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Br J Nutr. 2012 Aug;108 Suppl 1:S46-51. doi: 10.1017/S0007114512000773.

Pulse grain consumption and obesity: effects on energy expenditure, substrate oxidation, body composition, fat deposition and satiety.

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  • 1Kellogg Canada Inc. 5350 Creekbank Rd. Mississauga, ON, Canada L4W 5S1.


Pulses have been identified as important components of a healthy diet. Assessment of pulse grains' nutritional composition alongside data from available preclinical and clinical trials suggests that pulses can modulate biological processes that lead to obesity. Components of pulse grains, including pulse-derived fibre and resistant starch, have been shown to alter energy expenditure, substrate trafficking and fat oxidation as well as visceral adipose deposition. Although mechanistic studies are scarce, studies have indicated that fibres found in pulses can have an impact on the expression of genes that modulate metabolism. Arginine and glutamine may produce thermogenic effects as major components of pulse grain proteins. Finally, evidence suggests that pulse-derived fibres, trypsin inhibitors and lectins may reduce food intake by inducing satiety via facilitating and prolonging cholecystokinin secretion. Nonetheless, the aforementioned data remain controversial and associations between dietary pulse grains and energy intake require further study. Given the available evidence, it can be concluded that pulses could be useful as functional foods and food ingredients that combat obesity.

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