Nitrogen balance after a single oral consumption of sacha inchi (Plukenetia volúbilis L.) protein compared to soy protein: a randomized study in humans

Toxicol Mech Methods. 2018 Feb;28(2):140-147. doi: 10.1080/15376516.2017.1373880. Epub 2017 Sep 18.


Sacha inchi is a seed produced in the Peruvian Amazonian and its oil is recognized by the lowering lipids effect in humans. The remaining material transformed to flour has a higher amount of protein, but, the nitrogen balance once ingested orally has not been studied. The present study was designed to evaluate the nitrogen balance after single consumption of 30 g of sacha inchi flour and compared with that obtained after consumption of 30 g soybean flour in adult men and women. This was a double-blind cohort study in 15 men and 15 women between 18 and 55 years old. Fifteen subjects received soy meal and 15 subjects received sacha inchi meal. Group receiving sacha inchi flour has comparable initial parameters as those receiving soybean flour (p > 0.05). Blood samples at different times were obtained. Urine for 24 h was collected to calculate nitrogen balance, p < 0.05 was considered significant. Plasma insulin levels increased post-prandial with a peak at 30 min. Thereafter, a reduction occurred. The magnitude of changes in insulin levels was similar in sacha inchi and soybean groups (p < 0.05). Lipid profile and inflammatory marker, C-reactive protein (CRP) and interleukin 6 (IL6) was not different at 0 or 24 h after sacha inchi or soy flour administration. The nitrogen balance was negative in the study but similar between both groups (p > 0.05). In conclusion, protein consumption of sacha inchi flour has the same nitrogen balance as soybean flour, shows acceptability for a single consumption and does not present serious adverse effects.

Keywords: Sacha inchi flour; acceptability; insulin; nitrogen balance; soybean flour.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Blood Pressure / drug effects
  • Body Composition / drug effects
  • C-Reactive Protein / metabolism
  • Cohort Studies
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Euphorbiaceae / chemistry*
  • Female
  • Flour
  • Humans
  • Insulin / blood
  • Interleukin-6 / blood
  • Lipid Metabolism / drug effects
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nitrogen / metabolism*
  • Nitrogen / urine
  • Plant Proteins / pharmacology*
  • Quality of Life
  • Soybean Proteins / pharmacology*
  • Young Adult


  • IL6 protein, human
  • Insulin
  • Interleukin-6
  • Plant Proteins
  • Soybean Proteins
  • C-Reactive Protein
  • Nitrogen