July 16, 2018

Cholesterol-lowering effects of oat β-glucan

Several soluble polysaccharides have been shown to have cholesterol-lowering properties and to have a role in prevention of heart disease. Oats provide one of the richest sources of the dietary soluble fiber β -glucan, providing 5.0 g (oatmeal) to 7.2g (oat bran) per 100 g serving. Both are also valuable sources of total dietary fiber, which ranges from 9.9-14.9 g per 100 g serving. Oats have recently gained considerable interest as a rich source of β -glucan with cholesterol-lowering properties.

 In March 1995, the Quaker Oats company submitted a petition to the FDA stating that consumption of whole oat products (oats, oat bran, and oat flour) decreases total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol concentrations and reduces the risk of CHD.

In February 2003 Creanutrition and its parent company Swedish Oat Fiber submitted a scientific dossier for oat β -glucan and blood cholesterol to the JHCI in the United Kingdom. In May 2004, the JHCI approved a generic health claim for oat β -glucan and blood cholesterol based on the totality of the evidence. The health claim states that the inclusion of at least 3 g/day of oat β-glucan as part of a diet low in saturated fat and a healthy lifestyle can help reduce blood cholesterol.

The benefits for lowering lipids with oats and oat-based products have been reported in animal and human studies. Oat gum soluble fibre has been reported to exert a greater hypocholesterolaemic effect than several other fibers tested and found to be similar to that of cholestyramine.

According to the study, soluble fiber from oat products, psyllium, pectin, and guar gum each significantly lowered total cholesterol. One gram of soluble fiber from oats, psyllium, pectin, or guar gum produced changes in total cholesterol of -0.037, -0.028, -0.070, and -0.026 mmol/L (-1.42, -1.10, -2.69, and -1.13mg/dL), respectively, and in LDL cholesterol of -0.032, -0.029, -0.055, and -0.033 mmol/L (-1.23, -1.11, -1.96, and -1.20 mg/dL), respectively. (The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Volume 69, Issue 1, 1 January 1999, Pages 30–42).

 A number of studies indicate that β -glucan is the major active cholesterol-reducing component of oats. When β -glucans are fed in a dose-dependent manner, significantly greater reductions in blood cholesterol are observed as β -glucan content increases. Furthermore, treatment of oats with enzymes that destroy β -glucan results in a loss of cholesterol-lowering potential of oats.
Cholesterol-lowering effects of oat β-glucan

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