- •This study was to evaluate the effect of beta-glucan on various lipid parameters in hypercholesterolemic subjects.
- •Beta-glucan consumption in hypercholesterolemic population significantly lowered the TC and LDL-cholesterol concentration.
- •No adverse effects were reported among the eligible trials.
Background & aims
A growing body of evidence suggests that beta-glucan derived from oats or barley can reduce cardiovascular disease risk through reductions in serum lipids. However, the effects of beta-glucan on lipid changes in hypercholesterolemic patient groups are inconsistent. The objective of this study was to identify and quantify the effect of beta-glucan, a marker of water-soluble fiber, on various lipid parameters and glucose level in hypercholesterolemic subjects.
Methods and results
We performed a comprehensive literature search to identify the relevant randomized controlled trials (RCTs) that investigated the effects of beta-glucan consumption in hypercholesterolemic subjects. Mean differences (MDs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated for net changes in lipid concentrations by using fixed-effects or random-effects models according to heterogeneity. Publication bias, sensitivity analysis and subgroup analyses were also performed. Seventeen eligible RCTs with 916 subjects were included in the meta-analysis. The pooled result showed that beta-glucan consumption in hypercholesterolemic population significantly lowered the total cholesterol (TC) (MD, −0.26 mmol/L; 95% CI, −0.33 to −0.18; P < 0.00001) and low-density lipoprotein (LDL)-cholesterol concentration (MD, −0.21 mmol/L; 95% CI, −0.27 to −0.14; P < 0.00001). However, there were no significant differences in high-density lipoprotein (HDL)-cholesterol, triglycerides (TG) and glucose. No adverse effects were reported among the eligible trials.
Our meta-analysis showed that beta-glucan consumption significantly decreased TC and LDL-cholesterol concentrations but did not affect TG, HDL-cholesterol, and glucose concentrations in hypercholesterolemic subjects.
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Published online: April 29, 2015
Accepted: April 21, 2015
Received in revised form: April 19, 2015
Received: February 7, 2015
© 2015 Elsevier B.V. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.