New research, published in Nutrients, suggests that eating green peas could block several damaging effects of a high-fat diet.
Dr Shima Bibi, lead researcher behind the study told NutraIngredients that the results are ‘very significant’ for humans, despite the study being in mice.
“I think it is very significant. People who are having problems with intestinal health, can use pea in their diet,” she told us, pointing to the benefits of the pea’s fibre and other nutrients.
However, Bibi, who is based at the school of Food Science and Human Nutrition at Washington State University said there is a general lack of understanding of the health benefits of green pea in some countries.
“In some areas of the world, people are using green pea but are not aware of its beneficial effect,” she said – pointing to her home country of Pakistan as one example.
The study looked at the preventive effects of green pea supplementation on DSS-induced colitis in female mice fed a high-fat diet.
The backdrop to the trial is the increasing evidence indicating that western dietary and lifestyle habits contribute to an increased prevalence of IBD (inflammatory bowel disease), such as ulcerative colitis (UC) and Crohn’s disease, by inducing intestinal inflammation.
The trial saw six-week-old female mice randomly divided into two groups.
One group of mice was fed with HFD and other was fed with HFD supplemented with green pea for nine weeks. Colitis was induced after seven weeks of dietary supplementation.
Both the HFD-fed mice with and without GP supplementation showed similar reactions during the DSS-treatment phase. But, during the recovery phase, the GP-supplemented HFD-fed group recovered faster than mice without GP supplementation.
The body weight loss remained lower in the GP-supplemented HFD-group throughout the recovery period.
Furthermore, a significant reduction in the fecal blood was found in GP-supplemented HFD—fed mice.
“GP supplementation reduces the severity of DSS-induced colitis in mice challenged with the HFD by reducing inflammation, mucosal loss, and the ER (endoplasmic reticulum) signalling,” concluded the team.
Published online, Open Access, doi: 10.3390/nu9050509
“Dietary green pea protects against DSS-induced colitis in mice challenged with high-fat diet”
Authors: Shima Bibi, et al