Send to

Choose Destination
Am J Cardiol. 1992 Feb 15;69(5):433-9.

Role of water-soluble dietary fiber in the management of elevated plasma cholesterol in healthy subjects.

Author information

Stanford Center for Research in Disease Prevention, Stanford University School of Medicine, Palo Alto, California 94304.


Guidelines for the use of water-soluble dietary fibers (WSDF) in the dietary management of elevated plasma cholesterol are not well-established. Consequently, 4 studies were conducted to explore the plasma lipid-lowering effects of a variety of WSDF. Studies were randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trials involving healthy men and women (plasma cholesterol greater than 5.17 mmol/liter; greater than 200 mg/dl). Study duration ranged from 4 to 12 weeks. The WSDF acacia gum yields a low viscosity, palatable beverage when mixed in water. However, despite its WSDF classification, acacia gum consumed for 4 weeks as the sole WSDF source (15 g of WSDF/day) or primary source in a WSDF mixture (17.2 g of WSDF/day; 56% derived from acacia gum) did not produce a significant lipid-lowering effect versus placebo. When 15 g of WSDF/day consisting of psyllium hust, pectin, and guar and locust bean gums (medium viscosity) was consumed for 4 weeks, significant reductions in cholesterol resulted (total cholesterol 8.3%, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol 12.4%; p less than 0.001) that were comparable to changes achieved with 10 g of WSDF/day from high-viscosity guar gum. The magnitude of the lipid-lowering effect was related to intake of WSDF ranging from 5 to 15 g/day (low-density lipoprotein cholesterol +0.8% [placebo], -5.6% [5 g/day], -6.8% [10 g/day], -14.9% [15 g/day]; p less than 0.01 for trend). The effects of WSDF on plasma lipids were similar for men and women. A diet rich in selected WSDF may be a useful adjunct to the dietary management of elevated plasma cholesterol.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center