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Cholesterol Beta Glucan Studies



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Read about High Cholesterol Causes and Symptoms

The source of the following list of beta glucan studies is from the book What Is Beta Glucan by Roger Mason.  There have been many more studies.  This is just a small sampling. Roger sells a quality beta glucan supplement that is inexpensive - go to www dot youngagain dot com.

Two hundred and sixty-eight men and women with high cholesterol were given oat beta glucan in a study at the Chicago Center for Clinical Research (Journal of Nutrition v. 133, 2003, pp. 808-13). “Results of this randomized, double-blind trial demonstrate that subjects with mild to moderate hypercholestemia can reduce their LDL and total cholesterol levels by consuming a group of phytosterol and beta glucan containing foods as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol.” This is real life evidence we don’t need expensive, toxic, dangerous statin drugs to lower blood fats.

At the Technical Research Institute in Kawagoe, Japan (Nippon Eiyo Shokuryo v. 44, 1991, pp. 455-60) obese rats with high cholesterol were given both oat and barley beta glucan to effectively lower their cholesterol levels. Another study done there (Journal of Nutritional Science and Vitaminology v. 40, 1994. pp. 213-17) more rats were given oat and barley beta glucan and some were given guar gum. All were effective in improving blood lipid profiles. The same journal in 2003 (v. 49, pp. 381-7) published a study from Changwon University in Korea. Rats were again given barley beta glucan decreased serum cholesterol up to 18 percent with no other changes. At the University of California in Davis (Journal of Food Science v. 60, 1995, p. 558-60) oat beta glucan was given to hypercholesteremic rats, which lowered their levels in only four weeks by adding it to their feed.

At the Montana Agricultural Station in Bozeman (Nutrition Research v. 17, 1997, pp. 77-88) hamsters were fed barley beta glucan in a double blind study and their cholesterol was lowered within 30 days.

At the Technical Research Center in Espoo, Finland (Cereal Chemistry v. 23 69, 1992, pp. 647-53) more rats with high cholesterol were given oat beta glucan to successfully lower their cholesterol. Another study there (British Journal of Nutrition v. 70, 1993, pp. 767-76) rats with high cholesterol were given oat beta glucan in a classic double blind study where even the scientists didn’t know knew which rats were getting the supplement. The oat supplement not only lowered their cholesterol, but also raised their desirable high density cholesterol. At the West Research Center in Albany, California (Cereal Chemistry v. 70, 1993, pp. 435-40) hamsters with high cholesterol were given oat and barley beta glucan to lower their blood lipids in only twenty-one days.

The human studies leave no doubt that the animal studies apply equally to real people. At Syracuse University in New York (Journal of the American Dietary Association v. 90, 1990, pp. 223-9) seventy-one men and women with hypercholesteremia were given various combinations of low fat diets with and without oat beta glucan supplements. The people on glucan not only lowered their cholesterol up to 17 percent but most all of them raised their levels of beneficial high-density cholesterol. The 17 percent figure is very dramatic. This shows the power of using better food choices along with your supplements.

At the University of Ottawa (European Journal of Clinical Nutrition v. 48, 1994, pp. 465-74) hypercholesterolemic men and women were given oat beta glucan, which reduced their total and LDL cholesterol with no change in diet or exercise. This was a double blind study where the placebo group received no benefits.

At the University of Wisconsin (Hepatology v. 20, 1993, pp. 1450-7) men with NORMAL cholesterol levels were given oat bran containing glucan and still lowered their cholesterol significantly with no change in diet! This is nothing less than amazing.

At Harvard Medical School in Massachusetts (Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition v. 39, 1999, pp. 189-202) doctors found that both oat and yeast derived beta glucans lowered serum cholesterol levels without any change in diet or exercise. There was no use of drugs, which you would expect at a school of medicine. In their words, “In addition to decreasing the intake of total fat, saturated fat and dietary cholesterol, blood serum cholesterol can be further decreased by dietary fiber, especially from sources rich in beta glucan such as oats and yeast.” To their credit they do very much suggest low fat diets with little animal fat or cholesterol instead of toxic, expensive prescription drugs. Doctors like this deserve a lot of praise for studying natural ways and natural supplements to cure disease.

At the University of Massachusetts (American Journal of Clinical Nutrition v. 70, 1999, pp. 208-12) researchers studied obese men with high cholesterol levels. They gave them yeast based beta glucan but made no changes in their diet or exercise. In only eight weeks cholesterol had fallen 8 percent and their harmful low density cholesterol levels had also fallen 8 percent.

They summarized their findings, “Thus, the yeast derived beta glucan fiber lowered the total cholesterol concentrations and was well tolerated”.

In the same journal in 2003 (v. 78, pp. 221-7) a study from Maastricht University in the Netherlands was published. This time both men and women with high cholesterol were given the glucans. This generally improved their blood lipid profile in several ways including lowering their LDL cholesterol. A third study in the journal in 2202 (v. 75, pp. 834-9) at St. Michaels Hospital in Toronto was published. Adults with high cholesterol were fed a low fat diet or a low fat diet with beta glucan. The glucan group not only lowered their cholesterol and blood pressure, but improved their cardiovascular risk as equated by the Framingham Risk Equation (the largest ongoing CHD study in history.)

