Chitin-Glucan May Help Prevent Cholesterol Oxidization
Taking daily supplements of a chitin-glucan fiber may prevent LDL cholesterol from oxidizing. Oxidized LDL can result in inflammation in the arteries and increase the risk of atherosclerosis.
Chitin-glucan is the main component in the cell walls of the Aspergillus niger fungus. It is extracted from the fungus and purified into a fiber. It has been confirmed as safe by the European Food Safety Authority.
One hundred thirty people diagnosed with borderline to high LDL cholesterol participated in a six week intervention. They were divided into four groups and received one of the following supplements daily:
1. 4.5 grams of chitin-glucan
2. 1.5 grams of chitin-glucan
3. 1.5 grams of chitin-glucan plus 135 milligrams of olive oil extract.
4. A placebo
Participants who took the 4.5 gram dose of chitin-glucan showed a significant reduction in oxidized LDL levels compared to those who took the placebo. Participants who took the 1.5 gram dose showed statistically significant reductions in LDL-cholesterol. No additional benefit was seen in the group that also received the olive oil extract.
The study was conducted at Stratum Nutrition and published online ahead of print on September 5, 2012, in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
Chitin-glucan is not commonly found in the human diet, so look for a high quality supplement.