Hate lima beans? You have plenty of company. But a new study might change your mind, with researchers suggesting a compound in the bland bean helps to regulate blood sugar, increase fitness levels, and may boost longevity.
The study, published in the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology FASEB Journal, found that pills containing prunetin — a isoflavone found in lima beans —reduced glucose levels in male fruit flies and also expanded their lifespans.
The findings open the door to potential clinical trials to determine if prunetin holds promise as a new therapeutic tool in treating diabetes.
"Our study provides novel insights into plant bioactive research and suggests a potential to combat aging comparatively simple by the intake of a plant bioactive," said Anika E. Wagner, a researcher involved in the work from the Institute of Human Nutrition and Food Science at Christian-Albrechts-University Kiel, in Kiel, Germany.
"Further studies in mammalian species/humans are needed to validate [the] initial data."
Thoru Pederson, editor-in-chief of The FASEB Journal, said the research is the latest in a long line of studies linking diet, health, and plant-based compounds.
"This research shows that the connection between diet and health is important for all living animals, no matter how complex or how simple they are," Pederson said. "There is a lot of work that must be done before we would know if this compound will be useful to humans, but it certainly doesn't hurt to add lima beans to more men's diets."
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