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Lectin question

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  • Lectin question

    So, since I started on Paleo/Primal, I've learned about lectins and their ill effects for some people. IIUC, lectins are the most significant of The Bad Boys in grains and the nightshade family.

    Here is what I've picked up:

    1. Lectins are everywhere, even in many animal foods. And in our organs. It's a matter of degree AND type.

    2. They are probably a major cause of leaky gut syndrome and the autoimmune response diseases.

    3. But we don't know for sure, this is a pretty new field of nutrition.

    4. They have been used for years for blood marking (types.)

    5. Some people or peoples are more susceptible than others ti lectin's ill effects.

    So my question, actually two of them, is/are:

    1. Does anyone have a table, chart, or other source which roughly lists the lectin content of foods, as in perhaps worst to best?

    2. Are they bound to the starch molecules? And if so, would a starch blocker prevent the lectins from migrating across the intestinal barrier?

    OK, that was three questions. Sorry.

    An interesting page:

  • #2

    Check this out:

    “Every saint has a past and every sinner has a future.” -Oscar Wilde
    "The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it." -George Bernard Shaw
    "The trouble with jogging is that the ice falls out of your glass." -Martin Mull


    • #3

      Wow, Thanks for the link SerialSinner!


      • #4

        I recall that page, I don't know if it answered my questions. I will take another look, SS.


        • #5

          OK, I re-read SS' link and all the sub-links. Maybe that page was the original source for my first five points. They sure seem to be true.

          My question's answers seem to be, No. No chart, no binding to carbs in the food.

          Amplifying on lectins as a food problem or not, I think if there ever was a nutritional YMMV, lectins are it. For those of us who struggle with the prospects of a lifetime avoidance of tasty foods we grew up with, and if we keep quantities infrequent and low, for most of us that should never be a problem.

          Then there are those that might suffer from autoimmune responses from lectins. But that's not most of us. Just look at the populations that eat many tubers, including potatoes, beans, and rice. They often suffer the effects of high carbs and insulin resistance, but nothing further.


          • #6


            Here's a link to a chart below:


            (I didn't directly *link* that address, because it seems if I do, then I get my posts blocked for 12 hours or so... weird.)

            Not sure how much that *really* helps.

            But the main one to watch out for is (in my opinion) the lectins in wheat or "wheat like" foods.

            Beans I believe also have quite a few, and it's best to soak them overnight, rinse well, and boil for a good chunk of time before eating them.

            The biggest offender in terms of lectins though is probably gluten.

            I don't think lectins specifically bind to starches (although lectins are basically in everything.) It's just the "bad" ones you should watch out for.

            I say that they don't bind to starches so much because I believe that the corn "shell" or whatever you call the thing that surrounds the starchy part of the corn kernel actually has most of the "lectins" and the starch does not have it as much.

            Also, I don't think sweet potatoes have much at all, and they're starchy.

            I think it's dependent on the food.

            But it does seem that the foods that are most "seed like" like beans, and grains, etc, have the most because they're basically poisons that fend off insects, bacteria, etc. And the seeds need that protection so they can spout later.

            Some grains found in the Egyptian tombs have been reported to have grown thousands of years after they were locked up with the Pharaohs.

            Happy Monday!