G6PD Deficiency Foods to Avoid: Glucose-6-Phosphate Dehydrogenase

Glucose-6-Phosphate Dehydrogenase Deficiency

G6PD is a genetic disorder, which most often occurs in males of African and Asian origin. The full name of G6PD deficiency is glucose 6 phosphate-dehydrogenase deficiency. Millions of people all over the world are affected with this disorder.

In this disorder the red blood cell is affected.  There is a defect in the enzyme glucose-6-phosphate- dehydrogenase (G6PD), which causes the red blood cell destruction faster than normal.

This destruction is called hemolysis.

Hemolytic anemia is a grave problem associated with G6PD condition.

As such G6PD deficiency alone will not manifest any symptoms, but when the hemolysis is triggered due to certain causes in a G6PD individual, it gives rise to grave symptoms such as:

  • Jaundice
  • Blood from urine
  • Difficulty in breathing.
  • Pale skin.
  • Tachycardia
  • Anemia

The triggering factor which leads to hemolytic anemia in a G6PD patient is bacterial or viral infection, certain anti malarial drugs such as primaquin, quinine etc. Hemolytic anemia can also occur after eating certain foods such as fava beans.

Foods to Avoid G6PD

There are certain foods which a person should avoid when he is having G6PD condition. As this foods are known to cause blood hemolysis.

  • Fava beans and legumes.
  • Soy and soy containing foods such as pizzas, ice cream, burgers, chocolates etc.
  • Peanuts and peanut butter, sauces, salad dressings etc.
  • Menthol flavored candies and menthol preparations.

A person suffering from G6PD condition should always consult his doctor before taking any medicine, as there are medicines such as antimalarials, sulfonamides, methylene blue containing medicine which can trigger hemolytic crisis in a G6PD patient.


  1. Craig said:

    Is quaker oats safe for a child with g6pd?

    January 23, 2012
  2. RB said:

    I am a mother of 5 months old bay. I wanted to know if Goji juice is safe for a breastfeeding mother whose baby is diagnosed with G6PD? Also please give me some advice on the same.

    March 19, 2012
  3. KS said:

    Just found out that I have G6PD full defect after 35 years of age. I never experienced any hemolytic crisis and even if I did, it probably went unnoticed. I am currently trying watch my diet, go off antibiotics and the antimalarial which are said to be the most dangerous triggers. What kinds of food is mostly recommended?

    March 23, 2012
  4. Moses said:

    I am 24years old and I have been diagnosed of G6PD defect. What kind of food I should not eat.

    August 23, 2012
    • PUP said:

      You should not eat Fava beans as they may cause hemolytic crisis in G6pd. Isouramil and vicine are two compounds present in Fava beans responsible for it. You should also avoid legumes. Foods that have sulfites as preservative such as corn starch and syrup, dried fruits, golden raisins, wine vinegar should not be eaten. Menthol containing foods and preparations which include tooth paste, mouthwash, and menthol flavored candies should not be eaten. You should not eat salad dressing, peanuts, peanut butter etc. This are not the only ones, there may be many more. It is necessary to ask to your health care provider for detailed food list to be avoided.

      August 24, 2012
  5. Rwan said:

    I am 81 years old man, suffering from G6PD red cells deficiency. Since few years I am feeling very week day by day. I have avoided beans and pulses from my diet. What else shall I do to live healthy life for the remaining period of my life? Please advise.

    May 29, 2017

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