Soluble fiber and nondigestible carbohydrate effects on plasma lipids and cardiovascular risk.


Fernandez ML.




Curr Opin Lipidol.


The association between elevated plasma LDL-cholesterol concentrations and increased risk for heart disease has made the scientific community aware of dietary sources that might effectively reduce plasma cholesterol levels. Several large-scale cohort studies have documented that dietary fiber lowers the risk for coronary heart disease. In addition, there is substantial evidence from randomized controlled clinical trials that a mean reduction of 9% in LDL-cholesterol can be achieved by intake of different sources of soluble fiber. Incorporating fiber sources into our diet may provide a useful adjunct to a low-saturated fat diet, and may have a further beneficial effect for individuals who have mild-to-moderate hypercholesterolemia. The physicochemical properties of soluble fiber result in important modifications in volume, bulk and viscosity in the intestinal lumen, which will alter metabolic pathways of hepatic cholesterol and lipoprotein metabolism, resulting in lowering of plasma LDL-cholesterol.