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Woman Almost Dies From Eating Too Much Raw Bok Choi

An 88-year-old woman almost died last year from a myxedema coma–a life-threatening condition caused by extreme hypothyroidism. I’ll let the New York Times take it from there:

The culprit, it turned out, was raw bok choy. The patient had been eating two to three pounds of it every day for several months, in the belief it would help control her diabetes. Instead, the vegetables may have suppressed her thyroid.

Bok choy contains compounds called glucosinolates that have been found to inhibit thyroid function in animals.

“I don’t want to say people shouldn’t be eating raw vegetables, but everything in moderation — even things that are good for us,” said Dr. Michael Chu, an NYU resident physician who was one of the letter’s authors. “This probably wouldn’t have happened if the vegetables were cooked.”

So that pretty much proves conclusively that raw foodists are all gonna die soon, right?


  1. Comment by


    on #

    I think the thing to note here is that vegans and raw foodists can be as ignorant about the effects of nutrients on the body as everyone else. (Said the vegan with thyroid disease.)

  2. Comment by


    on #

    Three pounds of bok choy…every single day? Of course that’s obviously going to lead to problems. You have to eat a BALANCED diet full of variety and difference in order to be healthy. Duh!

  3. Comment by


    on #

    now im interested! Has there been findings that raw foodists are at risk for thyroid issues? (or any other issues for that matter)

    Al’s right- the bok choy overload was a problem…I just wonder now if a balanced raw food diet in general does have similar effects (in subtler forms most likely)

  4. Comment by


    on #

    88 Years old. Just saying maybe the thyroid is sort of, you know, wobbling. She’

    And that’s a hella lotta bok choy!