SPINACH

OTHER NAME(S):

Épinard, Épinard à Épines, Épinard sans Épines, Épinard à Feuilles de Laitue, Espinaca, Espinacas, Gros Épinard, Spinacia inermis, Spinacia oleracea, Spinacia spinosa, Spinaciae Folium, Spinatblatter.

Overview

Overview Information

Spinach is a vegetable. The leaves are used for food and to make medicine.

Spinach is used for obesity, memory and thinking skills (cognitive function), fatigue, cancer, and many other conditions, but there is no good scientific evidence to support these uses.

How does it work?

Spinach contains vitamins and other nutrients.

Uses

Uses & Effectiveness?

Insufficient Evidence for

  • Memory and thinking skills (cognitive function). Early research shows that eating spinach with lunch does not help to improve attention or memory in healthy adults.
  • Obesity. Early research shows that taking a spinach product before breakfast might increase weight loss by a small amount.
  • Stomach and intestinal complaints.
  • Fatigue.
  • Stimulating growth in children.
  • Promoting recovery from illness.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of spinach for these uses.

Side Effects

Side Effects & Safety

When taken by mouth: Spinach is LIKELY SAFE for most people when used as a food. It is POSSIBLY SAFE when used in larger, medicinal amounts.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Spinach is LIKELY SAFE during pregnancy and breast-feeding when used in food amounts. There isn't enough reliable information to know if spinach is safe to use as a medicine. Stay on the safe side and stick to food amounts.

Children: Eating spinach as a food is LIKELY SAFE for children who are more than 4 months old. But spinach is LIKELY UNSAFE for infants that are less than 4 months old. The nitrates in spinach can sometimes cause a blood disorder (methemoglobinemia) in young infants.

Allergies: People who are sensitive to latex or certain molds are more likely to have allergic responses to spinach. Also, people who are allergic to foods like chard and beets are more likely to have allergic responses to spinach.

Diabetes: Spinach might lower blood sugar levels. Some doctors worry that it might make blood sugar levels drop too low if used along with diabetes medications. If you use spinach in medicinal amounts and take diabetes medications, monitor your blood sugar closely. The dose of your diabetes medications might need to be changed. Check with your healthcare provider.

Kidney disease: Spinach may cause hard crystals to form in the kidneys. These crystals won't dissolve and might make kidney disease worse.

Surgery: Spinach might lower blood sugar levels. Some doctors worry that it might interfere with blood sugar control during and after surgery. Stop using spinach in medicinal amounts at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.

Interactions

Interactions?

Moderate Interaction

Be cautious with this combination

!
  • Medications for diabetes (Antidiabetes drugs) interacts with SPINACH

    Spinach might decrease blood sugar. Diabetes medications are also used to lower blood sugar. Taking spinach along with diabetes medications might cause your blood sugar to go too low. Monitor your blood sugar closely. The dose of your diabetes medication might need to be changed.
    Some medications used for diabetes include glimepiride (Amaryl), glyburide (DiaBeta, Glynase PresTab, Micronase), insulin, pioglitazone (Actos), rosiglitazone (Avandia), chlorpropamide (Diabinese), glipizide (Glucotrol), tolbutamide (Orinase), and others.

  • Warfarin (Coumadin) interacts with SPINACH

    Spinach contains large amounts of vitamin K. Vitamin K is used by the body to help blood clot. Warfarin (Coumadin) is used to slow blood clotting. By helping the blood clot, spinach might decrease the effectiveness of warfarin (Coumadin). Be sure to have your blood checked regularly. The dose of your warfarin (Coumadin) might need to be changed.

Dosing

Dosing

The appropriate dose of spinach depends on several factors such as the user's age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for spinach. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.

View References

REFERENCES:

