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Improving Gut Health and Chronic Disease Conditions by Eating Pulse Foods

Your “gut microbiota”, the community of bacteria that exists in the digestive tract, plays an important role in regulating gut health. Imbalances in gut health can lead to chronic human diseases like obesity, colon cancer, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), diabetes, and neurological disorders. Research is indicating that pulses are rich in components that reduce development of these diseases, meaning consumers who regularly add pulses to their diet might see improved overall gut health and have some protection against gut-associated diseases.

In this study, participants (healthy, obese, or inflammatory bowel diseases sufferers) consume cooked and canned red lentils, kabuli chickpeas and yellow peas, as well as, pulse-based crackers and porridges so that researchers can evaluate changes to the structure and activity of the gut bacterial communities in these individuals. This study also examines the levels and types of starches, proteins, and bioactives (fermentable non-digestible carbohydrates and proteins and phenolic compounds) in these different pulses. This will assist researchers in determining the mechanisms by which pulses modify gut populations, gut barrier integrity and function, and immunity.


Theme: Human Health Outcomes
Project Title: Determining the link between pulse foods, gut health, and chronic disease
Funding Partners: Saskatchewan Pulse Growers and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
Research Team: Dr. Krista Power, AAFC Guelph Food Centre; Dr. Emma Allen-Vercoe, University of Guelph; Dr. Lindsay Robinson - University of Guelph; Dr. Susan Tosh - AAFC Guelph; Dr. Rong Cao - AAFC Guelph

 

Links to more information:

  • Project Abstract
  • SPG PulseResearch magazine – Volume 1, page 20 article titled: “A Gut Feeling. Research examines the link between pulse consumption, gut health, and chronic disease.”
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