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Am J Clin Nutr. 2003 Aug;78(2):221-7.

Cholesterol-lowering effect of beta-glucan from oat bran in mildly hypercholesterolemic subjects may decrease when beta-glucan is incorporated into bread and cookies.

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Department of Human Biology, Maastricht University, Maastricht, The Netherlands.



Findings about the effects of beta-glucan on serum lipoproteins are conflicting.


The study investigated the effects of beta-glucan from oat bran in bread and cookies (study 1) and in orange juice (study 2) on serum lipoproteins in mildly hypercholesterolemic subjects.


In study 1, 48 subjects (21 men, 27 women) received for 3 wk control bread and cookies rich in wheat fiber. For the next 4 wk, by random assignment, 23 subjects continued to consume the control products, and 25 received bread and cookies rich in beta-glucan. Mean daily intake of beta-glucan was 5.9 g. Total dietary fiber intake did not differ significantly between the groups. In study 2, the same sources of control fiber and beta-glucan (5 g/d) as in study 1 were provided. For 2 wk, 25 of the original 48 subjects (10 men, 15 women) were randomly assigned to consume orange juice containing either wheat fiber (n = 13) or beta-glucan from oat bran (n = 12). After a washout period of 1 wk, dietary regimens were crossed over.


In study 1, the change in LDL cholesterol did not differ significantly (-0.12 mmol/L; P = 0.173) between the 2 groups. In study 2, the drink rich in beta-glucan decreased LDL cholesterol by 0.26 +/- 0.07 mmol/L (6.7 +/- 1.8%; P = 0.001) and the ratio of total to HDL cholesterol by 0.26 +/- 0.11 (5.4 +/- 2.1%; P = 0.029) compared with the other drink. HDL-cholesterol and triacylglycerol concentrations did not change significantly.


The food matrix or the food processing, or both, could have adverse effects on the hypocholesterolemic properties of oat beta-glucan.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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