What is a Lectin?

What is a Lectin?

Lectin is a protein that plays a very important role in digestion and nutrition. Basically, all foods have lectin, but grains (particularly those used in cereals), beans (including peanuts), different dairy products, and a few other select plants (like potatoes and tomatoes) contain the greatest levels of this protein. In large amounts, lectin can cause serious problems that are sometimes diagnosed as food poisoning. With castor beans, even smaller amounts of this protein can be fatal. Lectins can be toxic because of the way they interact with cells and other elements in the body to inhibit activity, and in some cases they can cause the death of cells.

How Lectin Works

The types of food that commonly contain lectin bind glycolipids and glycoproteins. Lectin helps to clump blood and other tissues in the body by binding with sugars, particularly for the healing process, and will have a slightly different result for the different blood types. By merging with carbohydrates, sugars and glycolipids, this protein works to enhance the immune system or other physiological elements in the body. Because lectin interacts slightly differently according to a person's blood type, it can be used to help determine a person's blood type.