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lectins Proteins from legumes and other sources which bind to the carbohydrates found at cell surfaces. They therefore cause red blood cells to agglutinate in vitro, hence the old names haemagglutinins and phytoagglutinins.

Raw or undercooked beans of some varieties of Phaseolus vulgaris (red kidney beans) cause vomiting and diarrhoea within 2 hours of consumption due to the high level of lectins, but they are rapidly inactivated by boiling.