Background: Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death in China and worldwide. Whole grain oats can reduce risk of CVD by reducing total and LDL-cholesterol, major risk factors for CVD. While this association has been established in many populations, data from Asian populations is limited. Thus, this study investigated the impact of oat consumption on cholesterol levels in Chinese adults. Male and female data from this work were previously published separately in mandarin in two Chinese journals. The combined male and female data were reanalyzed and are presented here.
Methods: A randomized, controlled, parallel-arm study was conducted at Beijing Hospital, Beijing china. Subjects were adults (men and women) with mild to moderate hypercholesterolemia. The oat group (n=85) consumed 100 grams of instant oat cereal versus the control group (n=81) who consumed 100 grams of wheat flour-based noodles daily for 6 weeks. Laboratory and anthropometric measurements were conducted at baseline and at the end of the 6-week intervention.
Results: Dietary fiber intake increased significantly in the oat group compared to the control group at the end of the 6-week intervention. Total-, LDL-cholesterol and waist circumference decreased significantly in the oat group compared to the control. HDL-cholesterol decreased significantly in the control group versus the oat group. There were no significant changes in blood pressure, other anthropometric or laboratory measures between the two groups at the end of the intervention.
Conclusions: Instant oatmeal consumed daily for 6 weeks significantly increased fiber intake and decreased major risk factors for CVD in Chinese adults with hypercholesterolemia. Increased consumption of whole grains, including oats, should continue to be encouraged.