Chickpea seeds contain compounds which exhibit anti-cancer properties. - GreenMedInfo Summary
Effect of chickpea aqueous extracts, organic extracts, and protein concentrates on cell proliferation.
J Med Food. 2004;7(2):122-9. PMID: 15298756
Pulses should be part of a healthy diet, and it is also becoming clear that they have health-promoting effects. Nevertheless, most studies on the bioactive or health-promoting properties of pulses have been carried out using soybeans. We have studied cell growth-regulating properties, which may be responsible for anti-cancer properties, in chickpea seeds. Chickpea seeds are a staple in the traditional diet of many Mediterranean, Asian, and South and Central American countries. In addition, chickpea seeds have industrial applications since they can be used for the preparation of protein concentrates and isolates. The cell lines Caco-2 (epithelial intestinal) and J774 (macrophages) have been exposed to chickpea seed extracts and protein preparations in order to screen the different chickpea fractions for effects on cell growth. Both cell growth-promoting and cell growth-inhibiting effects were found. Most interestingly, a fraction soluble in ethanol and acetone specifically and almost completely inhibited the growth of Caco-2 cells exhibiting a cancerous phenotype. It is concluded that chickpea seeds are a source of bioactive components and deserve further study for their possible anti-cancer effect.