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QUESTION: How do you answer your critics when they say that lectins are destroyed during cooking or in the digestive tract?
ANSWER: How would you regard a critic who ignored, or was too lazy to make themselves aware of, the huge amount of data to the contrary?
" The lectins studied all have the potential to affect colonic cancer growth in vivo. Many dietary lectins are resistant to digestion and may have important effects in vivo but the definition of their role in human colonic cancer biology must take into account the variability in lectin response."
Gut 1997 Feb;40(2):253-61 In vitro influence of Phaseolus vulgaris, Griffonia simplicifolia, concanavalin A, wheat germ, and peanut agglutinins on HCT-15, LoVo, and SW837 human colorectal cancer cell growth. Kiss R, Camby I, Duckworth C, De Decker R, Salmon I, Pasteels JL, Danguy A, Yeaton P
"Most lectins in our diet are resistant to breakdown during gut passage and are bound and endocytosed by epithelial cells. These lectins are powerful exogenous growth factors for the small intestine, can induce dramatic shifts in its bacterial flora and interfere with its hormone secretion."
Eur J Clin Nutr 1993 Oct;47(10):691-9 Dietary lectins are metabolic signals for the gut and modulate immune and hormone functions. Pusztai A
"The possible systemic influences of absorbed saccharides at loci remote from the gut are considered in terms of inhibition of dietary and endogenous lectins, inhibition of bacterial attachment, and alteration of leukocyte homing behaviour. Finally, possible means by which dietary carbohydrates might modify various specific diseases are considered. It is probable that dietary carbohydrates can alter the equilibria between lectins, secretory IgA and micro-organisms in the alimentary canal, and this consideration could be exploited to promote health. The possible effects of dietary saccharides on allergy/oral tolerance or on recognition events at gut-remote sites warrant further investigation."
Eur J Nutr 1999 Jun;38(3):107-17 Immunological aspects of the potential role of dietary carbohydrates and lectins in human health. Kilpatrick DC