Oat β-glucan lowers total and LDL-cholesterol

Sylvia Pomeroy, Marja Cehun-Aders, Paul Nester, Richard Tupper

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Several soluble polysaccharides have been shown to have cholesterol-lowering properties and to have a role in prevention of heart disease. Major sources of one such polysaccharide (β-glucan) are oats and barley. The aim of this study was to examine the effects on plasma lipid concentrations when β-glucan derived from a fractionated oat preparation was consumed by people with elevated plasma lipids. A single-blind, crossover design compared plasma cholesterol, triglycerides, high density lipoproteins and low density lipoproteins (LDLs) in 14 people; in the order of low, high and low β-glucan supplemented diets, each of three weeks duration. For the high β-glucan diet, an average intake of 7 g per day was consumed from cereal, muffins and bread. The background diet remained relatively constant over the three test periods. Differences during the interventions were calculated by one-way repeated measures analysis of variance. Where treatments were found to be significantly different, pairwise multiple comparison procedures (Tukey Test) were carried out between the high β-glucan and each of the low β-glucan phases and there was a highly significant difference between treatments for plasma cholesterol (P = 0.009) and for LDL-cholesterol concentrations (P < 0.001). The differences in plasma cholesterol (6.42 +/- 0.7, 6.14 +/- 0.53, 6.44 +/- 0.67 mmol/L) and LDL-cholesterol (4.59 +/- 0.59, 4.17 +/0.58, 4.52 +/- 0.65 mmol/L) between high β-glucan and each of the low β-glucan treatments were significant (P < 0.05). The effect on LDLs (9% lower) is among the highest reported. The results of this study confirm that beneficial reductions in plasma cholesterol and LDL-cholesterol concentrations can be obtained with β-glucan incorporated into a variety of foods.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)51-56
Number of pages5
JournalAustralian Journal of Nutrition and Dietetics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2001
Externally publishedYes

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