Cholesterol-lowering effects of barley dietary fibre in humans: scientific support for a generic health claim
AbstractNew research has shown that foods containing whole-grain barley or certain dry-milled ingredients from barley have cholesterol-lowering effects similar to those seen for certain oat foods. The US Food and Drug Administration therefore allows whole-grain barley and certain dry-milled barley fractions to claim a reduction in the risk of coronary heart disease. A new Swedish study has been performed with a specific boiled, flaked and milled barley product, Aktivated Barley®, mixed into cold drinks. This study showed a reduction in low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol levels in mildly hypercholesterolaemic subjects. There is therefore enough evidence for an extension of the generic health claim in the Swedish Code on health claims about certain types of dietary fibre, with regard to blood cholesterol levels and cardiovascular disease, to include barley fibres. The extension should also include foods with both oat and barley fibres, since there is no reason to believe that the mechanism(s) behind the cholesterol-lowering effect differ between the two cereal fibres. Keywords: Barley; cholesterol; dietary fibre; ?-glucan; health claim
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