Beans have cholesterol lowering activity. - GreenMedInfo Summary
Comparative effects on blood lipids and faecal steroids of five legume species incorporated into a semi-purified, hypercholesterolaemic rat diet.
Br J Nutr. 1996 Apr;75(4):557-71. PMID: 8672408
Department of Food Science and Technology, University of Reading.
The cholesterolaemic effects in rats of a diet (VS) containing Bambara groundnuts (Vigna subterranea), a popular legume eaten in Nigeria, were compared with diets PV, PS, LC and PL, containing baked beans (Phaseolus vulgaris), marrowfat peas (Pisum sativum), lentils (Lens culinaris Medik.) and butter beans (Phaseolus lunatus) respectively. Sixty Sprague-Dawley rats were fed on hypercholesterolaemic semi-purified diets supplemented with 10 g cholesterol and 5 g cholic acid/kg and formulated to provide 40% of energy from fat, as in a typical Western-type human diet. Legumes were substituted for 330 g/kg of the semi-purified diet on a dry-matter basis, which was modified to maintain the same contribution of energy sources as the control diet C3. Another ten rats were fed on control diet C2, which was similar to diet C3 but with no added cholesterol. The rats were fed for 8 weeks and plasma cholesterol levels were measured at weeks 4 and 8. The diets incorporating the five different legume species produced very different cholesterolaemic effects. Diets PV and PL were more potent at lowering raised plasma cholesterol levels than diets PS and LC. Inclusion of the Bambara groundnut into the semi-purified diet resulted in an exaggeration of hypercholesterolaemia. Differences in cholesterol-lowering capacity of the various legume diets in this experiment could not be related to concentrations of faecal bile acids or neutral sterols. However, there was evidence that the inclusion of legumes in the diets reduced the faecal excretion of secondary bile acids.