This paper is aimed to review the updated scientific information regarding effects on mineral obsorption associated with major ant nutritional factors found in plant foods. Some anti nutrients may exert beneficial health effects at low concentrations. When they are used at low levels, phytate, lectins, tannins, amylase inhibitors and saponins have also been shown to reduce the blood glucose and insulin responses to starchy foods and/or the plasma cholesterol and triglycerides. In addition, phytates, tannins, saponins, protease inhibitors, goetrogens and oxalates have been related to reduce cancer risks. This implies that anti-nutrients might not always harmful even though lack of nutritive value. However, most antinutrients in plant foods are responsible for deleterious effects related to the absorption of nutrients and micronutrients. For example, phytic acid, lectins, tannins, saponins, amylase inhibitors and protease inhibitors have been shown to reduce the availability of nutrients and cause growth inhibition. Despite of this, the balance between beneficial and hazardous effects of plant bioactives and anti-nutrients rely on their concentration, chemical structure, time of exposure and interaction with other dietary components. Due to this, they can be considered as anti-nutritional factors with negative effects or non-nutritive compounds with positive effects on health.
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