Risk assessment for subjects with G6PD-deficiency of new fava bean cultivars with low content of vicine and convicine (FEVITA Beans)

  • Faba Beans

Lead Investigator(s)

Dr. Paolo Arese

Lead Investigator(s) Institution

University of Torino Medical School - Dept. of Genetics, Biology and Biochemistry


To show that faba beans with low levels of Vicine (V) and Convicine (C) (low V/C beans) are not toxic to highly susceptible glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD)-deficient individuals, and can be ingested in large amounts by deficient subjects without any harmful effect.


Extracts prepared from high Vicine (V) and Covicine (C) and low V/C faba bean and not previously treated with beta-glucosidase, were unable to oxidize glutathione (GSH). Only extracts prepared from high V/C faba bean and pre-treated with beta-glucosidase were able to temporarily decrease the intracellular level of GSH. The oxidation of glutathione was reversible due to the anti-oxidant potency of the normal red blood cells.

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Project Status


Duration/Timeline of Project (Year to Year)

2008 - 2009