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J Am Coll Nutr. 1993 Apr;12(2):147-54.

The effect of acacia gum and a water-soluble dietary fiber mixture on blood lipids in humans.

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Shaklee Health Sciences Department, Shaklee US, Inc. San Francisco, CA 94111.


Water-soluble dietary fibers (WSDF) are generally thought to lower cholesterol. This study compared the cholesterol-lowering effects of a medium viscosity WSDF mixture (psyllium, pectin, guar gum and locust bean gum) with an equal amount of WSDF from acacia gum, which has a lower viscosity. Hypercholesterolemic males (n = 13) and females (n = 16) were randomly assigned to one of two WSDF treatments provided in a low-calorie powder form for mixing into beverages (< 4 kcal/serving). Subjects were instructed to mix powders into their usual beverages and to consume them three times daily (5 g WSDF/serving) for 4 weeks while consuming their typical fat-modified diets. Exercise and body weights were also held constant. The WSDF mixture yielded a 10% decrease in plasma total cholesterol (from 251 +/- 20 to 225 +/- 19 mg/dL; p < 0.01), and a 14% reduction in low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (from 167 +/- 14 to 144 +/- 14 mg/dL; p < 0.001). No significant changes in plasma high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, very-low-density lipoprotein cholesterol or triglycerides were observed. In contrast, the acacia gum-treated group showed no change in any plasma lipid parameters. The WSDF treatments did not produce significant changes in mean dietary intakes within or between treatment groups. These data support previous findings that a diet rich in select WSDF can be a useful cholesterol-lowering adjunct to a fat-modified diet, but that caution should be exercised in ascribing cholesterol-lowering efficacy to dietary fibers based solely on their WSDF classification. Finally, WSDF viscosity is a potential cholesterol-lowering factor to be explored further.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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