a toxin in them and she suggested lightly steaming them or cooking them. I do have sprouted raw lentils sometimes and they seem different than raw beans. I am not surprised you got sick…..namaste’, rachel




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            1. Mung beans are legumes, not true beans, and hence are safe to eat raw. Lentils and chickpeas obviously are not beans, and also are safe to eat raw. The other beans mentioned however are toxic unless cooked, and so caution should be taken.




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        1. hi, even ann wigmore suggested cooking or lightly steaming sprouted beans. she noted they do contain an unhealthy toxin. I am a longtime vegan/vegetarian and ate raw for many years. I think wigmores advice is sensible…..rachel




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          1. Under ‘100% Raw Living diet’ Ann Wigmore’s chart included sprouted beans, legumes, peas, lentils…under 80% raw she lists steaming or cooking tempeh, beans and other items.
            Actually, raw sprouted chickpeas, mung bean, and soy are tasty and quite popular




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  10. Many dry bean preparations call for beans to be soaked and then rinsed to remove or “neutralize” upwards of 90% of the phytic acid content. Considering how beneficial phytates have been shown to be, I want to avoid dumping them with the bath water. Would you recommend cooking in the soaking water, or are there other reasons to toss it? What about pressure cooking? Does that affect nutrient content and bioavailability?




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  11. Great website, thanks for all the info. I am somewhat confused about the soaking/cooking of chickpeas and beans. We eat “waffles” every morning for breakfast – equal parts of buckwheat, amaranth, quinoa, oat groats, millet, chickpeas or black beans and flax seed, all freshly ground in a grain mill, mixed with a little almond milk and lots of water and very little salt, then baked in a waffle iron for 7 minutes. Because the batter keeps for a week or longer, naturally the beans/chickpeas are soaking for that amount of time. I do worry now, however, if eating the chickpea flower “undercooked” may cause problems, especially on day 1, when the freshly ground chickpea flower is consumed without longer soaking and after only 7 minutes of baking. Does anyone have thoughts on this? Thanks.




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  12. Hello Dr. Greger (and crew)!

    Thank you for all of the videos you make and post. I am wondering if you have done any investigations into lectins. I have been receiving newsletters from Dr. Steven Gundry, and I am wondering if you have any opinions on the topics he focuses on. I myself am skeptical. First of all, he certainly does not advocate a whole-foods plant-based diet. Most recently I received an email from him with the following “information”:

    “You see, many of the foods you love have a sneaky built-in defense mechanism, and it’s wreaking havoc on your insides. It’s called: LECTINS

    Lectins are a type of protein many plants use to defend themselves from being eaten. In other words, lectins are deliberately toxic to your body. And believe it or not, high-lectin foods make up at least 30% of the modern “Standard American Diet” (often more).1

    So, if you find yourself eating foods like:
    Rice
    Tomatoes
    Corn
    Potatoes
    Any and all grains (wheat, rye, barley, oats, etc.)
    Peppers
    Fruit
    Beans and lentils
    Nuts and seeds
    Dairy

    Then your body is getting bombarded with lectins on a regular basis. And this is can cause multiple problems because… Lectins are dangerous “cellular disruptors.””

    As a vegan, the above list makes up the majority of my diet (with the exception of dairy, of course.) I do sometimes feel tired in the afternoons/evenings but I like to think that this is due to my highly energy-demanding job. In general, I look and feel so much better now than I did before I went vegan. I still can’t figure out what it is Dr. Gundry advises people to actually EAT but it does seem like he is marketing a lot of products.

    Any thoughts on this topic would be greatly appreciated! Thank you.




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    1. Natalia Lipowska: That Dr. Gundry has sure been causing a lot of concern for healthy eaters lately. And your diet sure sounds healthy to me! I’m not an expert, but I did some research a while ago to satisfy myself on the topic. I copied below in the hopes that it will help you put the issue into perspective.

      —————–
      I found one blog post on NutritionFacts which talks about lectins. Here is a quote:
      .
      “Modern paleo advocates claim that these foods weren’t part of Paleolithic-era diets, but new research challenges that assumption.5 They also argue that lectins naturally present in these starchy foods are harmful to human health. Consuming too many lectins can cause significant gastrointestinal distress. However, because legumes and grains are almost always consumed in a cooked form—and lectins are destroyed during cooking—eating beans and grains doesn’t result in lectin overload. Sprouting also reduces lectin levels in plants, although not as effectively as cooking. Generally, pea sprouts, lentil sprouts, and mung bean sprouts are safe to consume, as are sprouted grains, which are naturally low in lectins. Most larger legumes contain higher amounts and should be cooked.” from: http://nutritionfacts.org/2014/09/23/will-the-real-paleo-diet-please-stand-up/
      .
      Since I eat my grains and legumes cooked, I consider the lectin brouhaha to be much ado about nothing.
      .
      In the past, Tom Goff has posted some additional helpful takes on the subject. Here are some quotes from Tom Goff’s previous posts.
      .
      “…problem with such claims is that people in the past ate huge amounts of (whole) grains (compared to modern-day Americans). Some people still do. There is no record of such people suffering abnormally high rates of toxicity or inflammation-related diseases. If anything, the exact opposite is the case eg
      .
      “This meta-analysis provides further evidence that whole grain intake is associated with a reduced risk of coronary heart disease, cardiovascular disease, and total cancer, and mortality from all causes, respiratory diseases, infectious diseases, diabetes, and all non-cardiovascular, non-cancer causes. These findings support dietary guidelines that recommend increased intake of whole grain to reduce the risk of chronic diseases and premature mortality.”
      http://www.bmj.com/content/353/bmj.i2716
      .
      Further, reviews of the health effects of grain lectins do not support the wild claims found on the internet or sensational mass market “health ” books
      .
      “We conclude that there are many unsubstantiated assumptions made. Current data about health effects of dietary lectins, as consumed in cooked, baked, or extruded foods do not support negative health effects in humans. In contrast, consumption of WGA containing foods, such as cereals and whole grain products, has been shown to be associated with significantly reduced risks of type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, some types of cancer, as well as a more favourable long-term weight management.”
      http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0733521014000228
      .
      Sure, it is possible to find toxic effects from grain lectins in the laboratory or in rat studies. You can find toxic effects from virtually anything if you design the study appropriately. Even water is toxic in high doses and specific circumstances. And you can turn such findings into sensational claims that garner a lot of publicity (and sales) – if you leave out all the evidence that does not suit your argument or book sales.”
      .
      And from another post:
      “The Paleo community attitude is certainly strange because there is evidence to show that humans in the Paleolithic period actually did eat legumes – and significant amounts at that – at least in certain locations and in the relevant season eg
      http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0305440304001694
      .
      However, it seems that once an idea becomes established in the Paleo canon it becomes sacrosanct and no mere inconvenient fact is powerfu l enough to overturn it.
      .
      On lectins and health specifically, blogger has summarised the (Paleo) argument like this:
      “There is evidence that legumes provide health benefits. There is speculation that lectins cause diseases. Unfortunately, the autoimmune diseases some speculate are caused by legume lectins appear to occur more frequently in nations like the U.S., where legume consumption is rather low, than in Asian nations, where legume consumption is higher.”
      http://donmatesz.blogspot.com/2011/08/legumes-neolithic-or-not.html

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      What do you think? Does this help?




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