Mung bean benefits: Protein protects against effects of high-fat diet

By Gary Scattergood

- Last updated on GMT

Mung bean has become increasingly popular with plant-based protein manufacturers. ©iStock
Mung bean has become increasingly popular with plant-based protein manufacturers. ©iStock
Consumption of mung bean protein protects against weight gain and fat accumulation caused by a high-fat diet, thanks to its positive impact on the gut microbiota.

That’s the headline finding from researchers in Japan who undertook a study on rodents to try and understand the mechanisms behind its benefits.

They pointed out that mung bean protein isolate (MPI) is mainly composed of 8S globulins, which exhibit similarities to β-conglycinin, a major component of soybean protein.

Many physiologically beneficial effects of β-conglycinin have been reported, including reduced food intake, body weight, body fat, insulin resistance, plasma and liver lipids, plasma glucose, and lipogenesis.

Similarly, MPI has also been indicated to suppress hepatic lipogenesis in rodent models and reduce fasting plasma glucose and insulin levels in obese adults.

However, the effects of MPI on mitigating high-fat diet (HFD)-induced obesity and the detailed mechanism underlying these effects remain to be elucidated.

Therefore, the researchers examined the metabolic phenotype, intestinal bile acid (BA) pool, and gut microbiota of conventionally raised mice and among mice that were randomised to receive either a regular HFD or HFD containing mung bean protein isolate instead of the dairy protein present in regular HFD.

Significant variations

The researchers found that replacing dairy protein with MPI in an HFD was efficacious against diet-induced weight gain, fat mass accumulation, and hepatic steatosis. They also detected significant variations in the gut microbiota between diet groups .

They wrote in the journal Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications​: “MPI intake significantly reduced HFD-induced weight gain and adipose tissue accumulation, and attenuated hepatic steatosis.

“Enhancement in the secretion of intestinal glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) and an enlarged cecal and fecal BA pool of dramatically elevated secondary/primary BA ratio were observed in mice that had consumed MPI.

“These effects were abolished in GF mice, indicating that the effects were dependent upon the presence of the microbiota.”

The researchers added that functional alterations in the gut microbiome in response to MPI consumption warrant detailed follow-up investigation.

Mung bean has become increasingly popular with plant-based protein manufacturers. Our sister title FoodNavigator-Asia recently reported on how JUST uses mung bean​ to make its egg-free scramble product.

Source: Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications

"Dietary mung bean protein reduces high-fat diet-induced weight gain by modulating host bile acid metabolism in a gut microbiota-dependent manner"

Authors: Akiho Nakatani, et al.

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