The effects of lentil fractions on short-term blood glucose, insulin, food intake and appetite
- Pulse Science Cluster
Dr. Harvey Anderson
Lead Investigator(s) Institution
University of Toronto
To investigate the effect of different lentil fractions (protein isolates and protein concentrates, starch and fibre ingredients) on glucose, insulin, and energy intake in healthy young adults.
The study showed that blood glucose levels were reduced and satiety improved in the short term following consumption of lentils, and the researchers attributed these beneficial effects to the lentil protein fractions. As a result, the researchers determined the study offered conclusive evidence of the benefits of using lentil proteins as value-added food ingredients, however further research would be required to understand their mechanisms and to determine if these effects would be evident different subsets of the population (e.g. women, elderly). Lentils are a rich source of nutrients and are particularly high in protein, starch and dietary fibre, which have been shown to promote certain health benefits, such as reducing postprandial glycemia and subsequent food intake (exerting a second meal effect). However, it remains unclear as to which component(s) are responsible for the ability of lentils to lower postprandial blood glucose levels or promote satiety after consumption. This study examined the effects of consuming commercially prepared lentil fractions (fibre, starch and protein) on subjective appetite, blood glucose (BG) and insulin before and after a pizza meal, served at two different times, in healthy young men. In this study, 48 healthy males consumed iso-volumetric (300 ml) soup alone, which served as the control, or with the addition of one of the following lentil fractions, which were added in amounts to introduce 20 grams of the food component of interest (namely, protein, starch, fiber): lentil protein isolate, lentil protein concentrate, lentil starch or lentil fiber. Treatment consumption was followed by serving the participants a fixed-energy pizza meal (12 kcal/kg body weight), which was served at 30 minutes (experiment-1) or 120 minutes (experiment-2) following the treatments. Subjective appetite, blood glucose and insulin were measured during both pre-meal and post-meal periods. In experiment-1, with the exception of lentil starch which caused an increase in blood glucose, there was no effect of treatment on pre-pizza meal blood glucose compared to the control. The lentil protein isolate and lentil protein concentrate, but not lentil starch or lentil fiber, treatments lowered post-meal glycemia compared to the control (P<0.0001) without a significant surge in insulin concentrations. No effects were seen on pre-meal measures of satiety; however, post-meal blood glucose and subjective appetite were lower (P<0.05) after consumption of both lentil protein isolate and concentrate compared to the control. In contrast to our findings in experiment-1, lentil starch resulted in lower pre- and post-meal subjective appetite compared to the control in experiment-2 (P<0.05); however, consumption of lentil starch also led to higher blood glucose values. No effects were observed after consumption of the lentil fiber fraction, which is likely due to fiber exerting more long-term physiological effects (observed at > 170 mins) and may also be due to lentils having a higher concentration of insoluble vs soluble fiber. However, this remains to be elucidated and is a focus of future studies being conducted in our lab. The beneficial effects of lentil consumption are attributed by the lentil protein fractions, which are responsible for reducing blood glucose immediately after the pizza meal as well as promoting short term regulation of satiety. Lentil starch on the other hand elicited a more prolonged second-meal effect on appetite.
Duration/Timeline of Project (Year to Year)
2013 - 2016
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
Total Project Cost