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  • Brogren, M. and Savage, G. P. Bioavailability of soluble oxalate from spinach eaten with and without milk products. Asia Pac.J.Clin.Nutr. 2003;12(2):219-224. View abstract.
  • Brown, M. J., Ferruzzi, M. G., Nguyen, M. L., Cooper, D. A., Eldridge, A. L., Schwartz, S. J., and White, W. S. Carotenoid bioavailability is higher from salads ingested with full-fat than with fat-reduced salad dressings as measured with electrochemical detection. Am.J.Clin.Nutr. 2004;80(2):396-403. View abstract.
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  • Charatan, F. FDA warns US consumers not to eat spinach after E coli outbreak. BMJ 9-30-2006;333(7570):673. View abstract.
  • E. coli O157:H7 outbreak in the United States associated with bagged fresh spinach. Can.Commun.Dis.Rep. 11-15-2006;32(22):272. View abstract.
  • Faivre, J., Faivre, M., Klepping, C., and Roche, L. [Methemoglobinemias caused by ingestion of nitrites and nitrates]. Ann.Nutr.Aliment. 1976;30(5-6):831-838. View abstract.
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  • Gustafsson, K., Asp, N. G., Hagander, B., and Nyman, M. Satiety effects of spinach in mixed meals: comparison with other vegetables. Int.J.Food Sci.Nutr. 1995;46(4):327-334. View abstract.
  • Heaney, R. P., Weaver, C. M., and Recker, R. R. Calcium absorbability from spinach. Am.J.Clin.Nutr. 1988;47(4):707-709. View abstract.
  • Jian, L., Du, C. J., Lee, A. H., and Binns, C. W. Do dietary lycopene and other carotenoids protect against prostate cancer? Int.J.Cancer 3-1-2005;113(6):1010-1014. View abstract.
  • Kubler, W. [Methemoglobinemia caused by spinach in infancy]. Dtsch.Med.Wochenschr. 10-15-1965;90(42):1881-1882. View abstract.
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  • Morrow, S. A., Nabity, S. A., Ehlers, S. J., Cottrell, S. A., Rhee, J. T., Loyal, J. K., and Schulz, E. N. Corrections to the report of San Mateo County enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli O157:h7 outbreak associated with raw spinach. J.Am.Geriatr.Soc. 2007;55(1):140-141. View abstract.
  • Ongoing multistate outbreak of Escherichia coli serotype O157:H7 infections associated with consumption of fresh spinach--United States, September 2006. MMWR Morb.Mortal.Wkly.Rep. 9-29-2006;55(38):1045-1046. View abstract.
  • Porrini, M., Riso, P., and Oriani, G. Spinach and tomato consumption increases lymphocyte DNA resistance to oxidative stress but this is not related to cell carotenoid concentrations. Eur.J.Nutr. 2002;41(3):95-100. View abstract.
  • Rai, A., Mohapatra, S. C., and Shukla, H. S. Correlates between vegetable consumption and gallbladder cancer. Eur J Cancer Prev. 2006;15(2):134-137. View abstract.
  • Roller, E., Meller, S., Homey, B., Ruzicka, T., and Neumann, N. J. [Contact dermatitis caused by spinach, hedge mustard and chives]. Hautarzt 2003;54(4):374-375. View abstract.
  • Sanchez, I., Rodriguez, F., Garcia-Abujeta, J. L., Fernandez, L., Quinones, D., and Martin-Gil, D. Oral allergy syndrome induced by spinach. Allergy 1997;52(12):1245-1246. View abstract.
  • Sander, C. and Jacobi, H. [Methemoglobin poisoning in a 2-year old boy after eating spinach]. Z.Kinderheilkd. 1967;98(3):222-226. View abstract.
  • Schreiber, J., Muller, E., Becker, W. M., Zabel, P., Schlaak, M., and Amthor, M. [Spinach powder-induced exogenous allergic alveolitis]. Pneumologie 1998;52(1):61-65. View abstract.
  • Schuller, A., Morisset, M., Maadi, F., Kolopp Sarda, M. N., Fremont, S., Parisot, L., Kanny, G., and Moneret-Vautrin, D. A. Occupational asthma due to allergy to spinach powder in a pasta factory. Allergy 2005;60(3):408-409. View abstract.
  • Scrimshaw, N. S. Iron deficiency. Sci.Am. 1991;265(4):46-52. View abstract.
  • Simon, C. [Poisoning by nitrites after ingestion of spinach (a form of methemoglobinemia)]. Arch.Fr.Pediatr. 1966;23(2):231-238. View abstract.
  • Smeenk, C. and van Oudheusden, A. P. [Hemoglobinemia caused by spinach water]. Ned.Tijdschr.Geneeskd. 7-27-1968;112(30):1378-1379. View abstract.
  • Tokui, N., Yoshimura, T., Fujino, Y., Mizoue, T., Hoshiyama, Y., Yatsuya, H., Sakata, K., Kondo, T., Kikuchi, S., Toyoshima, H., Hayakawa, N., Kubo, T., and Tamakoshi, A. Dietary habits and stomach cancer risk in the JACC Study. J.Epidemiol. 2005;15 Suppl 2:S98-108. View abstract.
  • Ahn YO. Diet and stomach cancer in Korea. Int J Cancer 1997;Suppl 10:7-9. View abstract.
  • Bolton-Smith C, Price RJ, Fenton ST, et al. Compilation of a provisional UK database for the phylloquinone (vitamin K1) content of foods. Br J Nutr 2000;83:389-99. View abstract.
