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Chapter: Modern Medical Toxicology: Food Poisons: Food Poisoning

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Sweet Pea - Food Poisoning

Sweet Pea - Food Poisoning
Other Common Names: Chickling pea, Indian pea, Grass pea, Guaya. Botanical Name: Lathyrus sativus

Sweet Pea

Other Common Names

Chickling pea, Indian pea, Grass pea, Guaya.

Botanical Name

Lathyrus sativus

Physical Appearance

This is a plant belonging to family Leguminosae, which grows well in Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, and Punjab (Fig 33.7). The seeds (called kesari dal in Hindi) (Fig 33.8) are used as a cheap substitute for costlier lentils by the rural folk in these states.




Toxic Principle

Beta-N-oxalyl-amino-L-alanine (BOAA) or beta-N-oxalyl-alpha-beta-diaminopropionic-acid (beta-odap).

Clinical Features

Chronic intake of kesari dal leads to the development of lathyrism, characterised by gradually progressing bilateralspastic paraparesis. There may be prodromal manifestations such as cramps, prickling sensation, and nocturnal calf pain. Tendon reflexes are usually exaggerated, and plantar response is extensor in type. Total spastic paraplegia may result in course of time.

Treatment

Exclusion of kesari dal from diet and symptomatic measures.


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