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Viscous Soluble Fiber

July 2007

Carbohydrates and dietary fiber.

The most widely spread eating habit is characterized by a reduced intake of dietary fiber, an increased intake of simple sugars, a high intake of refined grain products, an altered fat composition of the diet, and a dietary pattern characterized by a high glycemic load, an increased body weight and reduced physical activity. In this chapter the effects of this eating pattern on disease risk will be outlined. There are no epidemiological studies showing that the increase of glucose, fructose or sucrose intake is directly and independently associated with an increased risk of atherosclerosis or coronary heart disease (CHD). On the other hand a large number of studies has reported a reduction of fatal and non-fatal CHD events as a function of the intake of complex carbohydrates—respectively ‘dietary fiber’ or selected fiber-rich food (e.g., whole grain cereals). It seems that eating too much ‘fast’ carbohydrate [i.e., carbohydrates with a high glycemic index (GI)] may have deleterious long-term consequences. Indeed the last decades have shown that a low fat (and consecutively high carbohydrate) diet alone is not the best strategy to combat modern diseases including atherosclerosis. Quantity and quality issues in carbohydrate nutrient content are as important as they are for fat. Multiple lines of evidence suggest that for cardiovascular disease prevention a high sugar intake should be avoided. There is growing evidence of the high impact of dietary fiber and foods with a low GI on single risk factors (e.g., lipid pattern, diabetes, inflammation, endothelial function etc.) as well as also the development of the endpoints of atherosclerosis especially CHD.

Handb Exp Pharmacol. 2005;(170):231-61

Low-insulin-response diets may decrease plasma C-reactive protein by influencing adipocyte function.

Hepatic production of many acute phase reactants, including C-reactive protein (CRP), is induced primarily by interleukin-6 (IL-6). A significant fraction of the plasma pool of IL-6 derives from adipocytes. Physiological concentrations of insulin as well as of catecholamines have been shown to boost adipocyte production of IL-6 dose-dependently. High fasting and postprandial insulin levels can increase adipocyte exposure to catcholamines by activating the sympathetic nervous system, as well as by provoking postabsorptive hypoglycemia that triggers adrenal secretion of epinephrine. It follows that diets which promote low diurnal insulin levels - by minimizing the stimulus to postprandial insulin release, and by aiding muscle insulin sensitivity - should be associated with lower CRP levels. In fact, recent epidemiology demonstrates a correlation between dietary glycemic load and serum CRP in women, and a recent clinical study reports a 28% reduction in serum CRP following adoption of a whole-food vegan diet rich in soluble fiber. Whether very-low-fat diets which promote insulin sensitivity - and thus down-regulate insulin secretion - can influence CRP, remains to be seen. These considerations suggest that it may be possible to achieve worthwhile reductions in CRP by avoiding high-insulin-response starchy foods and by ingesting more soluble fiber, in foods or as a meal-time supplement.

Med Hypotheses. 2005;64(2):385-7

Concentrated oat beta-glucan, a fermentable fiber, lowers serum cholesterol in hypercholesterolemic adults in a randomized controlled trial.

BACKGROUND: Soluble fibers lower serum lipids, but are difficult to incorporate into products acceptable to consumers. We investigated the physiological effects of a concentrated oat beta-glucan on cardiovascular disease (CVD) endpoints in human subjects. We also compared the fermentability of concentrated oat beta-glucan with inulin and guar gum in a model intestinal fermentation system. METHODS: Seventy-five hypercholesterolemic men and women were randomly assigned to one of two treatments: 6 grams/day concentrated oat beta-glucan or 6 grams/day dextrose (control). Fasting blood samples were collected at baseline, week 3, and week 6 and analyzed for total cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, triglycerides, glucose, insulin, homocysteine and C-reactive protein (CRP). To estimate colonic fermentability, 0.5 g concentrated oat beta-glucan was incubated in a batch model intestinal fermentation system, using human fecal inoculum to provide representative microflora. Fecal donors were not involved with the beta-glucan feeding trial. Inulin and guar gum were also incubated in separate serum bottles for comparison. RESULTS: Oat beta-glucan produced significant reduction from baseline in total cholesterol (-0.3 +/- 0.1 mmol/L) and LDL cholesterol (-0.3 +/- 0.1 mmol/L), and the reduction in LDL cholesterol were significantly greater than in the control group (p = 0.03). Concentrated oat beta-glucan was a fermentable fiber and produced total SCFA and acetate concentrations similar to inulin and guar gum. Concentrated oat beta-glucan produced the highest concentrations of butyrate at 4, 8, and 12 hours. CONCLUSION: Six grams concentrated oat beta-glucan per day for six weeks significantly reduced total and LDL cholesterol in subjects with elevated cholesterol, and the LDL cholesterol reduction was greater than the change in the control group. Based on a model intestinal fermentation, this oat beta-glucan was fermentable, producing higher amounts of butyrate than other fibers. Thus, a practical dose of beta-glucan can significantly lower serum lipids in a high-risk population and may improve colon health.

