New research proves pulses help prevent diseases and protect your health
The results from six clinical trials were released today at the Pulse Health & Food Symposium in
“Chronic diseases and other health problems are on the rise,” says
The clinical trial results show pulses can help manage weight-related health problems, such as type II diabetes and heart disease. Regular consumption of beans and other pulses can contribute to reduced serum cholesterol and triglycerides, which are two major risk factors for cardiovascular disease. The research also linked pulse consumption to improved arterial health and lower blood pressure.
Several studies showed regular consumption of pulses can be an important tool in combating obesity as they help increase feelings of fullness and contribute to weight loss. Diabetics can also benefit from pulses, which have a low glycemic index and can help regulate insulin levels.
“With growing rates of childhood obesity, an aging population and increasing concerns about health issues, finding solutions to improve the health of Canadians and people around the world is becoming increasingly important,” says Watts. “Pulses are a prescription for healthy living right out of the grocery cart.”
The clinical trials were funded through the Pulse Innovation Project, a Pulse Canada project which received a
Backgrounder - Clinical Trial Results ------------------------------------- 1. "The effect of whole pulses and their fractions on regulation of food intake, metabolic control, and components of the metabolic syndrome" Researcher: Dr. G. Harvey Anderson, University of Toronto Co-investigators: France Cho, Christina Wong, Rebecca Mollard, Bohdan Luhovyy, Anthony Hanley Research at the University of Toronto shows that blood sugar and hunger are reduced after eating pulses (lentils, chickpeas, navy beans and yellow peas) and that they continue to reduce blood sugar and hunger following subsequent meals. The research also showed that eating pulses for eight weeks improves blood sugar control, reduces the amount of food and calories eaten and decreases the waist line. Researchers concluded that regular consumption of pulses could lead to reduced risk of diseases related to excess body weight. 2. "Exploring the health benefits associated with daily pulse consumption in individuals with peripheral arterial disease" Researcher: Dr. Peter Zahradka, Canadian Centre for Agri-Food Research in Health and Medicine, University of Manitoba Co-investigators: Dr. Carla Taylor, Dr. Randy Guzman, Wendy Weighell Researchers from the University of Manitoba have found there are specific health benefits associated with daily pulse consumption in participants with peripheral arterial disease (PAD). PAD, a systemic cardiovascular disease, reduces blood flow to the limbs. The study supports the traditional view that pulses (dried beans, peas, lentils and chickpeas) are healthy. According to the study, regular pulse consumption increased the intake of dietary fibre, folate, Vitamin C, iron, zinc, potassium and protein. Eating half a cup of mixed pulses per day for eight weeks also significantly reduced circulating cholesterol levels and reduced the body mass index of study participants. Total cholesterol decreased by five per cent and LDL cholesterol was reduced by 8.75 per cent. 3. "Effect of daily pulse consumption on intestinal microbiota, gastrointestinal response and serum lipids in healthy adults" Researchers: Dr. Amanda Wright and Dr. Alison Duncan, University of Guelph Co-investigators: E Farnworth, J Boye, S Tosh Research at the University of Guelph has found that regular daily inclusion of pulses in the diets of healthy individuals is well tolerated and can improve gut health. The research shows promising effects on gastrointestinal bacterial populations, which have been linked with improved health. The observed changes in intestinal bacterial population and metabolic activity suggest that pulses have prebiotic activity in humans. Positive changes were also seen in fecal pH and enzyme activity. 4. "Effectiveness of Two Levels of Pulse Consumption on Caloric Restriction Adherence and Chronic Disease Risk" Researcher: Dr. Megan McCrory, Bastyr University (WA) / Purdue University (IN) Research at Bastyr University in Washington and Purdue University in Indiana found that consuming the recommended 0.5 cups a day of pulses improves weight loss success and helps to reduce chronic disease risk. Participants consuming the recommended amount of pulses (0.5 cups a day) had the greatest weight loss success compared to the group consuming no pulses (less than 1 tbsp per day). Participants consuming a large serving of pulses daily for six weeks had a smaller waist size and lower diastolic blood pressure by the end of the study. These participants also had improved fasting insulin levels as compared to those consuming less or no pulses. 5. "The Prebiotic Effects of Chickpeas in Healthy Human Subjects" Researcher: Wendy Dahl, University of Saskatchewan (now at University of Florida) Co-investigators: U Fernando, A Van Kessel, G Zello, R Tyler Researchers from the University of Saskatchewan and the University of Florida have found that regular daily inclusion of pulses in the diets of healthy individuals may improve gut health. The research suggests that regular consumption of pulses may increase the levels of beneficial gut bacteria (Lactobacillus and Bifidobacteria species) and reduce the levels of harmful bacteria (putrefactive and pathogenic bacteria). 6. "The effects of whole and fractionated yellow peas on indices of cardiovascular disease and diabetes" Researcher: Dr. Peter Jones, Richardson Centre for Functional Foods and Nutraceuticals, University of Manitoba Co-investigators: Christopher Marinangeli Researchers at the Richardson Centre for Functional Foods and Nutraceuticals at the University of Manitoba have found that the dietary fibre-rich content of peas is key to regulating insulin management in overweight hyper-cholesterolemic adults. Participants consuming muffins made with either whole pea flour or pea fibre had fasting insulin levels that were 15 per cent lower than participants consuming control muffins made with wheat flour. This research also indicates that consuming pea fibre significantly decreases insulin resistance by up to 18 per cent. Insulin resistance, a condition where the body no longer properly uses the insulin it produces, increases the risk of elevated blood glucose levels and the development of diabetes, which affects two million Canadians.
SOURCE Pulse Canada