Current scenario of consumption ofLathyrus sativusand lathyrism in three districts of Chhattisgarh State, India

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Abstract

Lathyrism is a disease caused by excessive consumption of grass pea, Lathyrus sativus especially under conditions of severe drought. Grass pea contains 3-N-oxalyl-L-2, 3-diaminopropanoic acid (β-ODAP) a putative neurotoxin which acts through excitatory mechanism causing Neurolathyrism. Due to awareness of the disease, availability of food and levels of consumption of L. sativus there is reduction in lathyrism cases where higher consumption of L. sativus is reported in India. The present study was undertaken with the objective to assess the current scenario of consumption of L. sativus, incidence of cases of lathyrism, β-ODAP, protein and amino acids content in L. sativus pulse collected from three districts (Bilaspur, Durg and Raipur) of Chattisgarh state. For this purpose, a total of 17,755 (13,129 rural and 4626 urban) individuals from 151 villages and 60 wards from urban area were covered for clinical examination. Out of total 5769 households (HHs) covered during the survey, 1602 HHs were cultivators, 1791 HHs non-cultivators and 2376 agricultural and other labourers. A one day 24-hour re-call diet survey was carried out in 5758 HHs (4549 rural and 1209 urban). A total of 360 split grass pea (SGP) samples were collected to estimate β-ODAP, protein and amino acids content. Results of the study revealed that an average consumption of SGP was 20.9 gm/CU/day in Bilaspur and no consumption was reported among urban population of Raipur. Only nine old cases of lathyrism were found during the study. The mean β-ODAP content in SGP was 0.63 ± 0.14, 0.65 ± 0.13 and 0.65 ± 0.14 gm/100 gm, whereas the protein content was 27.0 ± 2.39, 27.0 ± 1.99 and 26.7 ± 1.90 gm/100 gm in samples collected from Bilaspur, Durg and Raipur districts respectively. Arginine content was high in SGP and sulphur containing amino acids (cysteine and methionine) were less than other amino acids. In conclusion, the consumption of SGP was lower in these three districts with lower β-ODAP content than earlier reports, thus the lower prevalence of lathyrism in the districts surveyed.

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