Submitted to: American Chemical Society Abstracts
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/30/2000
Publication Date: 2/27/2002
Technical Abstract: Mixed linkage, B-glucan, a form of soluble fiber, found in oat, barley and in small quantities in other cereal grains reduces plasma cholesterol levels in humans and may have other healthful properties. High plasma cholesterol is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Whole oat products containing b-glucans have been awarded the right to claim health benefits related to cardiovascular disease by the US FDA. B-glucans also reduce the postprandial rise of glucose and insulin, suggesting a role in diabetes management. However, the physiological properties of cereal B-glucans are dependent on their bioavailability and molecular characteristics. Our studies using multiple angle laser light scattering to determine polymer size show that endogenous enzymes and mechanical processes reduce polymer size but that cooking increases bioavailability. Animal studies indicate that the limited polymer size degradation that occurs in food processing does not affect plasma cholesterol lowering properties.