21 March 2011

the grain saga continues

It seems that beans have large amounts of lectins. The book Food Poisoning by Anthony T. Tu documents cases of one hundred percent mortality rates in cases where rats were fed black or kidney beans. But according to this book, 100% removal is possible using heat. 5 hours of heating at 80 degrees C (176 F) inactivated 90% of toxins and raising to 100 degrees C ( 212 F) for 20 minutes "abolished hemagglutinin activity completely."

In "cereal grains" (oats, barley, rice, rye, sorghum and wheat) lectins are contained in the germ. They are heat stable (not destroyed by cooking) and can survive the digestive process. It's important to note that this book states that the lectins in rice are heat labile (can be removed with heat). This next bit was far too important to paraphrase since it answers such a key question in my grain biology hunt.

"Based on evidence available in the 1950's, Jaffe proposed that a possible explanation for the toxic action of lectins, resistant to gastric and intestinal digestion, is that they combine with cells lining the intestinal wall, causing lesions and nonspecific interference with the absorption of nutrients. Since then several groups of researchers have produced direct evidence to substantiate the fact that bean lectins interact specifically with intestinal epithelium cells, damage, and even kill them both in vivo and in vitro."

This is the scientific backing I needed in order to believe that lectins: a. exist b. are actually harmful. (That quote was riddled with source references but since I gave you the link I didn't type them all out. Go look at them all yourself if you need further convincing). This still begs the question, "Why is no one concerned about lectins in raw vegetables!?" And as I read on, JACKPOT!

"The concentration of toxic bean PHA in blood is higher than that of nontoxic tomato agglutinin. Up to 10% of bean lectin was detected in blood vs 0.1% of the tomato lectin. The latter, taken up at a lower level of the intestinal villi by endocytosis than PHA, is retained in the liver and detoxified. The former can act on various organs of the body, carried by blood circulation." 

So I feel like progress has been made. More questions remain.
1. If cooking beans removes all toxins, why cut them out completely?
2. How much is your liver designed to process? 
3. What foods are above the "liver limit"?

( I also just noticed the actual speck check feature blogger provides. No excuse people, no excuse.)  


Post a Comment