Abstract: Phenolic extracts of 4 Vigna species of legumes (mung bean, moth bean, and black and red varieties of adzuki beans) were evaluated for phenolic contents, antioxidant activities, and inhibitory properties against α-glucosidase and pancreatic lipase. Results showed that adzuki bean varieties contain higher phenolic indexes than mung bean and moth beans. Adzuki bean (black) variety was found to be the most active 2,2´-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl and superoxide anion scavenger. However, the hydrogen peroxide scavenging and metal chelating abilities were significantly higher in adzuki bean (red) variety. Mung bean exhibited least antioxidant activities in all the methods tested. Phenolic extracts from these legumes also showed distinct variations in the inhibition of enzymes associated with hyperglycemia and hyperlipidemia. Inhibitory activities of all the extracts against lipase were found to be more potent than α-glucosidase. Although, α-glucosidase inhibitory activity was superior in the black variety of adzuki bean (IC50, 26.28 mg/mL), both adzuki bean varieties (black and red) along with moth bean showed strong inhibitory activities on lipase with no significant difference in their IC50 values (7.32 to 9.85 mg/mL). These results suggest that Vigna species of legumes are potential source of antioxidant phenolics and also great sources of strong natural inhibitors for α-glucosidase and lipase activities. This information may help for effective utilization of these legumes as functional food ingredients for promoting health.
Practical Application: Vigna species of legumes are good sources of phenolic antioxidants and strong natural inhibitors of enzymes associated with diabetes and obesity. Therefore, utilization of these legumes in the development of functional foods with increased therapeutic value would be a significant step toward health promotion and wellness.