Lathyrism : causes, types, menifestations and prevention










Lathyrism is caused by Lathyrus sativus, commonly known as khesari dal.

How does Khesari dal causes toxicity?

The toxin is present in Lathyrus seeds has been identified as Beta oxalyl amino alanine (BOAA)

BOAA is water soluble, this property has been made use of in removing the toxin from pulse by soaking it in hot water and rejecting the soak water.

BOAA is restricted by blood brain barrier to enter into brain, to overcome BBB pulse has to be eaten in large amounts over a period of 2 or more months.


Now Let’s come on to what is lathyrism? 

Lathyrism is a paralysing disease of humans and animals.

In humans it affects nervous system and causes what is known as neurolathyrism

In animals it affects skeletal system and causes what is known as osteolathyrism (odoratism).


Now lets discuss what happens  with Neurolathyrism.

It affects young men between 15-45 years.

It is characterised by spastic paralysis of lower limbs.


Now let’s discuss interventions for prevention and control of Neurolathyrism.

  • Vitamin C prophylaxis
  • Banning the crop
  • Removal of toxin: Steeping method and parboiling
  • Education
  • Genetic approach
  • socio-economic changes


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