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Br J Nutr. 2012 Apr;107(8):1176-83. doi: 10.1017/S0007114511004120. Epub 2011 Oct 28.

Hypocholesterolaemic effects of lupin protein and pea protein/fibre combinations in moderately hypercholesterolaemic individuals.

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Department of Pharmacological Sciences, Center E. Grossi Paoletti, Università degli Studi di Milano, Milano, Italy.


The present study was aimed to evaluate the effect of plant proteins (lupin protein or pea protein) and their combinations with soluble fibres (oat fibre or apple pectin) on plasma total and LDL-cholesterol levels. A randomised, double-blind, parallel group design was followed: after a 4-week run-in period, participants were randomised into seven treatment groups, each consisting of twenty-five participants. Each group consumed two bars containing specific protein/fibre combinations: the reference group consumed casein+cellulose; the second and third groups consumed bars containing lupin or pea proteins+cellulose; the fourth and fifth groups consumed bars containing casein and oat fibre or apple pectin; the sixth group and seventh group received bars containing combinations of pea protein and oat fibre or apple pectin, respectively. Bars containing lupin protein+cellulose ( - 116 mg/l, - 4·2%), casein+apple pectin ( - 152 mg/l, - 5·3%), pea protein+oat fibre ( - 135 mg/l, - 4·7%) or pea protein+apple pectin ( - 168 mg/l, - 6·4%) resulted in significant reductions of total cholesterol levels (P<0·05), whereas no cholesterol changes were observed in the subjects consuming the bars containing casein+cellulose, casein+oat fibre or pea protein+cellulose. The present study shows the hypocholesterolaemic activity and potential clinical benefits of consuming lupin protein or combinations of pea protein and a soluble fibre, such as oat fibre or apple pectin.

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