Last update Oct. 4, 2020
A herbaceous leguminous plant whose seeds are used in food.
They contain substances such as vicin and convicin, which are metabolized to products with a powerful oxidizing action and which can trigger hemolytic anemia crises when ingested by people with a certain type of Glucose-6-Phosphate-Dehydrogenase (G6FD) deficiency, therefore this disease is also known as favism (Belsey 1973).
Numerous cases of severe hemolytic crisis have been reported in G6FD-deficient breastfed infants after their mothers have eaten fava beans (Kaplan 1998, Schiliro 1979, Kattamis 1971, Taj-Eldin 1971, Emanuel 1961, Casper 1956).
Breastfeeding mothers with a personal or family history of G6FD deficiency or with infants diagnosed with this disease should not eat fava beans.
Given the high global prevalence of G6FD deficiency (Nkhoma 209), higher in certain ethnicities, it may be prudent to generally recommend that breastfeeding mothers avoid eating fava beans (Wennberg 2017).
Suggestions made at e-lactancia are done by APILAM team, and are based on updated scientific publications. It is not intended to replace the relationship you have with your doctor but to compound it.
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