Beta Glucan Lowers Blood Lipids

BERLIN—Barley beta-glucan reduces serum lipid levels, according to research presented in April at the First International Congress on Pre-Diabetes and Metabolic Syndrome.

In the six-week study, 76 men and 79 women with hypercholesterolemia, aged 25 to 73, completed a four-week lowfat diet prior to baseline. At the beginning of the trial, test subjects were randomly allocated to one of four treatment groups or a control group and assayed for blood lipids and other cardiovascular disease (CVD) biomarkers.

During the course of the study, test groups were administered 3 g and 5 g doses of low molecular weight (LMW) or high molecular weight (HMW) barley beta-glucan (from Cargill) twice daily, in cereal and juice.

Posttreatment assessment of blood lipids and other CVD biomarkers revealed improvements in low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, triglycerides, markers of glycemic control (glycosylated hemoglobin, HOMA model) and a key marker of inflammation (hs-CRP).

The researchers concluded both doses of LMW and HMW barley beta-glucan improved blood lipids over a six-week treatment period.