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Beta-Glucan Linked to Decrease in Cholesterol

Many previous studies have found high levels of cholesterol, especially high levels of LDL or “bad” cholesterol, to be associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular events. A recent study suggests that consuming beta-glucan may help lower total and LDL cholesterol levels in people with high cholesterol.

Researchers from the People’s Hospital of Gaozhu in China examined 17 randomized controlled trials with a total of 916 subjects. Analysis of the data from the studies showed that beta-glucan was associated with an average 26 mmol/L and 21 mmol/L reduction of total and LDL cholesterol, respectively, but only in people with high cholesterol.

There were no adverse effects noted in any of the trials.

The study was published online ahead of print on April 29, 2015, in Nutrition, Metabolism & Cardiovascular Disease.

Previous studies have linked beta-glucan intake with lower cholesterol, managing diabetes, controlling allergies and improving the appearance of skin.

Beta-glucan can be found in dietary sources such as yeasts, algae, lichens, oats and barley. A high quality supplement is also a good option if you’re looking to increase your beta-glucan intake.
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