There have been conflicting reports on the role of cassava ingestion in tropical pancreatitis (TCP). In this study we aimed to estimate cyanogens detoxifying enzyme rhodanese, thiocyanate and sulfur containing amino acids in cassava consumer as well as cassava non-consumer TCP patients and healthy controls and compare the same. Eighty-six TCP patients and 90 healthy controls were recruited. Serum rhodanese, thiocyanate, plasma amino acids, urinary inorganic sulfate/creatinine were measured. There was significant reduction in serum rhodanese activity in both cassava consumer- and non-consumer TCP patients as compared to controls but no significant difference between cassava consumer- and non-consumer TCP patients was observed. Serum thiocyanate was significantly lower in cassava consumer TCP patients as compared to cassava consumer controls but not significantly different from cassava non-consumer TCP patients. Plasma methionine, cysteine and urinary inorganic sulfate / creatinine ratio was significantly lower in both cassava consumer and non-consumer TCP patients as compared to controls but were comparable among cassava consumers and non-consumers. Significant reduction in rhodanese activity with concomitant decrease in sulfur containing amino acids and antioxidants such as glutathione suggests that TCP patients are at higher risk of defective detoxification of cyanogens. However there was no difference between cassava consumers and non-consumers. Low levels of sulfur amino acids may contribute to the development of pancreatitis.
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B. N. Girish, Rajesh, G., Vaidyanathan, K., and Balakrishnan, V., “Assessment of cassava toxicity in patients with tropical chronic pancreatitis.”, Tropical gastroenterology : official journal of the Digestive Diseases Foundation, vol. 32, pp. 112-116, 2011.