Bean and Pea Starches in the Diet

May 26/Olsztyn, Poland/Obesity, Fitness & Wellness Week -- According to recent research from Olsztyn, Poland, "Dietary beans and peas provide fiber, resistant starch and other nutrients that are often lacking in the human diet. The influence of native starches of beans and peas (and microwaved preparations) on N utilisation, biochemical indices in blood serum and caecal ecosystem state (SCFA, bacterial enzymes, micro-organisms) was studied in vivo."

"The native pea starch contained more resistant starch compared with its bean counterpart (31 v. 17%); however, processing decreased these amounts to 25 v. 10%. N digestibility was found to decrease considerably in all experimental groups. A considerable reduction was observed in glucose and total cholesterol concentration in rat blood serum as a result of feeding, both dietary legume starch preparations under microwave treatment. This indicates that starch of bean origin activated glycolytic bacterial enzymes; however, all the analyzed starches were found to reduce the activity of beta-glucuronidase. In addition, both dietary bean starches significantly induced the formation of SCFA in the caecal digesta. As compared with the control group, a significant decrease in the pH of caecal and colonic digesta was demonstrated for both bean starch preparations. In comparison with the diet with native pea starch, its microwaved preparation reduced the concentrations of acetic, butyric and propionic acids among caecal SCFA and increased the pH of caecal and colonic digesta. The atherogenic index was significantly lower in rats fed microwaved pea starch," wrote U. Krupakozak and colleagues, Polish Academy of Science.

The researchers concluded, "All investigated starch preparations increased the population of Bifidobacterium spp. in caecal digesta but were also good substrates for opportunistic Enterococcus or Escherichia coli."

Krupakozak and colleagues published their study in British Journal of Nutrition ("Native and Microwaved Bean and Pea Starch Preparations: Physiological Effects on the Intestinal Ecosystem, Caecal Tissue and Serum Lipids in Rats." British Journal of Nutrition, 2010;103(8):1118-1126).

For additional information, contact U. Krupakozak, Polish Academy Science, Institute Animal Reproductive & Food Research, Division Food Science, Tuwima 10 Str, PL-10747 Olsztyn, Poland.

From the June 7, 2010, Prepared Foods E-dition