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Posted on Nov 29, 2016, 6 a.m.

Beta-glucan, found abundantly in oats, may help to lower total and LDL cholesterol, in people with high cholesterol.

Oats are an abundant source of beta-glucan – polysaccharide compounds for which previous studies show free-radical scavenging activity. X. Zhu, from People's Hospital of Gaozhou (China), and colleagues completed a meta-analysis of published studies involving beta-glucan as a cholesterol-lowering therapy. Data from 17 studies, involving a total of 916 subjects with high cholesterol (hypercholesteremia), suggests that beta-glucan may reduce total cholesterol by 26 mmol/L, and low-density lipoprotein (LDL, “bad”) cholesterol by 21 mmmol/L.  No changes to high-density lipoprotein (HDL, “good”) cholesterol, triglycerides, or glucose were observed.  The study authors write that: “Our meta-analysis showed that beta-glucan consumption significantly decreased [total cholesterol] and LDL-cholesterol concentrations.”

Zhu X, Sun X, Wang M, Zhang C, Cao Y, Mo G, Liang J, Zhu S. “Quantitative assessment of the effects of beta-glucan consumption on serum lipid profile and glucose level in hypercholesterolemic subjects.”  Nutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis. 2015 Apr 29.

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