Nutr J. 2007 Mar 26;6:6

Supplementation of a high-carbohydrate breakfast with barley beta-glucan improves postprandial glycaemic response for meals but not beverages.

There is growing support for the protective role of soluble fibre in type II diabetes. Soluble fibre beta-glucan found in cereal products including oats and barley may be the active component. There is evidence of postprandial blunting of blood glucose and insulin responses to dietary carbohydrates when oat soluble fibre is supplemented into the diet but few trials have been carried out using natural barley or enriched barley beta-glucan products. The aim of this trial was to investigate the postprandial effect of a highly enriched barley beta -glucan product on blood glucose, insulin and lipids when given with a high-CHO food and a high-CHO drink. 18 lean, healthy men completed a 4 treatment intervention trial comprising (i) high-CHO(food control), (ii) high-CHO(food+fibre), (iii) high-CHO(drink control), (iv) high-CHO(drink+fibre) where a 10g dose of barley beta-glucan fibre supplement (Cerogen) containing 6.31g beta-glucan was added to food and drink controls. There was an increase of glucose and insulin following all 4 treatments. Addition of the beta -glucan supplement significantly blunted the glycaemic and insulinaemic responses on the food (p<0.05) but not drink (p>0.05) treatments when compared to controls. The high-CHO breakfasts decreased total, LDL- and HDL-cholesterol from baseline to 60 mins postprandially but there were no differential effects of beta-glucan treatment on circulating lipids. We conclude that a high dose barley beta-glucan supplement can improve glucose control when added to a high-CHO starchy food, probably due to increased gastro-intestinal viscosity, but not when added to a high-CHO beverage where rapid absorption combined with decreased beta-glucan concentration and viscosity may obviate this mechanism.

Asia Pac J Clin Nutr. 2007;16(1):16-24

Changes in serum lipids and postprandial glucose and insulin concentrations after consumption of beverages with beta-glucans from oats or barley: a randomised dose-controlled trial.

OBJECTIVES: To investigate side by side the effects on serum lipoproteins and postprandial glucose and insulin concentrations of beverages enriched with 5 or 10 g of beta-glucans from oats or barley. DESIGN AND SETTING: An 8-week single blind, controlled study with five parallel groups carried out at two centres under identical conditions. SUBJECTS: A total of 100 free-living hypercholesterolaemic subjects were recruited locally and 89 completed the study. INTERVENTIONS: During a 3-week run-in period all subjects consumed a control beverage. For the following 5-week period four groups received a beverage with 5 or 10 g beta-glucans from oats or barley and one group continued with the control beverage. Blood samples in weeks 0, 2, 3, 7 and 8 were analysed for serum lipids, lipoproteins, glucose and insulin. Postprandial concentrations of glucose and insulin were compared between control and the beverage with 5 g of beta-glucans from oats or barley. RESULTS: Compared to control, 5 g of beta-glucans from oats significantly lowered total-cholesterol by 7.4% (P<0.01), and postprandial concentrations of glucose (30 min, P=0.005) and insulin (30 min, P=0.025). The beverage with 10 g of beta-glucans from oats did not affect serum lipids significantly in comparison with control. No statistically significant effects compared to control of the beverages with barley beta-glucans were found. CONCLUSIONS: A daily consumption of 5 g of oat beta-glucans in a beverage improved the lipid and glucose metabolism, while barley beta-glucans did not.

Eur J Clin Nutr. 2005 Nov;59(11):1272-81

Consumption of both resistant starch and beta-glucan improves postprandial plasma glucose and insulin in women.

