G6PD Deficiency Foods to Avoid List

Search Foods to Avoid


Some of these foods to avoid are commonly eaten around the world and can cause people with G6PD Deficiency to hemolyze and can even be deadly (like fava beans). Some others can cause low level hemolysis, which means that red blood cells die, but not enough to cause the person to go to the hospital. Low level hemolysis over time can cause other problems, such as memory dysfunction, overworked spleen, liver, kidney and heart, and iron overload. Even though a G6PD Deficient person may not have a crises when consuming these foods, they should be avoided.

Fava Beans and other legumes

Our list of legumes contains every legume we could find, but there may be other names for them that we do not know about. Low level hemolysis is very hard to detect and can cause other problems, so we recommend the avoidance of all legumes.


and foods containing them. Sulfites are used in a wide variety of foods, so be sure to check labels carefully.


and foods containing it. This can be difficult to avoid as tooth paste, candy, breath mints, mouth wash and many other products have menthol added to them. Mint from natural mint oils is alright to consume.

Artificial blue food coloring

other artificial food color can also cause hemolysis. Natural food color such as found in foods like turmeric or grapes is okay.

Ascorbic acid

Artificial ascorbic acid commonly put in food and vitamins can cause hemolysis in large doses and should be avoided. It is put into so many foods that you can be getting a lot of Ascorbic Acid without realizing it. See Ascorbic Acid for more information about iron absorbtion and ascorbic acid.

Vitamin K

This is from drugbank: “Menadione (vitamin K3), which is not used as a nutritional supplemental form of vitamin K for humans, has been reported to cause adverse reactions, including hemolytic anemia. Large doses have also been reported to cause brain damage. Vitamin K administered to newborns with G6PD Deficiency has been known to cause adverse outcomes including hemolytic anemia, neonatal brain or liver damage, or neonatal death in some cases.”

Tonic water

(contains quinine, a contraindicated drug which causes hemolysis in G6PDD people).

Gluten Free Products

Some of these, like flour, etc. have fava beans in them. Be sure the check the label for legumes before you purchase of eat them.

Bitter Gourd and Garden Egg

Bitter Gourd is also known as Bitter Mellon. These are common foods in some parts of Africa and Asia.

Some Chinese herbs

particularly Rhizoma Coptidis (huang lien), Calculus Bovis (neu huang), Flos Chimonanthi Praecocis (leh mei hua), Flos Lonicerae (kam ngan fa) and Margarita or anything containing them.

Black and Green Tea and extracts

Research has shown that these products significantly reduce reduced glutathione levels among other things in people with G6PDD. See article 55 on the references page.


G6PD Deficiency Foods to Avoid List — 17 Comments

  1. I am 21 years old and have G6PD I have had to heart attacks in the last 5 weeks could this have anything to do with this disorder. How does alcohol affect this disorder, and smoking as well. My mom had very little knowledge of the disorder, but I and one of my twin brothers have it, he has recently been diagnosed with kidney disease, what information should our doctor be telling us, and better yet what should we be telling our doctor about g6pd they are very uninformed.

    • Hi Carrington,
      It is possible, but you are pretty young to be having a worn out heart. If your red blood count were to get too low from hemolysis due to eating or taking triggers (foods and drugs to avoid), it could contribute to a heart attack. Have you had a CBC test lately? What is your red blood cell count and your hemoglobin count? You need to avoid EVERYTHING on the avoid lists on this website and follow the diet suggestions also on this website.

      Alcohol is a possible trigger. I would not smoke. Your body doesn’t need the stress, which can cause hemolysis. Infections can also cause hemolysis. The two things you need to do is avoid triggers and eat according to the diet suggestions.

      All the best,

  2. Hi! My son has G6PD and he is 7 months old. His taking vitamins c CEELIN and PROPAN TTLC, as what his pedia told us and shes aware that my son has!! g6pd. Is that okay to take?

  3. hi .. good day ..i just want to ask wat food , vitamins and milk are allowed to a patients w/ g6pd deficiency ?? my 1 month baby have g6pd , i dont know wat food , vitamins and milk im going to give him .. pls give me some list of it ..

  4. I gave my son vitamin c ceelin plus for almost 7 year..i just found out that its not good for him coz he has g6pd deficiency. Im bothering on how to deal with it..please i need your advice on what to do..thank you and more power!

  5. Hi good day i just want yo ask if can you send me copy of foods and drugs to avoid and foods and drugs to be taken to my email ad coz my son 3yrs old is g6pd deficiency I’m worried to him I’m here kn malaysia to work.but I came from philippines my husband take care of my son..where I can buy the recipe book….thanks a lot

Leave a Reply