Edestin, (also known as Edistin) is a highly-digestible, hexameric legumin protein, and a seed storage protein, with a molecular weight of 50,000. Edestin is a globular protein (biologically active) as opposed to fibrous protein (structural). Edestin is a biologically active protein (most similar to globulins), and biologically active proteins are metabolized and used by the human body to manufacture antibodies (immunoglobulins), hormones, haemoglobin and enzymes. Though the human body can manufacture globular proteins from any protein source, it is much more efficient for the body to make globulins from locally digestible globular proteins.
Globular proteins found in edestin (and in Alpha 1 globulins, Alpha 2 globulins, Beta globulins and Gamma globulins) are long peptide-chains, precursors for biological proteins essential for life. Edestin is similar to serum globulin (blood plasma), and the biologically active protein of edestin is metabolized in the human body and capable of biosynthesizing:
- hormones (which regulate all the body processes),
- haemoglobin (which transports oxygen, carbon dioxide, and nitric oxide),
- enzymes (which catalyze and control biochemical reactions),
- antibodies (immunoglobulins which fend off invading bacteria, viruses, and other pathogens, as well as toxins or antigens as they enter the body).
Commercial hemp seeds (for human consumption) contain an average 30-35% protein, of which 60-80% is edestin (the remainder being albumin). A particular strain of Korean hemp, Cheungsam, because it contains 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) free radical scavenging activity, has been suggested for utilization as "a superior antioxidative nutrient".
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- Kim, Jum-Ji (2011), "Isolation and Characterization of Edestin from Cheungsam Hempseed", Journal of Applied Biological Chemistry, 54 (2): 84–88, doi:10.3839/jabc.2011.015
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