The roles and potential of lentil prebiotic carbohydrates in human and plant health

Published Date
March 22, 2020
Type
Journal Article
The roles and potential of lentil prebiotic carbohydrates in human and plant health
Authors:
Nathan Johnson
Casey R. Johnson, Pushparajah Thavarajah, Shiv Kumar Agrawal, Dil Thavarajah

Diet‐related ailments, such as obesity and micronutrient deficiencies, have global adverse impacts on society. Lentil is an important staple crop, especially in South Asia and Africa, and has been associated with the prevention of chronic illnesses, including type II diabetes, obesity, and cancer. Lentil, a cool‐season food legume, is rich in protein and micronutrients while also containing a range of prebiotic carbohydrates, such as raffinose family oligosaccharides (RFOs), fructooligosaccharides, sugar alcohols (SAs), and resistant starch (RS), which contribute to lentil's health benefits. Prebiotic carbohydrates are fermented by beneficial microorganisms in the colon, which impart health benefits to the consumer. Prebiotic carbohydrates are also vital to lentil plant health, being associated with carbon transport/storage and abiotic stress tolerance. Important to both human and plant health, prebiotic carbohydrates in lentil are a prominent candidate for nutrigenomic breeding efforts. New lentil cultivars could help to combat global health problems, while also proving resilient to climate change. The objectives of this review are to: (a) discuss the benefits lentil prebiotic carbohydrates confer to human and plant health; (b) describe the biosynthesis pathways of two prominent prebiotic carbohydrate families in lentil, RFOs and SAs; and (c) consider the potential of prebiotic carbohydrates in terms of future nutritional breeding efforts.

Citation:
Nathan Johnson, Casey Johnson, Pushparajah Thavarajah, Shiv Kumar Agrawal, Dil Thavarajah. (22/3/2020). The roles and potential of lentil prebiotic carbohydrates in human and plant health. Plants People Planet.
Keywords:
prebiotic
sugar alcohols (sas)
genetics and biosynthesis
raffinose family oligosaccharides (rfos)
health
lentils
breeding
nutrition
biosynthesis