Australia - Lupin can lower heart disease risk in humans: dietician

International Journal of Health Care Quality Assurance

ISSN: 0952-6862

Article publication date: 4 October 2011




(2011), "Australia - Lupin can lower heart disease risk in humans: dietician", International Journal of Health Care Quality Assurance, Vol. 24 No. 8.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Australia - Lupin can lower heart disease risk in humans: dietician

Article Type: News and views From: International Journal of Health Care Quality Assurance, Volume 24, Issue 8

Keywords: Heart disease management, Healthcare risk management, Healthcare benefits

A tiny bean usually fed to cows in Australia can lower the risk of heart disease in humans.

Over 85 per cent of the world’s lupin crops are grown in Australian soil.

“Predominantly it’s been used for putting nitrogen back in the soil in agriculture and the beans, when they’ve been left over, have been pretty much used for cattle feed,” researcher Regina Belski said.

The dietitian from the University of Western Australia said the bean is packed with protein and fibre, and is low in carbohydrates.

A team of researchers from the university ground the bean down, made flour that was 40 percent lupin, and baked bread, pasta and biscuits from the product.

About 130 overweight, but otherwise healthy, Western Australians were recruited and, for 12-months, half ate lupin flour products, while the rest consumed wholemeal goods.

Researchers monitored heart disease risk factors in the participants – including blood pressure and the level of fat, sugar and insulin in their blood.

“At the end of the 12-month study we saw that basically risk for heart disease was substantially lower in the group that consumed the lupin products,” Dr Belski told reporters.

“There was absolutely no information that (suggested lupin could) be used in human food, not only safely, but the reality is it can actually give a health benefit.

“A bean we’ve had in our country for many, many years that’s pretty much just gone to cattle can actually be improving the heart health of Australians.”

Lupin products are readily available in Western Australia, but trickier to find in other states, Dr Belski said.

Researchers also observed an improvement in insulin sensitivity in the lupin group, prompting more research on the bean’s benefits.

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in Australia, affecting more than 3.4 million Australians, according to the national Heart Foundation.

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