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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Diets Containing Barley Reduce Lipids Significantly in Moderately Hypercholesterolemic Men and Women

Authors
item Behall, Kay
item Scholfield, Daniel
item Hallfrisch, Judith - RETIRED BHNRC, ARS

Submitted to: American Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: June 24, 2004
Publication Date: November 8, 2004
Citation: Behall, K.M., Scholfield, D.J., Hallfrisch, J.G. 2004. Diets containing barley reduce lipids significantly in moderately hypercholesterolemic men and women. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 80:1185-1193.

Interpretive Summary: Heart disease continues to be the number one cause of death in the United States. Consumption of diets high in whole grains or soluble fiber has been reported to have beneficial health effects, especially the reduction of blood cholesterol. Barley has high amounts of soluble fiber but is not extensively consumed in the US diet. This study investigated whether consumption of barley would reduce cardiovascular risk factors comparably to reductions observed with other soluble fiber sources. Moderately hypercholesterolemic subjects (women and men) consumed a controlled diet containing 30% of the energy from fat and no more than 300 mg dietary cholesterol for 17 wk. After a 2 wk adaptation period, whole grain foods containing 0 (whole wheat and rice), 3 g (50/50 mix of the grains), or 6 g (barley alone) soluble fiber/day from barley were included in the diets consumed for 5 weeks each. Total cholesterol was significantly lower when the diet contained 3 or 6 gm of beta glucan from barley with the greatest change occurring in the men and postmenopausal women. High density lipoprotein (HDL) and triacylglycerol concentrations did not differ among the three levels of dietary beta glucan. The lipoprotein cardiovascular risk profile of the subjects improved when whole grains were incorporated into the three diets with large low density lipoprotein (LDL), small VLDL lipoprotein fractions and mean LDL particle size significantly decreased. These results indicate that barley may be an effective addition to a healthy diet to lower total and LDL-cholesterol without lowering HDL-cholesterol in both men and women. This information is important to the general public and to health care workers planning diets for individuals with coronary heart disease since it increases the number of grains that can be consumed for beneficial reduction of blood lipid levels.

Technical Abstract: Background: Barley has high amounts of soluble fiber but is not extensively consumed in the US diet. Objective: This study investigated whether consumption of barley would reduce cardiovascular risk factors comparably to reductions observed with other soluble fiber sources. Design: After institutional review and approval, moderately hypercholesterolemic subjects (9 post-menopausal women, 9 pre-menopausal women, and 7 men) consumed controlled step one diets for 17 wk. After a 2 wk adaptation period, whole grain foods containing 0, 3, or 6 g soluble fiber/day from barley were included in the step one menus. Diets were consumed for 5 wk each and fed in a Latin square design. Fasting blood was collected twice weekly. Results: Total cholesterol was significantly lower when the diet contained 3 or 6 gm of beta glucan from barley, the greatest change occurring in the men and postmenopausal women. High density lipoprotein (HDL) and triacylglycerol concentrations did not differ among the three levels of dietary beta glucan. Large low density lipoprotein (LDL), small VLDL lipoprotein fractions and mean LDL particle size significantly decreased when whole grains were incorporated into the three diets. Large LDL, large HDL, intermediate HDL fractions and LDL particle size were significantly higher and intermediate very LDL significantly lower in postmenopausal women. A group by diet interaction was observed in LDL and very small LDL particle size concentrations. Conclusions: These results indicate that barley may be an effective addition to a healthy diet to lower total and LDL-cholesterol in both men and women.

Last Modified: 11/23/2014
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