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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Garbanzo diet lowers cholesterol in hamsters

Authors
item Kahlon, Talwinder
item Avena Bustillos, Roberto
item Chiu, Mei Chen

Submitted to: Food and Nutrition Sciences
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: October 25, 2011
Publication Date: March 1, 2012
Citation: Kahlon, T.S., Avena Bustillos, R.D., Chiu, M.M. 2012. Garbanzo diet lowers cholesterol in hamsters. Food and Nutrition Sciences. 3(3):401-404.

Interpretive Summary: A three week hamster feeding study was conducted to evaluate cholesterol lowering potential of chickpea (garbanzo), Bengal gram (yellow to black color, Asian variety of garbanzo), lentils, soy protein isolate, hydrolyzed salmon protein and casein (control). Chickpea diet significantly lowered plasma cholesterol and LDL-cholesterol was lowered 17% compared with the control. Hydrolyzed salmon protein significantly elevated plasma total cholesterol, VLDL-C and LDL-C and lowered HDL-C. Hydrolyzed salmon protein also raised liver cholesterol, and sterol excretion was lower with this diet. Data suggest that chickpea has the potential to lower the risk of heart disease. In addition data validates previous observation of higher bile acid binding with chickpea. Hydrolyzed salmon protein data indicate that the risk of atherosclerosis could be increased in hamster with such a diet.

Technical Abstract: Cholesterol-lowering potential of diets with 22% protein from Chickpea (Cicer arietinum, European variety of Garbanzo, Kabuli Chana), Bengal gram (Cicer arietinum, Asian variety of Garbanzo, Desi Chana, smaller in size, yellow to black color), lentils, soy protein isolate, hydrolyzed salmon protein (HSP) or casein (control) was evaluated in a three week hamster feeding study. Initial and final animal weights, feed intakes and plasma triglycerides values were similar among all the treatments. Chickpea containing diet significantly lowered total plasma cholesterol (TC) compared with casein control. There was 17% reduction in low density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) in hamsters fed the chickpea diet; this difference was not significant due to high variability in within treatment values. Plasma total cholesterol, very low density lipoprotein cholesterol (VLDL-C) and LDL-C were significantly elevated and high density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) was significantly lowered with HSP containing diet compared with control as well as all the other treatment diets. HSP diet also resulted in significantly higher liver weight, liver lipid, total and free liver cholesterol compared with control and all other treatments. This is the first report where significant negative plasma and liver cholesterol effects with HSP diet have been observed; indicating that hydrolyzed salmon protein could raise the risk of atherosclerosis. Plasma cholesterol lowering potential of chickpea (garbanzo) is encouraging as it suggests higher potential in lowering the risk of cardio vascular disease. In addition hamster data validates previously reported observations of higher in vitro bile acid binding by chickpea.

Last Modified: 10/20/2014
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