Immunoglobulin classes, metal binding proteins, and trace metals in Nigerian cassava processors
Background: Cassava processing is an economically viable venture in tropical Africa where cassava is consumed in various forms, but cyanogenic glycosides that are contacted during cassava processing is known to have tremendous effects on nervous system. The effect of these cyanogenic glycosides on human immune functions is largely unknown. Objective and method: The objective of this study is to find out if certain aspect of humoral immune system is deranged in cassava processors. This was achieved by measuring the levels of three immunoglobulin classes (IgG, IgA and IgM), metal binding proteins (Transferrin, Caeruloplasmin, Alpha-2- Macroglobulin and Haptoglobin) and nutritionally essential trace metals/heavy metals (Zn, Fe, Se, Cu, Mg, Cd and Pb) in Nigerian cassava processors using single radial immunodiffusion method and atomic absorption spectrophotometric method respectively. Results: The result shows that only the mean serum level of IgM was
significantly increased in cassava processors compared with the controls (P=0.02). There were no significant changes in the mean levels of IgA, IgG, alpha-2 macroglobulin, caeruloplasmin, transferrin, Mg, Fe, Zn, Cu, Se, Mn, Cd and Pb in cassava processors compared with the controls.
Conclusion: It is the opinion of the authors that cynogenic glycosides in the cassava have no adverse effect on humoral immunity and the levels of trace metals.