Fiber has been suggested by previous studies to be of value in reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease by lowering cholesterol and improving glucose tolerance. Barley is a food rich in beta glucans, a type of soluble fiber. Nancy Ames, from the Cereal Research Centre at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, and colleagues completed a meta-analysis of eleven studies, finding that barley and beta-glucan isolated from barley significantly lowered both total and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol concentrations. Observing that beta-glucan has unique characteristics relating to solubility and molecular weight, which may help it to confer its cholesterol-lowering properties, the team concludes that: “Increased consumption of barely products should be considered as a dietary approach to reduce LDL cholesterol concentrations.”
S S AbuMweis, S Jew, N P Ames. “Beta-glucan from barley and its lipid-lowering capacity: a meta-analysis of randomized, controlled trials.” European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 6 October 2010; doi:10.1038/ejcn.2010.178.
Olive oil and its phenolic compounds, oleuropein and cafeic acid, exerts beneficial effects on fat oxidation and cardiac energy metabolism.
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