Bile acid-binding agents are known to lower blood cholesterol levels and have been clinically used for the treatment of hypercholesterolemia. We previously showed that tannin-rich fiber from young persimmon (Diospyros kaki) fruits had bile acid-binding properties. In this study, we performed a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial to investigate the hypocholesterolemic effects of tannin-rich fiber in humans. The subjects (n = 40, plasma total cholesterol levels 180-259 mg/dl) were divided into 3 groups and ingested cookie bars containing 0 g (placebo group, n = 14), 3 g (low-dose group, n = 13), or 5 g (high-dose group, n = 13) of tannin-rich fiber 3 times daily before meals for 12 weeks. Plasma total cholesterol levels decreased significantly in the low-dose (12 weeks, p < 0.005) and high-dose (6 weeks, p < 0.05; 12 weeks, p < 0.001) groups. In addition, plasma low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels decreased significantly in the high-dose group (6 weeks, p < 0.05; 12 weeks, p < 0.001). These improvements were not accompanied by changes in plasma high-density lipoprotein cholesterol or plasma triglyceride levels. Our findings indicate that tannin-rich fiber from young persimmon fruits is a useful food material for treating hypercholesterolemia.
Copyright © 2012 S. Karger AG, Basel.