The following represents an article originally published for Primordial Performance.

©Eric Potratz, All Rights Reserved.
Printed with Permission.

November 25th, 2009 -A peanut butter and jelly sandwich on whole grain bread looks pretty wholesome and harmless, doesnít it? Well, looks can be deceiving. This delicious meal is packed with a deadly lectin that clogs your arteries.

The trouble seems to stem from a lectin specific to peanuts called Peanut Agglutinin(PNA). Lectins are sugar-binding proteins found all throughout nature, and are thought to play an important role in plant defense against being eaten. (1) PNA is particularly resistant to breakdown in the gut, and has been shown to penetrate the intestinal walls mostly intact and bind to the smooth muscle cells in the arteries, leading to atherosclerosis (build-up of plaque within the arteries) and fibromuscular lesions. (2) Aside from being a know allergen, PNA has also been shown to stimulate cellular proliferation of colon cancer cells (3).

Even if you donít have any peanut allergies, eating peanuts may still increase your heart disease and colon cancer risk. Peanuts have side-effects, so you are probably safer choosing almond butter for that next ěnut butterî sandwich.

References -

1. Agrarian Diet and Diseases of Affluence – Do Evolutionary Novel Dietary Lectins Cause Leptin Resistance?
Tommy J?nsson, et al.
BMC Endocrine Disorders 2005, 5:10doi:10.1186/1472-6823-5-10

2. Atherogenic Potential of Peanut Oil-Based Monounsaturated Fatty Acids Diets
Loren Cordain, Ph.D.
Lipids 1998 Vol. 33 no. 2 Page 229

3. Peanut lectin stimulates proliferation of colon cancer cells by interaction with glycosylated CD44v6 isoforms and consequential activation of c-Met and MAPK
Singh R et al.
Glycobiology.2006 Jul;16(7):594-601