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Recruitment for Two New Clinical Trials Underway

Two human clinical trials are underway to determine how increased pulse consumption affects two significant health issues – high cholesterol and blood sugar control.

The first trial is a multi-site study conducted by Drs. Peter Zahradka and Carla Taylor (Canadian Centre for Agri-food Research in Health and Medicine, Winnipeg), and Dr. Tom Wolever (Glycemic Index Laboratories, Toronto). It will examine effects of lentils on blood sugar control and cholesterol-lowering in overweight adults with elevated cholesterol but not taking medications for blood lipids or diabetes. Participants will eat foods containing either green lentils or potatoes (control) for 12 weeks. The Winnipeg site will also assess blood vessel function. Participants are currently being recruited in Winnipeg and Toronto. Follow this CTV News link for more information:

The second trial will be conducted by Drs. Zahradka and Taylor in Winnipeg and Dr. Rhonda Bell and colleagues in Edmonton. It will examine effects of beans or peas on LDL-cholesterol in adults with elevated blood cholesterol but not taking cholesterol-lowering drugs. Participants will consume foods containing ¾ cup cooked beans or peas or rice (control) for 6 weeks. Results from these studies will be used to substantiate a health claim for beans and other pulse crops in the future.

Why are health claims important? An approved health claim can drive interest in development of food products with particular ingredients. Experts agree that existing evidence for the cholesterol-lowering effects of pulses is particularly strong for beans, but more studies are needed to show that the effects of peas, lentils and chickpeas are comparable to beans.

The first trial is funded by Agriculture and Agri-food Canada’s Science Substantiation Initiative and the second trial is funded by Alberta Innovates Bio Solutions and the Alberta Pulse Growers.