Vol 11, No 2 (2015):117-125

Randomized controlled trial on the effects of legumes on cardiovascular risk factors in women with abdominal obesity

Abdolrasoul Safaeiyan, Bahram Pourghassem-Gargari, Rasoul Zarrin, Javid Fereidooni, Mohammad Alizadeh


BACKGROUND: The effect of legume-based hypocaloric diet on cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors in women is unclear. This study provides an opportunity to find effects of high-legume diet on CVD risk factors in women who consumed high legumes at baseline.

METHODS: This randomized controlled trial was undertaken in 34 premenopausal women with central obesity. After 2 weeks of a run-in period on an isocaloric diet, subjects were randomly assigned into two groups: (1) hypocaloric diet enriched with legumes (HDEL) (n = 17) (two servings per day) and (2) hypocaloric diet without legumes (HDWL) (n = 17) for 6 weeks. The following variables were assessed before intervention, 3, and 6 weeks after it: Waist to hip ratio (WHR), total cholesterol (TC), low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol (LDL-C), high-sensitive-C-reactive protein (hs-CRP), total antioxidant capacity (TAC), nitric oxides (NOx), and Malondialdehyde (MDA).

RESULTS: Both hypocaloric diets reduced hs-CRP in 3 weeks and returned it to basal values after 6 weeks (P = 0.004). HDWL significantly reduced WHR [P = 0.010 (3.2%)] and increased TC [P < 0.001 (6.3%)]. Despite the significant effect of HDEL on increasing TAC in 3 weeks
[P = 0.050 (4%)], the level of TAC remained the same in 6 weeks. None of the diets had any significant effects on NOx and MDA.

CONCLUSION: The study indicated that beneficial effects of legumes on TC, LDL-C, and hs-CRP were achieved by three servings per week, and consuming more amounts of these products had no more advantages.




Legume, Cardiovascular Disease, Caloric Restriction, Central Obesity, Premenopause

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