Proliferative Activities of Benguet Legume Cultivars on a Breast Epithelial Cell Line

  • Cielo Mae D. Marquez University of the Philippines
  • Conrad Allan C. Chong University of the Philippines
  • Leomir A. Diaz University of the Philippines
  • Harold M. Carag University of the Philippines
  • Michael C. Velarde University of the Philippines
  • John Carlo F. Dela Cruz University of the Philippines
  • Dhennis T. Versoza University of the Philippines
  • Noel S. Quiming University of the Philippines
  • Marilou G. Nicolas University of the Philippines


Legumes are extensively cultivated around the globe for human consumption and may contain potential estrogenic activities that interfere with normal physiology and pathophysiology. However, different cultivars grown in different regions of the world have different activities that may provide different nutritional value. Hence, in this study, legume cultivars from Benguet, a major source of legumes and other highland vegetables in Northern Philippines, were evaluated for their proliferative effects in the breast epithelial cancer cell line MCF7. Ethyl acetate extracts from Phaseolus vulgaris L. and Vigna unguiculata (L.) Walp., but not from Tamarindus indica L. and Pisum sativum L., induced slight proliferative effects on MCF7 cells at a low dose but reduced cell number at a higher dose. The proliferative effect of the extracts is likely estrogen receptor (ER)-dependent, as the same legume extracts only displayed inhibitory effects in the ER-negative MDA-MB-231 cells. Similar proliferative effects of P. vulgaris and V. unguiculata ethyl acetate extracts were reflected in their similar HPLC profiles, which is distinct from the HPLC profile of the T. indica ethyl acetate extract. Overall, our findings show that certain legumes from Benguet have slight proliferative activities in MCF7 cells, implying their potential estrogenic activities.


beans, extracts, peas, Philippine plants, seeds