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Planta Med. 1997 Jun;63(3):237-40.

The influence of Vicia faba (broad bean) seedlings on urinary sodium excretion.

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  • 1Clinical Chemistry Laboratory, Tel-Aviv Sourasky Medical Center, Israel.


Dopamine (DA) is known to increase diuresis and natriuresis through its action on renal dopaminergic receptors. Augmentation of intra-renal DA concentration by enhancement of its in situ production is greatly dependent on the availability of its precursor L-DOPA to the sites of its renal decarboxylation. Vicia faba (Vf) is a ubiquitous plant rich in easily absorbable L-DOPA. Following ingestion of 40 g freshly chopped Vf containing 120-130 mg of L-DOPA, plasma L-DOPA and urinary sodium and DA excretion increased significantly. The DA/Cre ratio reached a maximum level (280 +/- 58 micrograms/g) 60 minutes after Vf ingestion. This was significantly higher than the DA/Cre ratio after a control meal (1.8 +/- 0.2 micrograms/g; P < 0.0005). The Na/Cre ratio reached the maximal level (2.85 +/- 0.42 mmol/g) 90 minutes after Vf ingestion. This was significantly higher than the Na/ Cre ratio after the control meal (1.4 +/- 0.24 mmol/g; P < 0.005). We suggest that Vf might be of value in treating conditions such as hypertension, heart failure, renal failure, and liver cirrhosis in which natriuresis and diuresis are medically beneficial.

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