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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.