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FEBS Lett. 1985 Jun 17;185(2):299-305.

Tomato lectin resists digestion in the mammalian alimentary canal and binds to intestinal villi without deleterious effects.


Experiments were designed to investigate whether orally consumed tomato lectin could resist the digestive process and function as a lectin within the alimentary canal. Rats fed on a tomato lectin-rich diet passed faeces containing serologically detectable tomato lectin, and the lectin could be shown by immunoperoxidase staining bound to intestinal villi. Moreover, radioactivity was mainly recovered from the alimentary canal 3h after 125I-labelled tomato lectin administration with only traces in the circulation or internal organs. Radioactivity absorbed into the human circulation after consumption of 125I-labelled tomato lectin was also less than that expected for a digestable protein.

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