Toxic Amino Acids

Appears in
On Food and Cooking

By Harold McGee

Published 2004

  • About

Toxic amino acids are unusual versions of the building blocks for our proteins that interfere with proper protein functioning. Canavanine interferes with several cell functions and has been associated with the development of lupus; it’s found in large quantities in alfalfa sprouts and the jack bean. Vicine and convicine in the fava bean cause a blood-cell-destroying anemia, favism, in susceptible people.