Anti-nutritional Factors

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Anti-nutritional Factors:

Anti-nutritional Factors Ajay Prakash Uniyal Central University of Punjab


Introduction Compounds that interfere with the absorption of nutrients. Phytates Lectins Oxalates

Phytic acid:

Phytic acid Phytic acid , inositol polyphosphate or phytate is discovered in 1903. It is the principal storage form of phosphorus in plant tissue, especially bran and seeds. Catabolites of phytic acid are called lower inositol polyphosphates.

Structure of phytates:

Structure of phytates Due to its molecular structure, phytic acid has affinity to polyvalent cations , such as minerals and trace elements, and could in this way interfere with their intestinal absorption in man and animal. Source of Phytates Main source : cereals and legumes, oilseeds and nuts. In legumes, seed phytates occur predominantly in protein bodies of endosperm.

Slide 5:

During the germination of seeds, phytate is hydrolyzed, and phosphorous along with minerals such as calcium, magnesium and iron are liberated, becoming available for germination and development of the seedlings. There are some beneficial aspects of phytates, despite it has received status of anti nutrients. --- Antioxidative effect --- Preventing pathological calcification e.g. Kidney stones --- Cholesterol lowering effects --- Anticancer activity Inhibitory effects of phytates are low in countries with well balanced diet but with unbalanced and undernourished diet, it can have serious effects. Food processing methods as soaking seeds, addition of phytase etc ared done to degrade phytate.


Lectins Lectins are carbohydrate binding proteins macromolecules that are highly specific for sugar moeities of other molecules. They perform recognition on cellular and molecular level. They mediate attachment and binding of bacteria and virus to their intended target. Lectins are ubiquitous and found majorly in beans and grains. Some lectins as CLEC11A are beneficial while other are toxic as ricin .

Functions of Lectins in Plants:

Functions of Lectins in Plants Rhizoba binding ( lectin knockout transgene studies) Plant germination and seed survival growth. Recognition of non carbohydrate ligands . Many legume seeds have been proven to contain high lectin activity, termed " hemagglutination . Lectin disrupt small intestinal metabolism and damage intestinal villi by binding with brush border surface of small intestine.\


Oxalates Oxalates interfere with calcium absorption. Oxalates will also crystalize in tissues if consumed regularly, creating arthritis-like symptoms and even kidney stones . Source of food : Kale, Spinach, Chard and other heartly leafy greens.   Calcium and magnesium bind to the oxalates in your stomach and prevent them from being absorbed . Oxalates p resent in plants bind with calcium are practically insoluble

Other Anti-nutritional Factors:

Other Anti-nutritional Factors Enzymes inhibitors Plant enzymes Anti-metals Anti- vitamins Favism factors Alkaloids Tannins Hemaglutinnins

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