OBJECTIVE: Consumption of a meal high in resistant starch or soluble fiber (beta-glucan) decreases peak insulin and glucose concentrations and areas under the curve (AUCs). The objective was to determine whether the effects of soluble fiber and resistant starch on glycemic variables are additive. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS: Ten normal-weight (43.5 years of age, BMI 22.0 kg/m2) and 10 overweight women (43.3 years of age, BMI 30.4 kg/m2) consumed 10 tolerance meals in a Latin square design. Meals (1 g carbohydrate/kg body wt) were glucose alone or muffins made with different levels of soluble fiber (0.26, 0.68, or 2.3 g beta-glucan/100 g muffin) and three levels of resistant starch (0.71, 2.57, or 5.06 g/100 g muffin). RESULTS: Overweight subjects had plasma insulin concentrations higher than those of normal-weight subjects but maintained similar plasma glucose levels. Compared with low beta-glucan-low resistant starch muffins, glucose and insulin AUC decreased when beta-glucan (17 and 33%, respectively) or resistant starch (24 and 38%, respectively) content was increased. The greatest AUC reduction occurred after meals containing both high beta-glucan-high resistant starch (33 and 59% lower AUC for glucose and insulin, respectively). Overweight women were somewhat more insulin resistant than control women. CONCLUSIONS: Soluble fiber appears to have a greater effect on postprandial insulin response while glucose reduction is greater after resistant starch from high-amylose cornstarch. The reduction in glycemic response was enhanced by combining resistant starch and soluble fiber. Consumption of foods containing moderate amounts of these fibers may improve glucose metabolism in both normal and overweight women.

Diabetes Care. 2006 May;29(5):976-81

Oat-derived beta-glucan significantly improves HDLC and diminishes LDLC and non-HDL cholesterol in overweight individuals with mild hypercholesterolemia.

OBJECTIVE: To investigate the effect of bread formulated with 6 g of beta-glucan (oat soluble fiber) on serum lipids in overweight normotensive subjects with mild to moderate hypercholesterolemia. DESIGN: Thirty-eight male subjects [mean age 59.8 +/- 0.6 yr, mean body mass index (BMI) 28.3 +/- 0.6 kg/m(2)] who were eligible for the study ate an isocaloric diet for a 1-week period. They were then divided into 2 groups: group A (n = 19), who were maintained on American Heart Association (AHA) Step II diet, including whole wheat bread, and group B (n = 19), who were maintained on AHA Step II diet containing high levels of monounsaturated fatty acids plus bread containing 6 g of beta-glucan (Nutrim-OB) for 8 weeks. Plasma lipids and glucose were measured at baseline and after weeks 8 in all subjects. All subjects were advised to walk for 60 minutes every day. RESULTS: There was a significant increase (upward arrow 27.8%) in plasma high density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol in the beta-glucan group (group A) from 39.4 +/- 2.0 to 49.5 +/- 2.1 mg/dL (P < 0.001), but there was no change in group B. There was a significant reduction in total cholesterol in the 2 groups to approximately the same extent: group A, from 232.8 +/- 2.7 mg/dL to 202.7 +/- 6.7 mg/dL; P < 0.001; and group B, from 231.8 +/- 4.3 mg/dL to 194.2 +/- 4.3 mg dL; P < 0.001. Plasma low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol also decreased significantly in the two groups: group A, from 160.3 +/- 2.8 mg/dL to 133.2 +/- 5.4 mg/dL; P < 0.001; group B, from 167.9 +/- 4.3 mg/dL to 120.9 +/- 4.3 mg/dL; P < 0.001; however, the beta-glucan fortified diet was significantly more effective (downward arrow 27.3% vs. downward arrow 16.8%; P < 0.04). There was a small and insignificant reduction in plasma very LDL (VLDL) cholesterol and triglycerides in the two groups. Similarly, non-HDL cholesterol levels were also decreased, with beta-glucan diet producing significantly higher effect (downward arrow 24.5% vs. downward arrow 16.1%; P < 0.04). The beta-glucan diet also produced higher reduction in total cholesterol/HDL cholesterol ratio (downward arrow 33.3% vs. downward arrow 8.4%; P < 0.003) and LDL cholesterol/HDL cholesterol ratio (downward arrow 42.1% vs. downward arrow 13.3%; P < 0.001) than the diet without beta-glucan. The beta-glucan diet also decreased fasting plasma glucose (P < 0.4), whereas the other diet had no effect. Interestingly, both diets reduced body weight and BMI significantly, with beta-glucan diet having a greater effect. CONCLUSIONS: Six grams of beta-glucan from oats added to the AHA Step II diet and moderate physical activity improved lipid profile and caused a decrease in weight and, thus, reduced the risk of cardiovascular events in overweight male individuals with mild to moderate hypercholesterolemia. The diet with added beta-glucan was well accepted and tolerated.

