Recent studies now focus on identifying functional components in foods that can help fight cardiovascular diseases. One of the primary causes of cardiovascular diseases is high cholesterol level. In view of this, researchers tried to find ways to lower a person’s cholesterol level. Surprisingly, they discovered, oat beta glucans, a type of soluble fiber, which is effective in lowering LDL cholesterol.
Taking oat beta glucans on a regular basis can lead to a decrease in cholesterol level. This was proven by the study conducted in Canada. Students and professors in the University of Manitoba also participated in the study.
For two weeks, the researchers assessed the good effects of oat beta glucans in an individual’s blood cholesterol. They found out that among the major sources of oat β-glucans are oat meal, oat bran and rolled oats. After confirming the oat β-glucans’ effectiveness in lowering cholesterol, they immediately published an article about it. Additionally, The National Institute of Health reported “The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a health claim for β-glucan soluble fiber from oats for reducing plasma cholesterol levels and risk of heart disease in 1997.”
Oat beta glucan is said to be a type of dietary fiber that is abundant in oats. According to studies, this soluble fiber is rich in properties that can lower cholesterol level. The beta glucan works by forming a viscous layer in a person’s small intestine. The layer it produced will lower the intestine’s uptake of cholesterol. In addition, the layer will prevent the re-absorption of many bile acids.
This mechanism that beta glucan can produce helps in making the cholesterol circulate so that the body can produce more bile acids. The gut’s lower uptake of dietary cholesterol coupled with the production of a lot of bile acids can immediately reduce the level of cholesterol that a person has.
Overall, the studies that were conducted from 1997 to 2010 all support the effectiveness of the dietary fiber beta glucan in lowering blood cholesterol level; thus, taking at least 4 grams of oat beta glucans on a daily or regular basis can reduce the bad cholesterol stored in your body by 5 to 10 percent. You can get it in supplement form, or you can get it naturally from foods rich in this soluble fiber including oat-based products like oatmeal and breakfast cereals.
One way of adding oat β-glucan is in powder form. Nutrim is one product that can supply the recommended daily intake of β-glucan to be eligible for the FDA Heart Health claim. It was developed by George E. Inglett, an Agricultural Research Service chemist. It is a 100% natural powder that can be blended in with food. Here is a video describing a little about Nutrim: