Toxicity of bean cooking media containing EDTA in mice

Toxicol Ind Health. 2020 Jun;36(6):436-445. doi: 10.1177/0748233719893178. Epub 2020 Jun 22.


The possible renal and hepatic toxicities of ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA) in bean cooking media were studied using 100 male albino mice. Two sublethal doses of EDTA were used to explore their toxic effects; 20 mg/kg and 200 mg/kg, which corresponded to 1/100th and 1/10th of LD50, respectively. Accordingly, the toxicity study was performed using 50 mice, divided into five groups (n = 10/group) as follows: group 1 (Gp1) served as a negative control and was orally administered normal saline; group 2 (Gp2) was administered the bean cooking medium; group 3 (Gp3) was administered EDTA (200 mg/kg); group 4 (Gp4) was administered bean cooking medium containing 20 mg/kg of EDTA; and group 5 (Gp5) was administered bean cooking medium containing 200 mg/kg of EDTA. The results showed no significant changes in liver and kidney functions in Gp2 while Gp3, Gp4, and Gp5 exhibited significant increases in adverse liver and kidney function markers. Hematocrit values were significantly decreased in Gp3 and Gp5, while the total white blood cells counts were significantly decreased in Gp3 and significantly increased in Gp5. The number of platelets was decreased in Gp3, Gp4, and Gp5. The blood levels of sodium (Na+), iron (Fe2+), and calcium (Ca2+) were decreased in Gp3, Gp4, and Gp5 due to the chelating effects of EDTA. The hepatic and renal architectures were disorganized in Gp3, Gp4, and Gp5 with some hemorrhagic manifestations in livers and kidneys of mice. These results demonstrate that EDTA in bean cooking is harmful in mice under the conditions of this study, and the potentially harmful effects in humans supports restricting its use.

Keywords: EDTA; Vicia faba; biochemical; cooking medium; histological; toxicity.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biomarkers
  • Blood Platelets / metabolism
  • Calcium / blood
  • Cooking / methods*
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Edetic Acid / administration & dosage*
  • Hematocrit
  • Iron / blood
  • Kidney Function Tests
  • Liver Function Tests
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Sodium / blood
  • Vicia faba*


  • Biomarkers
  • Edetic Acid
  • Sodium
  • Iron
  • Calcium