Sucrose co-administration reduces the toxic effect of lectin on gut permeability and intestinal bacterial colonization. Academic Article uri icon


  • Legume lectins can have toxic effects when consumed without adequate cooking, occasionally leading to an acute gastroenteritis. Lectins are sugar binging proteins and may use this property to execute their toxic effects; these toxic effects may be secondary to increased gut bacteria and intestinal permeability. However, whether or not sucrose rescues these toxic effects by decreasing gut bacterial concentration and intestinal permeability is unknown.Our aim was to test the hypothesis that sucrose may reduce toxic effects of legume lectins by protecting barrier function, bacterial overgrowth and bacterial translocation.Twenty-four rats were randomized to an ad libitum diet of either standard rat chow, a chow containing 26% crude red kidney beans or a chow containing 26% crude red kidney beans supplemented with 1 mM sucrose in drinking water for 24 h. After 12-h fast, rats were gavaged with sugar probes; breath gas and urine were collected for 5 h. Intestine and liver tissues were then collected. Mucosa-associated total bacterial count were measured by targeting the 16s rRNA gene. Four groups of in vitro Caco-2 cell lines were treated with PBS, 200 ?g/ml phytohemagglutinin (PHA), 1 mM sucrose and both 200 ?g/ml PHA and 1 mM sucrose, respectively, and trans-epithelial resistance was measured.Rats fed crude red kidney beans for 24 h showed significant weight loss when compared to controls (P < 0.05), as well as increased intestinal permeability (P < 0.05), increased bacterial load (P < 0.05) and increased bacterial translocation to the liver (P < 0.05). Sucrose rescues the drop in trans-epithelial resistance due to PHA in CaCO2-cells (P < 0.05).Sucrose reduced crude red kidney beans induced increase in intestinal permeability, bacterial load and translocation. Since red kidney beans are an important source of dietary protein in the world, their potential toxicity when inadequately cooked may be rescued by a suitable complementary diet.

publication date

  • January 1, 2010