Scientific publications

Hormonal implications of the hypocholesterolemic effect of intake of field beans (Vicia faba L.) by young men with hypercholesterolemia

Dec 1, 1997 | Magazine: The American Journal Of Clinical Nutrition

Frühbeck G., Monreal I., Santidrián S.
Department of Human Physiology, School of Medicine, University of Navarra, Pamplona, Spain

This study examined the hypocholesterolemic effect and hormonal changes resulting from 30 d of supplementation with Vicia faba L. (field bean) flour of diets of young men (aged 18-21 y; n = 40) with borderline-high or high serum cholesterol values.

All subjects (groups A-D) consumed the same basic diet. Additionally, volunteers in the control group (A) consumed 90 g control flour/d whereas those in the three bean groups received either 90 g cooked field bean flour (groups B and C) or 90 g raw field bean flour (group D) daily. Groups A and B included volunteers with borderline-high cholesterol values [5.2-6.2 mmol total cholesterol/L and 3.4-4.1 mmol low-density-lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol/L]. Subjects in groups C and D had high serum cholesterol concentrations (total cholesterol > 6.2 mmol/L and LDL cholesterol > 4.1 mmol/L). After 30 d, serum glucose, insulin, triacylglycerol, total, LDL-cholesterol, and very-low-density-lipoprotein (VLDL)-cholesterol values were significantly lower than initial values in all subjects who consumed diets containing field bean flour (P < or = 0.0001, except for LDL-cholesterol concentrations in group C, for which P < or = 0.0007). Legume intake also resulted in a significant increase (P < or = 0.0001) in glucagon and high-density-lipoprotein cholesterol. Neither cortisol nor thyroid hormone values changed significantly.

The results suggest that the hypocholesterolemic effect of field bean intake depends at least partly on a concomitant increase in glucagon and decrease in insulin values. The more marked reduction in triacylglycerol and VLDL-cholesterol concentrations in subjects who consumed raw field beans indicates a coparticipation of their thermolabile components.

CITATION  Am J Clin Nutr. 1997 Dec;66(6):1452-60