Introduction to Lectins
Re: Lectins stick to red blood cells.
Only a few do, e.g., lima bean lectin (lima bean phytohemagglutinin).
So much for the Blood Type diets (plural).
Ricin is a lectin that kills all Blood Types (O, A, B, and AB).
Most lectins — including ricin — affect the gut, not the blood.
Re: Lectins can cause rheumatoid arthritis.
That’s as rare as wings on bears.
Rheumatoid arthritis is triggered and perpetuated by over-alkalinity.
Osteoarthritis is the opposite — over-acidity.
Re: Bind lectins with glucosamine.
Rheumatoid arthritis is only temporarily helped with this monosaccharide supplement.
But long-term use causes additional inflammation.
That’s also true for the rest of the “gluco” group, including glucose, glucuronic acid, galactosamine, glucosaminic acid, galactosaminic acid, etc.
Glucosamine is closely related to cortisone.
Re: Lectins can’t be destroyed by heat.
Most lectins are destroyed at least partially by high heat, and most are completely destroyed by pressure cooking.
Sprouting destroys most them also. The potato is an exception to the rule.
Re: Nightshades are especially high in lectins.
All raw nightshade plants are mildly to greatly toxic, due to various lectins and polyphenols, including …
potatoes (not sweet potatoes)
peppers (sweet and hot, including cayenne and bell peppers)
goji berries (wolfberries)
ascorbyl palmitate (from potatoes)
palmitate vitamin A (sometimes from potatoes)
ashwagandha (Indian ginseng)
henbane (stinking nightshade)
jimsonweed (loco weed)
kakamachi (black nightshade)
Susan Bardocz, Stanley W.B. Ewen, George Grant, & Arpad Pusztai (“Lectins as Growth Factors for the Small Intestine and the Gut,” Lectins: Biomedical Perspectives, 1995) wrote …
“As the gut wall is the first line of defence between the individual and the environment, it is essential to keep its integrity. When the structure of the microvillus membrane of epithelial cells is damaged by lectin-binding, the gut becomes leaky and the cells can no longer fulfill their protective and digestive/absorptive functions. Therefore, they have to be replaced by new, healthy cells to maintain the integrity of the intestine and prevent harmful compounds or bacteria entering the body. The result of this is that the CCPR [crypt cell proliferation rate] is stimulated, although the exact mechanism by which it occurs is still unknown (Pusztai et al., 1988;1990). As the lectin first binds to the villus, the growth signal has to be sent to the crypt where the proliferation occurs.”
According to the same source …
“Even a small increase in the size of the gut has a slight nutritional penalty for the animal, since the need to renew the gut surface more quickly than normal means that more of the dietary protein and energy are used up for the faster turnover. With lectins, such as PHA [phytohaemagglutinin], SBA [soybean agglutinin] or WGA [wheat germ agglutinin], which bind avidly to epithelial cells and are more powerful growth factors for the small bowel, the cost in nutritional terms is even more expensive. Indeed, at high dietary intakes of these lectins, most or all of the diet is used by the gut alone with the result that other organs are starved of nutrients (Pusztai, 1989; Pusztai, et al., 1991a). However, under most practical conditions where dietary lectin intakes are low, the contribution of the growth stimulating activity of the lectins to nutritional toxicity is relatively slight.”