Mung beans may help control cholesterol levels: Brazil study

By Stephen Daniells contact

- Last updated on GMT

© Getty Images / AD077
© Getty Images / AD077
Consuming whole cooked mung beans may help reduce both total and non-HDL cholesterol, according to a new study from Brazil.

Data published in Nutrients​ indicated that allowing the mung beans to sprout prior to consumption enhanced the potential hypocholesterolemic and liver-protective properties.

Scientists from the Universidade Federal do Piauí, the Universidade Federal Rural do Rio de Janeiro, and the Universidade de São Paulo report that the effects were linked to increases in excretion of cholesterol in feces.

“In addition, both cooked mung beans and sprouted mung beans in the diet were associated with reduced plasma levels of indicators of liver damage (aspartate aminotransferase and alanine aminotransferase),”​ they wrote.

“Whole cooked mung beans in the diet protected against the deposition of hepatic lipids. However, diets containing germinated mung beans showed more pronounced effects, demonstrating the absence of steatosis and inflammatory infiltrates, and better vascularisation of hepatic tissue. Therefore, the germination of mung beans appeared to enhance their liver-protective properties.”

Study details

The new study used hamsters fed a high-fat diet for 28 days. Animals were fed one of three different protein sources: casein, cooked whole mung bean, and germinated mung bean.

Results showed that animals in both mung bean groups experienced decreases in plasma concentrations of total cholesterol and non-HDL cholesterol with increases in fecal cholesterol excretion.

The data also indicated that levels of asparagine aminotransferase and alanine aminotransferase enzymes in the liver were decreased, relative to hamster consuming casein.

Analysis of liver tissue revealed that animals fed the sprouted mung beans had better vascularisation and showed a lack of inflammatory infiltrate.

“Bioactive compounds with antioxidant activity, which are present in legumes, act by reducing oxidative stress and free radical formation, reducing liver damage caused by excess lipid deposition in hepatocytes,” ​wrote the researchers.

“Yeap et al. [​Evid.-Based Complement. Altern. Med. 2015] reported the presence of phenolic compounds and other compounds with antioxidant activity in mung beans, capable of reducing hepatic steatosis and inflammation through the positive regulation of the anti-apoptotic gene Bcl2a1a.”

Source: Nutrients
2018, 10​(7), 821; doi:10.3390/nu10070821
“Cholesterol-Lowering and Liver-Protective Effects of Cooked and Germinated Mung Beans​ (Vigna radiata L.​)”
Authors: L.A. Rosal Lopes et al.

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