Effects of azuki bean juice supplementation, prescribed according to a Kanpo medicine regimen, on serum lipid concentrations were studied. Healthy young Japanese women were recruited and were randomly assigned to one of the three groups using a parallel-group design. Control (n = 10), azuki (n = 11) and Concentrated azuki (CA) (n = 12) juice groups consumed 150 g daily of the isocaloric assigned juice for one menstrual cycle with their usual diet. Triglyceride concentrations were decreased in the azuki juice group (p<0.05) and tended to be decreased in the CA juice group (p = 0.055). Triglyceride concentrations in the azuki and CA juice groups decreased by 0.170 mmol/liter (15.4%) and 0.159 mmol/liter (17.9%), respectively (p<0.05). The azuki and CA juice used in this study inhibited pancreatic lipase activity 29.2% and 56.9%, respectively, in vitro. Lipid peroxide changes, based on ANCOVA with the initial level and alpha-tocopherol changes as covariates, did not differ among the three groups. Serum low density lipoprotein-cholesterol and high density lipoprotein-cholesterol (HDL) cholesterol concentrations did not change. Thus, azuki bean juice intake, as a traditional Kampo prescription, might be beneficial for preventing hypertriglyceridemia.
Keywords: azuki; pancreatic lipase; polyphenol; triglyceride.