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Evaluation of the hypocholesterolemic effect and prebiotic activity of a lentil (Lens culinaris Medik) extract

Micioni Di Bonaventura, Maria Vittoria, Cecchini, Cinzia, Vila‐Donat, Pilar, Caprioli, Giovanni, Cifani, Carlo, Coman, Maria Magdalena, Cresci, Alberto, Fiorini, Dennis, Ricciutelli, Massimo, Silvi, Stefania, Vittori, Sauro, Sagratini, Gianni
Molecular nutrition & food research 2017 v.61 no.11
Bifidobacterium, Lens culinaris, animal models, bile acids, cholesteremic effect, cholesterol, feces, fermentation, functional foods, hypercholesterolemia, in vitro culture, inulin, lentils, nutrients, prebiotics, rats
SCOPE: The aim of our work was to produce a hydroalcoholic extract of lentils and to examine (a) the hypocholesterolemic action in an animal model, by studying the plasma cholesterol level and the concentration of bile acids in the feces; (b) the potential prebiotic effect, by conducting an in vitro culture fermentation experiment and assessing the level of SCFAs in the feces of rats. METHODS AND RESULTS: Lentil extract (LE) was obtained by extracting lentils with a solution of H₂0/EtOH (70/30 v/v) for 3 h, and the content of main nutrients was determined. After 71 days of diet‐induced hypercholesterolemia in rats, LE reduced the cholesterol level of rats of 16.8% (p < 0.05) and increased the level of bile acids in the feces of rats (p < 0.01). LE revealed the same prebiotic activity of inulin and good bifidogenic activity, inasmuch as it enhanced the growth of Bifidobacterium spp. by 3 log (p < 0.05). The concentration of SCFAs in the feces of rats fed with LE increased during the time of the study. CONCLUSION: This new hydroalcoholic extract obtained from lentils was shown to possess hypocholesterolemic and prebiotic properties, and could have interesting applications in the field of nutraceuticals.