Broad bean (Vicia faba L.) pods: a rich source of bioactive ingredients with antimicrobial, antioxidant, enzyme inhibitory, anti-diabetic and health-promoting properties†
This study was aimed at investigating the chemical composition (proximate, minerals, fatty acids and phenolic compounds) and the in vitro (antimicrobial, radical scavenging, anti-acetylcholinesterase and protein denaturing activities) and in vivo (anti-diabetic and histo-protective effects in alloxan-induced diabetic mice) biological activities of broad bean pods (BBPs), a food waste by-product material. The results showed that BBPs have high dietary fiber (57.46%), carbohydrate (18.93%) and protein (13.81%) content versus low fat content (<1%) contributing to a low energy value of 139.24 kcal per 100 g. Profiling of fatty acids showed an abundance of the essential polyunsaturated α-linolenic and linoleic acids, exhibiting an excellent nutritional quality as revealed by their low atherogenic and thrombogenic indices and their hypocholesterolemic properties. The methanol extract which exhibited the highest total phenolic, flavonoid and tannin contents was found to be the most active extract in terms of antimicrobial and anti-radical activities. In alloxan-induced diabetic mice, the oral administration of a methanol extract (500 mg per kg bw) attenuated the elevated levels of serum alanine aminotransferase (ALA), aspartate aminotransferase (AST), and alkaline phosphatase activities, and urea, uric acid, and creatinine. It effectively normalized the status of lipid profiles, mitigated oxidative stress through the activation of antioxidant enzymes (CAT, GPx and SOD), and alleviated oxidative stress-mediated histopathological changes in the pancreas, liver, kidney and testis. Compositional analysis by HPLC-PDA-ESI-MS/MS revealed the presence of flavan-3-ols (catechin, epicatechin and their derivatives), flavones (apigenin derivatives) and flavonols (glycosides of quercetin and kaempferol), among others. These findings suggest that BBPs may be an effective functional food for the management of diabetes and its complications.