At the United States Human Nutrition Research Center in Maryland (Journal of Nutrition and Biochemistry v. 8, 1997, pp.497-501) people were given oat extracts high in beta glucan content and lowered their blood fats with no change in diet or exercise. They studied these people further and found some rather remarkable beneficial changes in their metabolism after just a few weeks on beta glucan supplements. For one thing they found their dietary fat was not oxidized as much as usual which is desirable. New benefits of this are constantly being discovered.

Again at the Human Nutrition Center (Journal of the American College of Nutrition v.16, 1997, pp. 46-51) men and women with high blood lipid levels were given oat extracts high in beta glucan. After only five weeks the groups were switched and those previously getting the oat extract received only the typical American high fat diet everyone was maintained on. At the end of the study it was shown that when each group got the beta glucan both their total cholesterol levels and low-density cholesterol levels decreased significantly. In their words, “A significant dose response due to beta glucan concentration in the oat extract was observed in the total cholesterol levels.” When you have such thorough double blind studies at prestigious research centers where people are given a high fat diet with no exercise, there is no doubt about the powerful effects of beta glucan on real people.

Earlier in 1992 in the same journal (v. 11, pp. 651-9) the University of Kuopio in Finland studied people with high blood lipids. They were given oat bran with glucans for eight weeks with good results. To have such human studies shows there are doctors who are sincerely interested in natural medicine.

At Industrial Research Limited in New Zealand (Carbohydrate Polymers v. 29, 1996, pp. 7-10) researchers used barley derived glucan to try and discover the actual metabolic mechanisms by which it lowered blood fats. They wanted to understand just how beta glucan affects the various organs of the body to eliminate blood fats rather than let them build up. They first discovered that it increased the secretion of bile acids from the gall bladder. These bile acids are important in keeping cholesterol and triglycerides at healthy levels. They used highly sophisticated NMR (nuclear magnetic resonance) techniques and found the bile acid process was only part of the story. The mechanisms at work are much more complicated than mere enhanced gall bladder activity. This shows the more we learn the less we know, and the important thing is that beta glucan is a powerful normalizer of blood fats. We may never clearly understand the actual means by which it works.

At the University of Lund in Sweden (Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism v. 43, 1999, pp. 301-9) mildly hypercholesterolemic men and women were given oat milk, which was high in beta glucan content in their diets for five weeks. This was a classic double blind study, and half of the men got rice milk, which contains no beta glucan. The men drinking the oat milk lowered their total cholesterol as well as their low density cholesterol levels, while the men drinking the rice milk did not. They said, “It is concluded that oat milk has cholesterol reducing properties.” High blood pressure or hypertension is epidemic now in all western societies. Hypertension is one of the leading causes of death in both men and women.

Eating a whole grain oat cereal containing beta glucan was shown to help lower blood pressure at the University of Minnesota (Journal of Family Practice, v.51, 2002, pp. 353-9). “Whole oats, when supplemented daily, significantly reduced antihypertensive medication need and improved blood pressure control over the twelve week intervention. Whole oats improved blood lipid and fasting glucose levels and reduced the incidence of overall study-related side effects. Significantly increasing whole oat consumption may greatly reduce risk for cardiovascular disease in hypertensive patients.” Worldwide studies like this on real people in research clinics and hospitals leave no doubt that beta glucan is a safe, effective, proven, powerful and inexpensive way to lower cholesterol and improve blood lipid profiles. There is every reason to use natural methods like this rather than dangerous, expensive drugs with serious side effects. Some of these statin drugs have been removed from the market after too many people died from taking them. Is there any reason to believe the others are any safer? Unfortunately, most people have never even heard of beta glucan much less take it every day. Most drug stores, health food stores and vitamin companies don’t even sell it, and most of the brands offered are either weak and/or overpriced.

You can read my book (author is Roger Mason) Lower Your Cholesterol without Drugs. In it the “cornerstone” program for reducing cholesterol includes five different natural supplements. In addition to 200 mg of beta glucan, you can take 1-2 grams of flax oil (instead of fish oil), 300-600 mg of beta sitosterol, and 40 mg of soy isoflavones (genestein and daidzein). The fifth supplement is guggul gum, which is an Ayurvedic herb extracted from the Commiphora tree. Take 250 mg of a reliable guggul extract with 10% sterones to give you 25 mg of actual sterones per day. This is “exogenous” (not found in our bodies or in common food), so only take it for six months as it will not be effective after that. If you take these five “cornerstone” supplements you can even lower genetically high cholesterol levels without diet or exercise. With better food choices and simply walking every day your improvements can be much more dramatic. Remember that natural health means a natural lifestyle and especially a natural diet.

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