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Questions About Lectins

Lectins In Cooking Oils

Isolation and quantitation of lectins from vegetable oils.

Lipids 1987 Sep;22(9):667-8

Klurfeld DM, Kritchevsky D

The factor(s) responsible for the unexplained atherogenicity of peanut oil remain to be elucidated. To this end, we developed a technique to determine if lectin was present in the oil and to quantitate its concentration. This technique was applied to other vegetable oils including corn, soybean, and sunflower. Crude, unprocessed corn and soybean oils were also analyzed for lectin content. The crude oils contained from 858 to 2983 micrograms lectin per kg, while the refined oils contained 24 to 55 micrograms/kg of biologically active lectin. The identities of the isolated lectins were confirmed by electrophoresis on SDS-polyacrylamide gels. The biological significance of the presence of lectin in these oils remains to be determined.

This study looked at possible reasons why peanut oil is so atherogenic (i.e. why it accelerates hardening of the arteries. In doing so the researchers discovered that there was considerable evidence that the lectins in peanuts were in the oil, prompting them to investigate other oils from lectin-containing seeds. These were also found to contain 'biologically active lectin.'

The Ask Dr. D'Adamo internet advice column ran from 1996 to 2009, at which time Dr. D'Adamo's teaching and programming responsibilities no longer allowed him to devote time and resources to directly answering visitor questions. However we've recently reorganized this treasure-trove of material and made it again available to his readership. He occasionally posts new entries. These are marked with a NEW tag.

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