Am J Ther. 2007 Mar-Apr;14(2):203-12

Diet and lifestyle recommendations revision 2006: a scientific statement from the American Heart Association Nutrition Committee.

Improving diet and lifestyle is a critical component of the American Heart Association’s strategy for cardiovascular disease risk reduction in the general population. This document presents recommendations designed to meet this objective. Specific goals are to consume an overall healthy diet; aim for a healthy body weight; aim for recommended levels of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, and triglycerides; aim for normal blood pressure; aim for a normal blood glucose level; be physically active; and avoid use of and exposure to tobacco products. The recommendations are to balance caloric intake and physical activity to achieve and maintain a healthy body weight; consume a diet rich in vegetables and fruits; choose whole-grain, high-fiber foods; consume fish, especially oily fish, at least twice a week; limit intake of saturated fat to <7% of energy, trans fat to <1% of energy, and cholesterol to <300 mg/day by choosing lean meats and vegetable alternatives, fat-free (skim) or low-fat (1% fat) dairy products and minimize intake of partially hydrogenated fats; minimize intake of beverages and foods with added sugars; choose and prepare foods with little or no salt; if you consume alcohol, do so in moderation; and when you eat food prepared outside of the home, follow these Diet and Lifestyle Recommendations. By adhering to these diet and lifestyle recommendations, Americans can substantially reduce their risk of developing cardiovascular disease, which remains the leading cause of morbidity and mortality in the United States.

Circulation. 2006 Jul 4;114(1):82-96

Dietary fibre and risk of breast cancer in the UK Women’s Cohort Study.

BACKGROUND: Reports of relationships between dietary fibre intake and breast cancer have been inconsistent. Previous cohort studies have been limited by a narrow range of intakes. METHODS: Women who developed invasive breast cancer, 350 post-menopausally and 257 pre-menopausally, during 240 959 person-years of follow-up in the UK Women’s Cohort Study (UKWCS) were studied. This cohort has 35 792 subjects with a wide range of exposure to dietary fibre with intakes of total fibre in the lowest quintile of <20 g/day up to >30 g/day in the top quintile. Fibre and breast cancer relationships were explored using Cox regression modelling adjusted for measurement error. Effects of fibre, adjusting for confounders were examined for pre- and post-menopausal women separately. RESULTS: In pre-menopausal, but not post-menopausal women a statistically significant inverse relationship was found between total fibre intake and risk of breast cancer (P for trend = 0.01). The top quintile of fibre intake was associated with a hazard ratio of 0.48 [95% confidence interval (CI) 0.24-0.96] compared with the lowest quintile. Pre-menopausally, fibre from cereals was inversely associated with risk of breast cancer (P for trend = 0.05) and fibre from fruit had a borderline inverse relationship (P for trend = 0.09). A further model including dietary folate strengthened the significance of the inverse relationship between total fibre and pre-menopausal breast cancer. CONCLUSIONS: These findings suggest that in pre-menopausal women, total fibre is protective against breast cancer; in particular, fibre from cereals and possibly fruit.

Int J Epidemiol. 2007 Jan 24

Effects of moderate exercise and oat beta-glucan on lung tumor metastases and macrophage antitumor cytotoxicity.

Both moderate exercise and the soluble fiber beta-glucan can have beneficial effects on the initiation and growth of tumors, but the data are limited, and there is no information on their combined effects. This study tested the independent and combined effects of short-term moderate-exercise training and the soluble oat fiber beta-glucan (ObetaG) on the metatastic spread of injected tumor cells and macrophage antitumor cytotoxicity. Male C57BL/6 mice were assigned to one of four groups: exercise (Ex)-H2O, Ex-ObetaG, control (Con)-H2O, or Con-ObetaG. ObetaG was fed in the drinking water for 10 days before tumor administration and death. Exercise consisted of treadmill running (1 h/day) for 6 days. After rest or exercise on the last day of training, syngeneic B16 melanoma cells (2 x 10(5)) were administered via intravenous injection (n = 8-11 per group). Lungs were removed 14 days later, and tumor foci were counted. Additional mice (n = 8 per group) were killed, and peritoneal macrophages were assayed for cytotoxicity against the same mouse tumor cell line at various effector-to-target ratios. Both moderate exercise and ObetaG decreased lung tumor foci and increased macrophage cytotoxicity. However, there were no differences in lung tumor foci and macrophage cytotoxicity between Ex-ObetaG and either Ex-H2O or Con-ObetaG. These data suggest that, although not additive in their effects, both short-term moderate-exercise training and consumption of the soluble ObetaG can decrease the metatastic spread of injected B16 melanoma cells, and these effects may be mediated in part by an increase in macrophage cytotoxicity to B16 melanoma.