  • Bondonno CP, Downey LA, Croft KD, et al. The acute effect of flavonoid-rich apples and nitrate-rich spinach on cognitive performance and mood in healthy men and women. Food Funct. 2014;5(5):849-58. View abstract.
  • Drouet, M., Le Sellin, J., Gay, G., el Founini, M., and Sabbah, A. [Allergy to Chenopodiaceae (beets, spinach) associated with latex allergy]. Allerg.Immunol.(Paris) 1994;26(3):113-114. View abstract.
  • Ferrer M, Redón B, Bartolomé B, Michavila A. Food allergy to spinach in an infant. Allergol Immunopathol (Madr). 2011;39(6):378-9. View abstract.
  • Herrera-Mozo, I., Ferrer, B., Luis Rodriguez-Sanchez, J., and Juarez, C. Description of a novel panallergen of cross-reactivity between moulds and foods. Immunol.Invest 2006;35(2):181-197. View abstract.
  • Joseph JA, Shukitt-Hale B, Denisova NA, et al. Long-term dietary strawberry, spinach, or vitamin E supplementation retards the onset of age-related neuronal signal-transduction and cognitive behavioral deficits. J Neurosci 1998;18:8047-55. View abstract.
  • Joseph JA, Shukitt-Hale B, Denisova NA, et al. Reversals of age-related declines in neuronal signal transduction, cognitive, and motor behavioral deficits with blueberry, spinach, or strawberry dietary supplementation. J Neurosci 1999;19:8114-21. View abstract.
  • Karlson, B., Leijd, B., and Hellstrom, K. On the influence of vitamin K-rich vegetables and wine on the effectiveness of warfarin treatment. Acta Med Scand. 1986;220(4):347-350. View abstract.
  • Maillard, H., Lemerle, E., Garot, D., Leclech, C., and Machet, L. [Crossed spinach-latex allergy revealed by exercise-induced anaphylaxis]. Allerg.Immunol.(Paris) 1999;31(5):156-157. View abstract.
  • Maillard, H., Machet, L., Meurisse, Y., Garot, D., Toledano, C., Jan, V., and Vaillant, L. Cross-allergy to latex and spinach. Acta Derm.Venereol. 2000;80(1):51. View abstract.
  • Montelius C, Erlandsson D, Vitija E, Stenblom EL, Egecioglu E, Erlanson-Albertsson C. Body weight loss, reduced urge for palatable food and increased release of GLP-1 through daily supplementation with green-plant membranes for three months in overweight women. Appetite. 2014;81:295-304. View abstract.
  • Montelius C, Erlandsson D, Vitija E, Stenblom EL, Egecioglu E, Erlanson-Albertsson C. Corrigendum to "Body weight loss, reduced urge for palatable food and increased release of GLP-1 through daily supplementation with green-plant membranes for three months in overweight women" [Appetite 81 (2014), 295-304]. Appetite. 2016;101:239. View abstract.
  • Rebello CJ, Chu J, Beyl R, Edwall D, Erlanson-Albertsson C, Greenway FL. Acute effects of a spinach extract rich in thylakoids on satiety: A randomized controlled crossover trial. J Am Coll Nutr. 2015;34(6):470-7. View abstract.
  • Roberts JL, Moreau R. Functional properties of spinach (Spinacia oleracea L.) phytochemicals and bioactives. Food Funct. 2016;7(8):3337-53. View abstract.
  • Seddon JM, Ajani UA, Sperduto R, et al. Dietary carotenoids, vitamins A, C, and E, and advanced age-related macular degeneration. JAMA 1994;272:1413-20. View abstract.
  • Sharapov UM, Wendel AM, Davis JP, OUTBREAK INVESTIGATION TEAM. Multistate outbreak of Escherichia coli O157:H7 infections associated with consumption of fresh spinach: United States, 2006. J Food Prot. 2016;79(12):2024-2030. View abstract.
  • Stenblom EL, Egecioglu E, Landin-Olsson M, Erlanson-Albertsson C. Consumption of thylakoid-rich spinach extract reduces hunger, increases satiety and reduces cravings for palatable food in overweight women. Appetite. 2015;91:209-19. View abstract.
  • Stenblom EL, Montelius C, Östbring K, et al. Supplementation by thylakoids to a high carbohydrate meal decreases feelings of hunger, elevates CCK levels and prevents postprandial hypoglycaemia in overweight women. Appetite. 2013;68:118-23. View abstract.

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CONDITIONS OF USE AND IMPORTANT INFORMATION: This information is meant to supplement, not replace advice from your doctor or healthcare provider and is not meant to cover all possible uses, precautions, interactions or adverse effects. This information may not fit your specific health circumstances. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your doctor or other qualified health care provider because of something you have read on WebMD. You should always speak with your doctor or health care professional before you start, stop, or change any prescribed part of your health care plan or treatment and to determine what course of therapy is right for you.

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