Food products containing free tall oil-based phytosterols and oat beta-glucan lower serum total and LDL cholesterol in hypercholesterolemic adults

J Nutr. 2003 Mar;133(3):808-13. doi: 10.1093/jn/133.3.808.


This randomized, double-blind, controlled trial evaluated the influence of low fat, low saturated fat food products that contained free tall oil-based phytosterols (TOP) and oat beta-glucan (from whole oats and bran concentrate) on serum lipid concentrations in adults with mild-to-moderate hypercholesterolemia. After a 5-wk National Cholesterol Education Program Step I diet lead-in period, 112 subjects incorporated one of two treatments into their diets for 6 wk: food products (cereal, snack bar and beverage) that provided 1.8 g TOP and 2.8 g beta-glucan/d and contained < or =3.0 g total fat and < or =1.0 g saturated fat (TOP/beta-glucan treatment) or similar control foods. The serum LDL cholesterol response from baseline to the end of study was significantly larger in the TOP/beta-glucan treated group than in the control group, in which there was no change (-3.7 vs. 0.4%; P = 0.013). Likewise, total cholesterol decreased in the TOP/beta-glucan treatment group and did not change significantly in the controls (-2.3 vs. 0.8%; P = 0.043). Serum HDL cholesterol and triglyceride responses did not differ between the groups. The results of this trial suggest that consumption of a group of low fat, TOP and beta-glucan- containing foods is a useful adjunct in the dietary management of hypercholesterolemia.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Avena / chemistry
  • Cholesterol / blood*
  • Cholesterol, Dietary / administration & dosage
  • Cholesterol, HDL / blood
  • Cholesterol, LDL / blood*
  • Diet Records
  • Diet*
  • Dietary Fats / administration & dosage
  • Dietary Fiber / administration & dosage
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Glucans / administration & dosage*
  • Glucans / adverse effects
  • Humans
  • Hypercholesterolemia / blood
  • Hypercholesterolemia / diet therapy*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Phytosterols / administration & dosage*
  • Phytosterols / adverse effects
  • Triglycerides / blood


  • Cholesterol, Dietary
  • Cholesterol, HDL
  • Cholesterol, LDL
  • Dietary Fats
  • Dietary Fiber
  • Glucans
  • Phytosterols
  • Triglycerides
  • Cholesterol