There is more than 30 years of independent research on oat B-glucans, the main ingredient found in our Beta Glucan blend, involving hundreds of studies with thousands of human participates. Although we don’t feature every study, we do list their external references. That way you can do a deeper investigation if you choose.
Below, is a brief summary of several clinical studies for your review:
- Research Shows Beta Glucan Enhances a Weak Immune System
- Research on the Components of Beta Glucan Show a Drop in Total Cholesterol After Only 4 Weeks
- Concentrated Oat Beta Glucans Lower Serum Cholesterol in Adults
- Soluble Oat Extracts Improve Glucose Response in Men and Women
- Oat Bran Cereal Lowers Total and LDL Cholesterol in Men
- Oat Bran Concentrations Lower Men’s LDL Cholesterol
Research Shows Beta Glucan Enhances a Weak Immune System
Though most research to-date has been on beta glucan’s ability to reduce cholesterol (see below), there is promising evidence supporting the claim that beta glucan can regulate or boost a healthy immune system. For instance, researchers at Teikyo University’s Biotechnology Research Center in Kawasaki, Japan have found that beta glucan can reduce tumor activity and lessen the side effects of cancer treatment. The same research isolated lentinan, a form of beta glucan, as the cause for this anti-tumor, suppression activity. “Results of the clinical application of lentinan have proven prolongation of life span of patients with advanced and recurrent stomach, colorectal, and breast cancer…” wrote the study’s authors. “It also appears that lentinan restores or boosts the responsiveness of cytokines, which interact with immune cells and regulate the response to the disease”.
(Dev Biol Stand. 2012 ;77:191-7).
In addition to beta glucan’s assistance in the fight against cancer, studies show that beta glucan also helps the body do battle with bacteria resistant to antibiotic treatment and viruses that cause upper respiratory infections (Immunopathol. 2009 Mar 15; 128 (1-3): 60-6). Beta glucan also appear to mitigate the symptoms of the common cold—or at least reduce the number of days people call in sick to work. The Montana Center for Work Physiology and Exercise Metabolism examined beta glucan’s ability to mitigate upper respiratory infections in a single blind, randomized trial in 2008. Participants who consumed beta glucans had fewer (23%) upper respiratory tract infections, compared to the group taking a placebo. “The results are consistent with previous clinical research involving marathoners, individuals with high stress lifestyles and the general population,” wrote the study’s author.
(J Am Col Nutr. 2008 Feb (1): 46).
Research on the Components of Beta Glucan Show a Drop in Total Cholesterol After Only 4 Weeks
Summary: This study was designed to determine the effects of combining oat beta-glucans and plant stanol esters (naturally occurring healthy chemical compounds in small quantities in fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, cereals, legumes, and vegetable oils) on serum total-cholesterol. The effects of simultaneous intake of beta-glucan and plant stanol esters were examined in hypercholesterolemic volunteers.
Publication: Journal of Nutrition, Authors: E. Theuwissne, R.P. Mensink
Methods: 40 mildly cholesterolemic men and women received muesli, or Swiss rolled-oat breakfast cereal, in random order twice daily. Over a 4 week period 5 grams of muesli was administered as the control test (a variable in the test not tampered with to use as a baseline to determine whether there is a meaningful difference in the other tests). 5 grams of oat beta-glucans or 5 grams of oat beta-glucans plus 1.5 grams of plant stanols were rotated in the diet. All mixtures were served in the muesli.
Results: Beta-glucans decreased LDL cholesterol (low density lipoproteins, or “bad cholesterol”) by 5% compared with the control test diet. Eating the oat beta-glucans in the muesli reduced LDL cholesterol further, to 9.6%. HDL cholesterol (high density lipoproteins, or “good cholesterol”) were unchanged. Since HDL cholesterol is healthy for the body, it is ideal to remain unchanged or increase it if it is too low. Beta-glucans effectively lowered LDL cholesterol. The addition of plant stanol esters to muesli with beta-glucans added lowerd LDL even further.
