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ARS Home » Plains Area » Fargo, North Dakota » Edward T. Schafer Agricultural Research Center » Small Grain and Food Crops Quality Research » Research » Research Project #445030

Research Project: PCHI: Comparative Analysis of the Impact of Type of Pulse Consumed in Human Subjects and Pre-Clinical Models

Location: Small Grain and Food Crops Quality Research

Project Number: 3060-21650-002-053-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Sep 1, 2023
End Date: Dec 31, 2025

The long-term goal of this project is to provide knowledge that will help establish a realistic pulse consumption level that can be recommended in the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Two objectives will be used to fill this knowledge gap. (1) Determine the threshold dose (dietary concentration) of chickpea, dry pea, and lentil that exerts beneficial effects on chronic disease endpoints and identify plasma biomarkers that are associated with these health benefits; and (2) Assess whether human participants respond in a same manner to equivalent amounts of chickpea, dry bean, dry pea, or lentil.

For Objective 1, we will determine the effects of a commercially important cultivar of chickpea, dry pea, or lentil in a dose-response experimental design to identify the minimal effective pulse dose for inhibiting disease development in preclinical models of metabolic dysfunction associated fatty liver disease (MAFLD) and obesity. This work will identify plasma biomarkers reflective of the dietary intake and health benefits of each pulse type. The existence of biological sex-related differences in response will be assessed. Moreover, this work will identify a plasma biomarker reflective of dietary intake of each pulse type and investigate whether metabolomic analyses of plasma identify the same potential mediators of biological activity (bile acids, endocannabinoids, and endocannabinoid-like compounds, long chain fatty acid signaling molecules referred to as oxylipins and ceramides). For Objective 2, female and male human participants will ingest 250 grams of cooked pulse per day (chickpea, dry bean, dry pea, or lentil). All participants will consume each type of pulse using a randomized order, crossover, repeated measures experimental design. The outcomes that will be assessed are: 1) gastrointestinal tolerance (hydrogen/methane breathalyzer test and validated questionnaire), 2) effects on categories of candidate mediators of biological activity measured in plasma (bile acids, endocannabinoids, and endocannabinoid-like compounds, and ceramides), and 3) plasma concentrations of a biomarker(s) of dietary intake for each pulse type (pipecolic acid or other metabolites per Objective 1). The existence of differences in response between men and women will also be ascertained. Each pulse will be fed for a duration of one month in randomized order with a 2-week washout between each pulse-type intervention. The intervention will be a pulse smoothie prepared at home using commercially available canned pulse provided to each participant.