Antinutrient is the term to describe phytochemicals that may be associated with adverse effects or interfere with the availability, during digestion, of other beneficial phytochemicals. Examples include phytic acid, protease inhibitors, lignans, and phytoestrogens.

Health considerations

While some antinutrients may negatively affect health or limit the absorption of certain nutrients, other antinutrients may reduce the absorption of one nutrient, while increasing the absorption of another. Essentially, antinutrients can cause many effects, though said effects vary from one antinutrient to another.

Keep in mind

Antinutrients that interfere with availability of certain other nutrients may themselves be associated with other health benefits. It has been suggested that antinutrients be renamed to reflect that they are not necessarily negative.

May be found in

Fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, seeds, grains


Food Research International

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