Influence of frequent and long-term bean consumption on colonic function and fermentation

Am J Clin Nutr. 1985 May;41(5):909-18. doi: 10.1093/ajcn/41.5.909.


The objective of this study was to determine the influence of frequent and long-term consumption of legume seeds on colonic function. Two groups of subjects were studied--one group habitually consumed legume seeds as part of their normal diet, a second group only infrequently consumed legumes. No differences between these groups could be detected for fecal output and frequency, intestinal transit time, VFA excretion or fecal pH during 23-day study periods in which subjects consumed either their usual diet or 100 g red kidney beans, daily. However, the addition of beans to the diets of both groups provided significantly more dietary fiber, and produced greater fecal output and a higher concentration of VFA in feces. Fecal output appeared to be determined by two independent parameters--dietary fiber intake and VFA excretion. Beans provided a physiologically useful source of dietary fiber and favorably influenced colonic function.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Colon / physiology*
  • Defecation
  • Diet
  • Dietary Fiber / administration & dosage
  • Fabaceae*
  • Fatty Acids, Volatile / metabolism
  • Feces / analysis
  • Fermentation
  • Gastrointestinal Motility
  • Humans
  • Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
  • Male
  • Plants, Medicinal*
  • Time Factors


  • Dietary Fiber
  • Fatty Acids, Volatile