J Appl Physiol. 2004 Sep;97(3):955-9

Relation between changes in intakes of dietary fiber and grain products and changes in weight and development of obesity among middle-aged women.

BACKGROUND: Although increased consumption of dietary fiber and grain products is widely recommended to maintain healthy body weight, little is known about the relation of whole grains to body weight and long-term weight changes. OBJECTIVE: We examined the associations between the intakes of dietary fiber and whole- or refined-grain products and weight gain over time. DESIGN: In a prospective cohort study, 74,091 US female nurses, aged 38-63 y in 1984 and free of known cardiovascular disease, cancer, and diabetes at baseline, were followed from 1984 to 1996; their dietary habits were assessed in 1984, 1986, 1990, and 1994 with validated food-frequency questionnaires. Using multiple models to adjust for covariates, we calculated average weight, body mass index (BMI; in kg/m(2)), long-term weight changes, and the odds ratio of developing obesity (BMI > or = 30) according to change in dietary intake. RESULTS: Women who consumed more whole grains consistently weighed less than did women who consumed less whole grains (P for trend < 0.0001). Over 12 y, those with the greatest increase in intake of dietary fiber gained an average of 1.52 kg less than did those with the smallest increase in intake of dietary fiber (P for trend < 0.0001) independent of body weight at baseline, age, and changes in covariate status. Women in the highest quintile of dietary fiber intake had a 49% lower risk of major weight gain than did women in the highest quintile (OR = 0.51; 95% CI: 0.39, 0.67; P < 0.0001 for trend). CONCLUSION: Weight gain was inversely associated with the intake of high-fiber, whole-grain foods but positively related to the intake of refined-grain foods, which indicated the importance of distinguishing whole-grain products from refined-grain products to aid in weight control.

Am J Clin Nutr. 2003 Nov;78(5):920-7

Long-term intake of dietary fiber and decreased risk of coronary heart disease among women.

CONTEXT: Epidemiological studies of men suggest that dietary fiber intake protects against coronary heart disease (CHD), but data on this association in women are sparse. OBJECTIVE: To examine the association between long-term intake of total dietary fiber as well as fiber from different sources and risk of CHD in women. DESIGN AND SETTING: The Nurses’ Health Study, a large, prospective cohort study of US women followed up for 10 years from 1984. Dietary data were collected in 1984, 1986, and 1990, using a validated semiquantitative food frequency questionnaire. PARTICIPANTS: A total of 68,782 women aged 37 to 64 years without previously diagnosed angina, myocardial infarction (MI), stroke, cancer, hypercholesterolemia, or diabetes at baseline. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE: Incidence of acute MI or death due to CHD by amount of fiber intake. RESULTS: Response rate averaged 80% to 90% during the 10-year follow-up. We documented 591 major CHD events (429 nonfatal MIs and 162 CHD deaths). The age-adjusted relative risk (RR) for major CHD events was 0.53 (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.40-0.69) for women in the highest quintile of total dietary fiber intake (median, 22.9 g/d) compared with women in the lowest quintile (median, 11.5 g/d). After controlling for age, cardiovascular risk factors, dietary factors, and multivitamin supplement use, the RR was 0.77 (95% CI, 0.57-1.04). For a 10-g/d increase in total fiber intake (the difference between the lowest and highest quintiles), the multivariate RR of total CHD events was 0.81 (95% CI, 0.66-0.99). Among different sources of dietary fiber (eg, cereal, vegetables, fruit), only cereal fiber was strongly associated with a reduced risk of CHD (multivariate RR, 0.63; 95% CI, 0.49-0.81 for each 5-g/d increase in cereal fiber). CONCLUSIONS: Our findings in women support the hypothesis that higher fiber intake, particularly from cereal sources, reduces the risk of CHD.

JAMA. 1999 Jun 2;281(21):1998-2004