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You Ask, I Answer: Lectins

I was wondering if you had any views on the health impact of lectins in food, assuming the food has been properly prepared.

I’ve had difficulty finding anything reliable or well referenced.

– Anonymous
Jersey, Channel Islands

Lectins are certain proteins — and natural insectides! — found in a variety of foods, including legumes, grains, dairy products, and some vegetables.

When consumed in certain quantities, they can cause severe gastrointestinal distress. It is also theorized that long-term lectin consumption can raise the risk for certain types of cancers.

However, cooking renders lectins inactive, so you are only vulnerable if you tend to eat certain foods (such as legumes or rice) in raw or undercooked forms.

Peter D’Adamo, author of The Blood Type Diet, blames lectins for a myriad of health problems.

According to Dr. D’Adamo, lectins can cause red blood cells to stick together and form clots if they are eaten by someone with a certain blood type.

While lectins have been implicated in the clogging of arteries in some animal species, we do not know if that effect is replicated in humans.  If it were, though, it would not be limited to humans of one particular blood type.

Again, unless your diet is very high in raw legumes, grains, and dairy, I don’t think you have a reason to be too concerned.

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2 Comments

  1. Corey said on December 26th, 2008

    Dude, love the commitment but its Christmas, take a day off my friend. =)

  2. Anonymous said on December 26th, 2008

    Thanks.

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