Cereal beta-glucans are found in oat, wheat, rye, and barley.
Links to Plants Containing Beta-glucans
The listings of research below represents a compilation of scientific articles found on the topic, with a very brief overview description of each article/study. This compilation of research articles does not necessarily imply that there are adequate results to demonstrate safe and/or effective human use of any herb listed.
Beta-glucan from oats significantly reduced the total and LDL cholesterol levels of 19 hypercholesterolemic subjects. From: Braaten, J. T., Wood, P. J., Scott, F. W., Wolynetz, M. S., Lowe, M. K., Bradley-White, P., & Collins, M. W. (1994). Oat beta-glucan reduces blood cholesterol concentration in hypercholesterolemic subjects. European journal of clinical nutrition, 48(7), 465-474
Seventy-five hypercholesterolemic patients who took oat beta glucan reduced LDL cholesterol compared to the control. From: Queenan, K. M., Stewart, M. L., Smith, K. N., Thomas, W., Fulcher, R. G., & Slavin, J. L. (2007). Concentrated oat β-glucan, a fermentable fiber, lowers serum cholesterol in hypercholesterolemic adults in a randomized controlled trial. Nutrition Journal, 6(1), 6.
A randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled intervention study was conducted in 44 hypercholesterolemic Japanese men showed ingestion of beta glucan barley reduced LDL cholesterol, visceral fat, and waist circumference. From: Shimizu, C., Kihara, M., Aoe, S., Araki, S., Ito, K., Hayashi, K., … & Ikegami, S. (2008). Effect of high β-glucan barley on serum cholesterol concentrations and visceral fat area in Japanese men—a randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled trial. Plant foods for human nutrition, 63(1), 21-25.
Oat fiber extracts containing either low or high beta-glucan content were given to 23 mildly hypercholesterolemic subjects and total cholesterol levels from the higher beta-glucan extract diet were significantly lower. From: Behall, K. M., Scholfield, D. J., & Hallfrisch, J. (1997). Effect of beta-glucan level in oat fiber extracts on blood lipids in men and women. Journal of the American College of Nutrition, 16(1), 46-51.
A review of research showed that four major water-soluble fibers: β-glucan, psyllium, pectin and guar gum, effectively lowered serum LDL cholesterol levels, without affecting HDL cholesterol or triacylglycerol concentrations. From: Theuwissen, E., & Mensink, R. P. (2008). Water-soluble dietary fibers and cardiovascular disease. Physiology & behavior, 94(2), 285-292.
LOWERING BLOOD SUGAR
Sixteen volunteers with type 2 diabetes were given food high in beta glucans, which predictably reduces their glycemic index. From: Jenkins, A. L., Jenkins, D. J. A., Zdravkovic, U., Wursch, P., & Vuksan, V. (2002). Depression of the glycemic index by high levels of beta-glucan fiber in two functional foods tested in type 2 diabetes. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 56(7), 622.