Azetidine-2-carboxylic acid in garden beets (Beta vulgaris)

Phytochemistry. 2006 May;67(9):898-903. doi: 10.1016/j.phytochem.2006.01.028. Epub 2006 Mar 3.


Azetidine-2-carboxylic acid (L-Aze) is a toxic and teratogenic non-protein amino acid. In many species, including man, L-Aze is misincorporated into protein in place of proline, altering collagen, keratin, hemoglobin, and protein folding. In animal models of teratogenesis, it causes a wide range of malformations. The role of L-Aze in human disease has been unexplored, probably because the compound has not been associated with foods consumed by humans. Herein we report the presence of L-Aze in the garden or table beet (Beta vulgaris).

MeSH terms

  • Azetidinecarboxylic Acid / analogs & derivatives
  • Azetidinecarboxylic Acid / chemistry*
  • Beta vulgaris / chemistry*
  • Chromatography, Liquid
  • Mass Spectrometry
  • Molecular Structure
  • Plant Tubers / chemistry
  • Proline / analogs & derivatives
  • Teratogens / chemistry


  • Teratogens
  • Azetidinecarboxylic Acid
  • Proline