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Br J Nutr. 2002 Apr;87(4):315-23.

The bioavailability and postprandial utilisation of sweet lupin (Lupinus albus)-flour protein is similar to that of purified soyabean protein in human subjects: a study using intrinsically 15N-labelled proteins.

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UMR INRA-INAPG de Physiologie de la Nutrition et du Comportement Alimentaire, Institut National Agronomique Paris-Grignon.


Sweet lupin (Lupinus albus), a protein-rich legume devoid of anti-nutritional factors, is considered to have a high potential for protein nutrition in man. Results concerning the nutritional value of lupin protein are, however, conflicting in animals and very scarce in human subjects. Furthermore, where fibre-rich protein sources are concerned, the long-term nutritional results are often obscured, particularly since fibre-promoted colonic fermentation may bias the energy supply and redistribute N flux. We therefore studied, during the postprandial phase, the bioavailability and utilisation of lupin-flour protein in nine healthy men who had ingested a mixed meal containing intrinsically 15N-labelled lupin flour as the protein source (Expt 1). The real ileal digestibility (RID) and ileal endogenous N losses (IENL) were assessed using a perfusion technique at the terminal ileum, and the N content and 15N enrichment of ileal samples. Lupin flour exhibited a high RID of 91 (SD 3)% and low IENL (5-4 (SD 1.3) mmol N/h). Postprandial dietary deamination was also assessed from body dietary urea and urinary dietary N excretion, and compared with results in nine healthy men following an iso-energetic meal containing a 15N-soyabean-protein isolate with a similar RID, as a control (Expt 2). Postprandial dietary deamination was similar after lupin and soyabean meals (17 (SD 2) and 18 (SD 4)% ingested N respectively). We therefore conclude that lupin protein is highly bioavailable, even if included in fibre-rich flour, and that it can be used with the same efficiency as soyabean protein to achieve postprandial protein gain in healthy human subjects.

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