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

3 Citations (Scopus)
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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

Bibliographical note

Acknowledgements: The authors are grateful to all the volunteers for their participance in this human study. The authors also are thankful for the assistance from Karen Taylor, Jean Bryce and Mel Hudson for the preparation of the study diets and Sylvia Stephen and Lorna Hermitage for their support in the Human Nutrition Unit. Furthermore, the authors would like to thank Dr Richard Herriot and Mrs Denise Mullen from Immunology Department, Aberdeen Royal
Infirmary Hospital Foresterhill for performing the food allergy testing.

Funding: The Rowett Institute and Biomathematics and Statistics Scotland are grateful for funding from The Scottish Government's Rural and Environment Science and Analytical Services Division (RESAS) via their strategic research
and partnership programmes.

Open Access via the Springer Compact Agreement

Data Availability Statement

Supplementary Information: The online version contains supplementary material available at https://doi.org/10.1007/s00394-021-02711-z.


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


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