Tannins, trypsin inhibitors and lectin cytotoxicity in tepary (Phaseolus acutifolius) and common (Phaseolus vulgaris) beans

Elvira Gonzalez De Mejia, Maria Del Carmen Valadez-Vega, Rosalia Reynoso-Camacho, Guadalupe Loarca-Pina

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study compared the levels of antinutritional components and cytotoxic effect of extracts, from tepary (Phaseolus acutifolius) and common (Phaseolus vulgaris) beans. Antinutritional factors were evaluated by determining their effect on the viability of epithelial cells isolated from rat small intestine. The protein and carbohydrates content were similar in all the genotypes studied (20 and 60%, respectively). Common beans presented higher content of trypsin inhibitors, tannins and lectins than tepary beans. There was not a significant correlation between tannins and cooking time. However, water absorption and cooking time correlated significantly (p < 0.05). Considerable variation was observed in lectin activity (1302-18161 Ul/mg) of extracts from different beans. Tannins, lectins, trypsin inhibitors and fat content differed between bean varieties whereas protein content was similar. The percent cellularity on rat epithelial cells was significantly different among protein extracts from different bean cultivars and ranged between 53.5% and 87.4% (p < 0.05). These results suggest that the incorporation of tepary beans in the diet would not alter the current nutritional contribution of common beans or introduce adverse toxic effects. The agronomic characteristics of tepary beans make them attractive for cultivation. However, the harder to cook phenomenon may be a limiting factor that needs further consideration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)137-145
Number of pages9
JournalPlant Foods for Human Nutrition
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2005


  • Lectins cytotoxicity
  • Tannins
  • Tepary bean
  • Trypsin inhibitor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Chemistry (miscellaneous)


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