Submitted to: Corn Dry Milling Conference Proceedings
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/29/1998
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: Corn fiber oil (CFO) is extracted from corn fiber, a by-product of wet milling, and a similar oil can be extracted from corn bran (CBO) produced by dry milling. Studies by others suggest that compounds uniquely found in oils derived from fiber and bran fractions of corn and certain other cereals can lower blood cholesterol levels by decreasing the absorption of dietary cholesterol. The component in CFO thought to be most effective is a group of sterols, principally sitostanol, esterified to ferulic acid. These esters comprise up to 2.6% of CBO and are even higher in CFO but are not found at appreciable levels in corn germ oil. Human clinical studies in Finland with sitostanol esterified to fatty acids and formulated into a margarine, on average, lowered total blood cholesterol by 10% and LDL cholesterol by 15% with little effect on triglycerides or HDL cholesterol. These results were found when subjects were mildly hypercholesterolemic, on a moderate to high cholesterol diet, and the ester was consumed with the meal. Studies with rice bran oil and gamma oryzanol, the sterol ferulate fraction, have also generally decreased cholesterol levels but less than sitostanol esters. Available evidence, therefore, indicates that CFO is a good candidate for a dietary element with the ability to decrease blood cholesterol levels in individuals with mild hypercholesterolemia by decreasing the absorption of dietary cholesterol. Foods with health benefits beyond their nutritional content have been termed functional foods or neutraceuticals.