Scientific publications

Muscle and liver protein metabolism in rats fed raw or heat-treated pea seeds

Alonso R., Grant G., Frühbeck G. [SP], Marzo F.
Physiology and Animal Nutrition Lab., E. T.S.I.A., Universidad Pública de Navarra, Campus Arrosadi;a, 31006, Pamplona, Spain

Magazine: The Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry

Date: Oct 1, 2002

Endocrinology and Nutrition [SP]

Raw or extruded pea (Pisum sativum, cv. Ballet) diets with or without supplementary amino acids were fed for 15 days to young growing rats and the effects on tissue weights, liver and muscle protein metabolism and hormone levels monitored.

Body weight gain, liver and gastrocnemius muscle weights and protein contents were reduced and some key hormones altered when rats were fed unsupplemented raw pea diets. This appeared to be a result of amino acid deficiencies in the diet, the action of antinutritional factors and the refractory nature of the reserve proteins and other seed components. However, this did not in itself improve the nutritional performance of the rats due to the overriding effects of the amino acid deficiencies in the pea diets.

After supplementation, extruded peas supported much higher rates of growth and skeletal muscle deposition than did supplemented raw peas. Despite this, the weight gains remained less than achieved on a high quality control diet. Protein synthesis and degradation rates in skeletal muscles and total protein contents were similar to control values. The lower growth rate did not appear to be due to impaired deposition of skeletal muscle. Deposition of other body components, possibly lipids, may have been lowered by supplemented extruded pea diets. Liver protein levels were reduced in rats fed supplemented raw peas and blood corticosterone was elevated.

In conclusion, extrusion treatment of peas in combination with amino acid supplementation appeared to abolish the negative effects of peas on skeletal muscle deposition.

CITATION  J Nutr Biochem. 2002 Oct;13(10):611-618

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