Oat Beta-Glucan Gets a Better Cholesterol Meta-Analysis

Nutritional OutlookNutritional Outlook Vol. 17 No. 10
Volume 17
Issue 10

DSM funds a new meta-analysis that only includes studies on high doses of oat beta-glucans.

A soluble fiber in oats, called oat beta-glucan, is widely regarded for its ability to help lower human cholesterol. At least five national health agencies around the world permit related oat beta-glucan health claims. Multiple studies back up these health claims, but DSM Nutritional Products (Parsippany, NJ) realized that of the published meta-analyses available on oat beta-glucan studies, none have been restricted to studies involving 3 g of beta-glucans or more daily-the dosage required for compliance with all oat beta-glucan health claims around the world.

Because DSM has stake in the oat beta-glucan market, the company funded a selective meta-analysis of studies based on the three-gram dosage. The results were still positive-significant reductions in LDL and total cholesterol-but they were, in a way, noticeably different from those of previous investigations.

“Although generally confirming the results of previous meta-analyses, that oat products reduce serum cholesterol, the present results differ in that the magnitude of the effects seen are 50–100% greater than those reported in previous meta-analyses,” said the researchers. DSM says the high dose of oat beta-glucan allows this compound to escape the food matrix once it is consumed, which allows it to form a viscous gel and bind to cholesterol in the small intestine.

Beyond tailoring oat beta-glucan analysis to studies involving at least 3 g of oat beta-glucan daily, DSM’s new analysis also includes 10 studies, on about 1200 subjects, that were not yet published at the time of the last published meta-analysis. This data is now published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Robby Gardner
Associate Editor
Nutritional Outlook magazine

Photo © iStockphoto.com/masic75

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