Barley and wheat foods: influence on plasma cholesterol concentrations in hypercholesterolemic men.


McIntosh GH, Whyte J, McArthur R




Am J Clin Nutr


Twenty-one mildly hypercholesterolemic men aged 30-59 y were provided with comparable barley and wheat foods for each of 4 wk in a crossover-designed experiment. The purpose of the study was to examine the influence of two sources of dietary fiber (nonstarch polysaccharides, NSP) on blood lipids and glucose concentrations. Barley contains beta-glucan as a source of soluble dietary fiber (DF) whereas wheat contains the largely insoluble cellulose and hemicellulose fiber. Total dietary fiber increased from a previous intake of 21-38 g/d during the period of study for the two groups. Consumption of barley relative to wheat foods was associated with a significant fall in both plasma total cholesterol (6%, P less than 0.05) and in low-density-lipoprotein cholesterol (7%, P less than 0.02) whereas triglyceride and glucose concentrations did not change significantly. It is concluded that barley dietary fiber is more effective than wheat dietary fiber at lowering blood cholesterol in hypercholesterolemic men.