The hypocholesterolemic effects of beta-glucan in oatmeal and oat bran. A dose-controlled study.
JAMA. 1991 Apr 10 ;265(14):1833-9. PMID: 2005733
M H Davidson
Oat cereals rich in the water-soluble fiber beta-glucan have been studied as a dietary therapy for hypercholesterolemia. To determine the hypocholesterolemic response of beta-glucan in the diet, 156 adults with low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) levels above 4.14 mmol/L (160 mg/dL) or between 3.37 and 4.14 mmol/L (130 and 160 mg/dL) with multiple risk factors were randomized to one of seven groups. Six groups received either oatmeal or oat bran at doses (dry weight) of 28 g (1 oz), 56 g (2 oz), and 84 g (3 oz). A seventh group received 28 g of farina (beta-glucan control). At week 6 of treatment, significant differences were found for both total cholesterol and LDL-C levels among the farina control and the treatment groups who were receiving 84 g of oatmeal, 56 g of oat bran, and 84 g of oat bran, with decreases in LDL-C levels of 10.1%, 15.9%, and 11.5%, respectively. Fifty-six grams of oat bran resulted in significantly greater reductions in LDL-C levels than 56 g of oatmeal. Nutrient analysis shows no difference in dietary fat content between these treatment groups; therefore, the higher beta-glucan content of oat bran most likely explains the significantly greater LDL-C reductions. A dose-dependent reduction in LDL-C levels with oat cereals supports the independent hypocholesterolemic effects of beta-glucan.