Hemp and Buckwheat are valuable sources of dietary amino acids, beneficially modulating gastrointestinal hormones and promoting satiety in healthy volunteers

Madalina Neacsu* (Corresponding Author), Nicholas Vaughan, Salvatore Multari, Elisabeth Haljas, Lorraine Scobbie, Gary J. Duncan, Louise Cantlay, Claire Fyfe, Susan Anderson, Graham Horgan, Alexandra M. Johnstone, Wendy R Russell

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Purpose. This study evaluated the postprandial effects following consumption of buckwheat, fava bean, pea, hemp and lupin compared to meat (beef); focussing on biomarkers of satiety, gut hormones, aminoacids and plant metabolites bioavailability and metabolism.
Methods. Ten subjects (n=3 men; n=7 women; 42 ±11.8 years of age; BMI 26 ± 5.8 kg/m2 5 ) participated in six one-day independent acute interventions, each meal containing 30 g of protein from buckwheat, fava bean, pea, hemp, lupin and meat (beef). Blood samples were collected during 24-hours and VAS questionnaires over five-hours.

Results. Volunteers consumed significantly higher amounts of most amino acids from the meat meal, and with few exceptions, postprandial composition of plasma amino acids was not significantly different after consuming the plant based meals. Buckwheat meal was the most satious (300 min hunger-scores, p<0.05).Significant increase in GLP-1 plasma (AUC, iAUC p=0.01) found after hemp compared with the other plant-based meals. Decreased plasma ghrelin
concentrations (iAUC p<0.05) found on plant (hemp) vs. meat meal. Several plasma metabolites after hemp meal consumption were associated with hormone trends (partial least squares-discriminant analysis (PLS-DA): 4- hydroxyphenylpyruvic acid, indole 3-pyruvic acid, 5-hydoxytryptophan, genistein and biochanin A with GLP-1, PYY and insulin; 3-hydroxymandelic acid and luteolidin with GLP-1 and ghrelin and 4-hydroxymandelic acid, benzoic acid
and secoisolariciresinol with insulin and ghrelin. Plasma branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs), (iAUC, p<0.001); and phenylalanine and tyrosine (iAUC, p<0.05) were lower after buckwheat comparison with meat meal.

Conclusion. Plants are valuable sources of amino acids which are promoting satiety. The impact of hemp and buckwheat on GLP-1 and respectively BCAAs should be explored further as could be relevant for aid and prevention of chronic
diseases such as type 2 diabetes. Study registered with clinicaltrial.gov on 12th 21 July 2013, study ID number: NCT01898351
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1057–1072
Number of pages16
JournalEuropean Journal of Nutrition
Early online date30 Oct 2021
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • plant foods
  • plant protein
  • gut hormones
  • hunger
  • phytochemicals bioavailability
  • aminoacids


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