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Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 1999 Mar;39(2):189-202.

Effect of beta-glucan from oats and yeast on serum lipids.

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Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02215, USA.


Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the U.S. One way to reduce the risk of developing the disease is to lower serum cholesterol levels by making dietary changes. In addition to reducing intake of total fat, saturated fat, and dietary cholesterol, serum cholesterol can be further reduced by added fiber, especially from sources rich in beta-glucan. In this review, two sources of beta-glucan are described; one source is oats and the other yeast. Their chemical structures and physical properties are compared, and their effect on serum lipid levels is described. Oat beta-glucans are found in various breakfast cereals and snacks. Usually, several servings of these products are required to meet the Food and Drug Administration's claim of reducing the risk of heart disease. The yeast-derived fiber is a more concentrated source of beta-glucan than the oat product. It is currently being tested in a wide variety of food products.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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