The effect of lentils (Lens culinaris) on hypertension and hypertension–associated vascular remodeling in the spontaneously hypertensive rat
Hanson, Matthew G.
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Consumption of pulse crops has been linked to improvements in blood vessel function, but which pulse variety/type is better and how they work remains unknown. Two distinct studies were conducted to address these questions. In study 1, spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR) were fed control diet, or diets containing 30% (w/w) beans, peas, lentils, chickpeas, or mixed pulses. Normotensive Wistar-Kyoto (WKY) rats were fed the control diet. The lentil–containing diet significantly attenuated the rise in BP (+8 and +31 mmHg, vs. control) and reduced large artery remodeling compared to control. In study 2, SHR were fed control, mixed lentil, green lentil, or red lentil diets for 8 weeks. WKY were fed control or mixed lentil diets. Green lentils decreased arterial remodeling and improved arterial compliance in the SHR. A diet high in green lentils could be a valuable adjunct to allopathic medicine to mitigate effects of hypertension on the vasculature.