Study title and authors:
Lectin-Based Food Poisoning: A New Mechanism of Protein Toxicity
This paper can be accessed at: http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0000687
Miyake notes that ingestion of the lectins present in certain improperly cooked vegetables can result in acute intestinal damage. The study examined the mechanism of lectin toxicity.
Cells in the gut are constantly exposed to varoius toxins which cause damage to their membranes. This damage is repaired by a process called exocytosis which puts a "patch" on the damaged membrane. Repair of this cell surface damage allows the wounded cell to survive: failure results in cell death.
The study found that lectins on the cell surface potently inhibited the membrane exocytosis "patching" and therefore compromised the cell membrane repair process.
To conclude: Lectins potently inhibit cell membrane repair, and hence are toxic to wounded cells. This represents a novel form of protein-based toxicity, one that, Miyake proposed, is the basis of plant lectin food poisoning.
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Recipe of the day
Grilled Pork Chops with Chimichurri
For the Chimichurri Sauce:
|Food Mall: Bone-In Pork Chops|
2 tablespoons chopped white onion
2 cloves garlic, chopped
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon crushed red chile pepper
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
For the Pork Chops:
4 thick-cut (1 1/2-inch-thick) bone-in pork chops (14 to 16 ounces each)
1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt
1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper
For the chimichurri sauce, combine all ingredients in a food processor with 1 tablespoon water. Process until blended; set aside.
Prepare a gas or charcoal grill for medium-heat cooking, leaving one area of the grill cool (this will be a place to transfer the chops if they flare up). Brush chops all over with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill, turning once or twice, until just cooked through, about 15 minutes. Watch the chops carefully, and move them to the cool area of the grill if they flare up or brown too quickly. Let rest 5 minutes; serve with the chimichurri on the side.
|Grilled Pork Chops with Chimichurri|