Plant sterols, glucomannan snack bars could improve choleste

Snacking on bars containing plant sterols and glucomannan could improve cholesterol levels of both diabetic and non-diabetics, but had no effect on glucose control, reports a Canadian study. Plant sterols are known to reduce levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol by stopping absorption in the gut. The soluble fibre glucomannan has been reported to also be cholesterol lowering and could improve glycaemic control. The new study, published in the April issue of the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition (Vol. 60, pp. 529-537), reports the effects of a granola snack bars formulated with plant sterols and/or glucomannan on cholesterol levels and measures of glycaemic control for 13 diabetic and 16 non-diabetic subjects. ?Supplementation of glucomannan combined with plant sterols reduced plasma total cholesterol concentrations compared to control,? reported corresponding author Peter Jones from McGill University, Canada. The researchers measured a decrease of almost 12 per cent in the total cholesterol level from the start of the trial for the glucomannan supplement, and a fall of over 17 per cent for the combination supplement. No difference between diabetics and non-diabetics was observed. ?The cholesterol lowering by the combination of plant sterols and glucomannan may involved a reduction in both cholesterol absorption and synthesis,? proposed Jones and colleagues. Plant sterols are known to suppress intestinal cholesterol absorption. Glucomannan has been proposed inhibit the after-meal peak in insulin which would result in a decrease in cholesterol biosynthesis. The scientists noted that, contrary to their expectations, there no changes in glycaemic control markers, despite previous reports reporting an association in type-2 diabetics, a disagreement that may be due to the difference in doses. ?Given both the possible intestinal side effects and unpalatable texture produced by glucomannan, dosage of glucomannan may play an important role in the acceptance of subjects,? concluded the researchers.
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Source: NutraIngredients