The truth about lectins in our food

Healthy dietShould you be afraid to eat lectins?

You will hear many health bloggers advocating for an anti-lectin or lectin free diet with the suggestion that lectins are causing weight gain, inflammation, leaky gut, and even major diseases. However, that’s irrelevant, because these sugar-binding proteins are found in everything you eat, to at least some degree.

What are lectins and where can I find them?

Plant lectins represent a very diverse collection of proteins. They are found in all plants in different organs such as seeds, fruits, leaves or roots.

Lectins are a class of proteins with one particular feature: they can recognize and bind specific carbohydrate structures. This binding process can cause inflammation but depending on the type, they can have a neutral effect – not being bad or good – or even offer benefits for human health.

It’s important to reiterate how little is really known about lectins. There are thousands of different types of these compounds in our diet. Among those identified, only a small fraction has been extensively studied. Furthermore, there are thousands of different complex carbohydrates (sugars) which are used by our cells for signaling.

What we do

We purify and characterize lectins from different plants and crops aiming to define which ones may be harmless, and which not.