Beta-Glucans Affect Lipid Metabolism in Hypercholeterolemic Subjects


A study was designed to determine the effects of combining oat beta-glucans and plant stanol esters (naturally occurring healthy chemical compounds in small quantities in fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, cereals, legumes, and vegetable oils) on serum total-cholesterol. The effects of simultaneous intake of beta-glucan and plant stanol esters were examined in hypercholesterolemic volunteers.



Journal of Nutrition


E. Theuwissne, R.P. Mensink


40 mildy cholesterolemic men and women received muesli, or Swiss rolled-oat breakfast cereal, in random order twice daily. Over a 4 week period 5 grams of museli was administered as the control test (a variable in the test not tampered with to use as a baseline to determine whether there is a meaningful difference in the other tests). 5 grams of oat beta-glucans, or 5 grams of oat beta-glucans plus 1.5 grams of plant stanols were rotated in the diet. All mixtures were served in the muesli.


Beta-glucans decreased LDL cholesterol (low density lipoproteins, or "bad cholesterol") by 5% compared with the control test diet. Eating the oat beta-glucans in the muesli reduced LDL cholesterol further, to 9.6%. HDL cholesterol (high density lipoproteins, or "good cholesterol") were unchanged. Since HDL cholesterol is healthy for the body, it is ideal to remain unchanged or increase it if it is too low. Beta-glucans effectively lowered LDL cholesterol. The addition of plant stanol esters to muesli with beta-glucans added lowerd LDL even further.

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