Zachwieja J, Maki K, Lovegrove J, Earnshaw S. The next level in beta-glucan research: new findings for cholesterol-lowering, gut health and more. Presented at the American Society for Nutrition Conference 2018; June 11, 2018. Boston, MA.

The role of beta-glucan, the soluble fiber found primarily in oats and barley, in lowering cholesterol has been well substantiated. The body of evidence was so strong that it formed the basis for oatmeal to become the first food to carry an FDA-approved health claim. In the 20 years since the claim was approved, research has continued to demonstrate the beneficial effects of beta-glucan for cholesterol lowering and most recently, the positive health economic benefits of doing so. There is evidence to suggest that beta-glucan can function as a prebiotic fiber and modulates the human gut microbiota in a way that constitutes a previously unrecognized mechanism contributing to the hypocholesterolemic effects of whole grain oat consumption. Beta-glucan’s impact on the microbiome may have other metabolic effects which will also be addressed in this program. Thus, this session will explore the heart health economic benefit of consuming oats and emerging research that suggests, in part, oat beta-glucan effects are modulated through the gut microbiome.

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