Beta-glucan- or rice bran-enriched foods: a comparative crossover clinical trial on lipidic pattern in mildly hypercholesterolemic men

Eur J Clin Nutr. 2011 Jul;65(7):864-71. doi: 10.1038/ejcn.2011.48. Epub 2011 Apr 20.


Background/objectives: There has been growing interest in using dietary intervention to improve the lipid profile. This work aims at analyzing the effects and the comparison of the enrichment of a diet with beta-glucans or rice bran in mildly hypercholesterolemic men.

Subjects/methods: The subjects initially consumed a 3-week Step 1 American Heart Association diet with rice bran-enriched foods. After this adaptation period, volunteers were randomly assigned to follow a crossover, controlled trial that consisted of two treatment with beta-glucan- or rice bran-enriched foods, each of 4 weeks, with a 3-week wash-out, like the adaptation period, between periods. Fasted blood samples were collected on days 0, 21, 49, 70 and 98 in both study arms for measuring low-density lipoprotein (LDL)-cholesterol (primary outcome), total cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein (HDL)-cholesterol, triglycerides, apolipoprotein (apo) A-I, apo B and glucose levels.

Results: Twenty-four men (mean age: 50.3±5.3, mean body mass index: 24.9±1.9) completed the 14-week trial. Subjects in the 3-week adaptation period experienced significant reductions in the mean level of LDL cholesterol, total cholesterol, total cholesterol/HDL cholesterol, LDL cholesterol/HDL cholesterol, apo A-I, apo A-I/apo B and glucose. During the intervention diet periods, a difference was found between treatment groups for the mean change in LDL (0.21 (95% confidence interval (CI): 0.02-0.40), P=0.033) and total cholesterol (0.34 (95% CI: 0.20-0.47), P<0.001). Other parameters evaluated were not significantly affected by the diet consumed.

Conclusions: The results of the present crossover clinical trial showed that beta-glucan-enriched foods are more effective in lowering serum LDL levels, compared with rice bran-enriched foods.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Body Mass Index
  • Cholesterol, LDL / blood
  • Cross-Over Studies
  • Diet, Fat-Restricted / adverse effects
  • Diet, Fat-Restricted / methods
  • Dietary Fiber / adverse effects
  • Dietary Fiber / therapeutic use*
  • Food Preferences
  • Food, Fortified*
  • Humans
  • Hypercholesterolemia / blood
  • Hypercholesterolemia / diet therapy*
  • Hypercholesterolemia / psychology
  • Lipids / blood*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Oryza / chemistry*
  • Seeds / chemistry
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Solubility
  • Young Adult
  • beta-Glucans / adverse effects
  • beta-Glucans / chemistry
  • beta-Glucans / therapeutic use*


  • Cholesterol, LDL
  • Dietary Fiber
  • Lipids
  • beta-Glucans