Alkaloids in edible lupin seeds

A toxicological review and recommendations

image of Alkaloids in edible lupin seeds

The report reviews the toxicity data on inherent natural toxicants in lupin seeds, especially quinolizidin alkaloids. Lupin seeds are increasingly used in the Nordic countries, partially substituting wheat flour in certain foods. An estimation of the risk by consuming foods containing lupin seeds in the Nordic countries and recommendations to better ensure the safe use of these seeds in foods are given.



Human data

The distribution of lupanine and 13-hydroxylupanine was studied in 11 subjects, 4 ‘poor’ metabolizers and 7 ‘extensive’ metabolizers to observe whether the molecules undergo polymorphic metabolism by N-oxidation at the 1 position of the molecule as known for another quinolizidine alkaloid, sparteine. The two alkaloids were studied separately by oral administration of 10 mg of each. For both alkaloids the half-lives were 6-7 h with 90-100 % being recovered as unchanged alkaloid in the urine. In one ‘poor’ and one ‘extensive’ metabolizer 34 and 14 % of 13-hydroxylupanine, respectively, was recovered as lupanine. No effect on heart rate or blood pressure was observed. The data indicate that no metabolism by Noxidation takes place and that the administered doses are too low to cause any acute toxicological effect (Petterson et al., 1994).


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