Reproductive Toxins

Limb-shortening birth defects caused by the maternal ingestion of quinolizidine alkaloid-rich lupines have been seen in cattle, goats, and dogs that consumed milk from intoxicated goats, and it is possible that at least one human case can be attributed to this as well. Low-alkaloid lupines has been developed as animal feed to overcome this limitation. Cyclopia (large single eyes) and related craniofacial defects have been observed in sheep consuming Veratrum californicum.

A variety of legumes including subterranean clover produce isoflavones that can interact with estrogen receptors, resulting in feminization of male stock, abnormal development in females, and severely disrupted breeding cycles.

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Fig. 1 Yew leaves, seed and aril (Taxus baccata). (View this art in color at www.dekker.com.)
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Fig. 2 Oleander (Nerium oleander). (View this art in color at www.dekker.com.)
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