Serum lipids and postprandial glucose and insulin levels in hyperlipidemic subjects after consumption of an oat beta-glucan-containing ready meal

M Biörklund, J Holm, G Onning
Annals of Nutrition & Metabolism 2008, 52 (2): 83-90

BACKGROUND/AIMS: To investigate whether a daily intake of a nutrient-balanced ready meal containing 4 g of oat beta-glucans lowers total cholesterol (T-C) and low-density-lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) in hyperlipidemic subjects and to evaluate its effect on postprandial glucose and insulin concentrations.

METHODS: A parallel, placebo-controlled trial was carried out in 43 healthy men and women with elevated serum cholesterol levels. During the 3-week run-in period, all subjects consumed daily a ready-meal soup, low in energy and fat and high in fiber but without oat beta-glucans. Subjects were then randomly assigned for the following 5-week intervention period to either continue consumption of the control soup or an equal soup supplemented with beta-glucan.

RESULTS: Consumption of the beta-glucan-enriched ready meal decreased T-C (0.22 +/- 0.41 mmol/l) and LDL-C (0.16 +/- 0.36 mmol/l), but the reductions were not significantly lower compared with control. After a meal with beta-glucan soup, neither postprandial glucose nor insulin concentrations were significantly different from those after a control soup.

CONCLUSION: A daily dose of 4 g of oat beta-glucans incorporated into a healthy ready meal did not significantly lower T-C and LDL-C compared with an equal ready meal without beta-glucans. Thus, if a food product fulfils general healthy dietary recommendations it may not necessarily be a candidate for supplementation with beta-glucans.

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