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Benefits of pulse consumption on metabolism and health: A systematic review of randomized controlled trials

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Benefits of pulse consumption on metabolism and health: A systematic review of randomized controlled trials.


Pulses are nutrient-dense foods that have for a long time been empirically known to have beneficial
effects in human health. In the last decade, several studies have gathered evidence of the
metabolic benefits of pulse intake. However, it remains unclear at what amounts these effects
may be attained. This study aimed to systematically review the scientific outputs of the last two
decades regarding health benefits of pulse consumption and the amounts necessary for positive
outcomes to be achieved. A PubMed search including keywords [(“dietary pulses”, “pulses”,
“legumes”, “grain legumes”, “bean”, “chickpea”, “pea”, “lentil”, “cowpea”, “faba bean”, “lupin”) and
(“inflammation”, “inflammatory markers”, “C-reactive protein”, “blood lipids”, “cholesterol”,
“cardiometabolic health”, “cardiovascular disease”, “diabetes”, “glycaemia”, “insulin”, “HOMA-IR”,
“body weight”, “body fat”, “obesity”, “overweight”, “metabolome”, “metabolic profile”,
“metabolomics”, “biomarkers”, “microbiome”, “microbiota”, “gut”)] was performed. Only English
written papers referring to human dietary interventions, longer than one day, focusing on whole
pulses intake, were included. Most of the twenty eligible publications reported improvements in
blood lipid profile, blood pressure, inflammation biomarkers, as well as, in body composition,
resulting from pulse daily amounts of 150 g (minimum-maximum: 54-360 g/day; cooked). Concerns
regarding methodological approaches are evident and the biochemical mechanisms underlying
such effects require further investigation.


Helena Ferreiraa, Marta Vasconcelosa, Ana M. Gilb, and Elisabete Pintoa,c
aCBQF - Centro de Biotecnologia e Quımica Fina – Laboratorio Associado, Escola Superior de Biotecnologia, Universidade Catolica
Portuguesa, Porto, Portugal; bDepartment of Chemistry and, CICECO-Aveiro Institute of Materials, University of Aveiro, Aveiro, Portugal;
cEPIUnit - Instituto de Saude Publica, Universidade do Porto, Porto, Portugal


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