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Comparison of growth, nitrogen metabolism and organ weights in piglets and rats fed on diets containing Phaseolus vulgaris beans

Author: Huisman, J. · Poel, A.F.B. van der · Leeuwen, P. van · Verstegen, M.W.A.
Institution: Centraal Instituut voor Voedingsonderzoek TNO
Source:British Journal of Nutrition, 3, 64, 743-753
Identifier: 231355
doi: doi:10.1079/BJN19900076
Keywords: Antinutritional factors · Lectins · Phaseolus vulgaris · Piglet · Animal experiment · Animal tissue · Controlled study · Male · Nitrogen balance · Nonhuman · Animal · Animal Feed · Body Weight · Comparative Study · Fabaceae · Liver · Nitrogen · Organ Weight · Pancreas · Phytohemagglutinins · Plants, Medicinal · Rats · Rats, Inbred Strains · Spleen · Swine · Trypsin Inhibitors · Animalia · Phaseolus (angiosperm) · Phaseolus vulgaris · Sus scrofa


The effects of lectins in the diet have been mainly studied in rats. An important question is whether results obtained in rats can be extrapolated to larger animals like the pig. Phaseolus vulgaris beans are rich in toxic lectins. Therefore a study was carried out to compare the effects of diets containing 200 g Phaseolus vulgaris beans (raw or toasted)/kg in rats and piglets. Live-weight gain, nitrogen digestibility and N balance were much lower in piglets than in rats fed on diets containing raw beans. Live-weight gain and N balance were slightly negative in the piglets. When toasted beans were given, live-weight gain and N balance values were reduced in piglets but hardly at all in rats. Giving raw beans caused hypertrophy of the pancreas in the rats but in piglets the weight of the pancreas was reduced. Spleen weight was depressed in the piglets but not in the rats. Weight of liver was not affected in either animal species. When toasted beans were given no effects on the weights of pancreas, spleen or liver were found in piglets or rats. It was concluded that the piglet is much more sensitive to antinutritional factors in thge Phaseolus vulgaris bean than the rat.