Concentrated Oat Beta-Glucans Lower Serum Cholesterol in Adults
Summary: This study investigated the physiological effects of concentrated beta-glucans on cardiovascular disease in human subjects. Beta-glucans were compared with inulin (a form of soluble fiber) and guar gum (water-soluble fiber from guar bean). Intestinal fermentability was measured in a model to test whether beta-glucans produced a higher butyrate, or waste product of fiber to aide in healthy colon production.
Publication: Nutrition Journal, March 2000 Authors: Katie M. Queenan, Maria L. Stewart, Kristen N. Smith, William Thomas, R. Gary Fulcher, and Joanne L. Slavin
Methods: 75 hypercholesterolemic men and women were assigned two treatments. The treatments were assigned randomly. The participants received either 6 grams of concentrated oats per day, or 6 grams of dextrose. The dextrose recipients were a control group (i.e. not given an actual treatment to measure a meaningful difference). During the treatment blood samples were taken at the 3rd and 6th weeks. At each blood test total cholesterol, HDL (high density lipoproteins), LDL (low density lipoproteins), triglycerides, glucose, insulin were measured.
Results: Six grams of concentrated oat beta-glucans per day reduced total and LDL cholesterol over 6 weeks. Oat beta-glucans created a significant reduction in total cholesterol. 11ml/dl was the total cholesterol reduction. In addition, LDL cholesterol was reduced by 11ml/LD. The LDL cholesterol reduction was significantly greater than the untreated group (control).
Soluble Oat Extracts Improve Glucose Response in Men and Women
Summary: The purpose of this study was to determine whether moderate amounts of oat beta-glucan could be incorporated into typical diets while helping patients effect risk factors associated with heart disease and diabetes. Researchers measured the impact of oat beta-glucans on blood glucose and insulin responses. Both men and women test subjects were used. Ages 38-61 qualified for the study. The participants had normal diets with moderately high cholesterol. One focus of the study was to determine whether practical levels of oat beta-glucans could be introduced and still realize any health effect. This was important since it would be pointless to prove impractical amounts of oat beta-glucan made a difference. Put another way, can people really benefit from oats using an amount realistic for them to eat?
Reference: Georgetown University Medical School/U.S. Department of Agriculture Human Studies Committee Publication:American Journal of Clinical Nutrition Authors: Judith Hallfrisch, Daniel J Scholfield, and Kay M. Behall
Methods: Seven men and sixteen women were used for the research. Participants graduated their diet from typical in week 1, to a cross-over design (week 5) which included an oat extract, containing 10% beta-glucan. Oat extracts were used in baked goods, canned fruits, juices, yogurt, puddings, meatloaf, and soups. Beta-glucan concentrated was used in the food to replace fats and carbohydrates. One group was fed a diet containing a 1% beta-glucan concentrate. While others took the 10% beta-glucan concentrate.
Results: Both the male and female participants experienced lower glucose response after taking the oat beta-glucan extract. Participants who took the 10% beta-glucan concentrate experienced the greatest difference. The study results illustrated how even modest amounts of oat extracts can be beneficial to glucose tolerance.
Oat Bran Cereal Lowers Total and LDL Cholesterol in Men
Summary: This clinical trial set out to determine whether oat bran, in a ready-to-eat form, could lower lipid concentrations in both healthy and hyperlipidemic participants. The primary subjects of this study were men. The subjects of the study were fed either oat bran cereals or corn flakes as a control test.
Reference Publication: American Journal of Clinical Nutrition Authors: J.W. Anderson, D.B. Spencer, C.C. Hamilton, S.F. Smith, J. Tietyen, C.A. Bryant
Methods: 12 men were chosen for the study. Each participant had undesirably high serum total-cholesterol levels. Each subject was randomly assigned to one of the two diet tracks. The participants completed 2 weeks on each diet. The oat bran provided was the equivalent to 25 grams (a baseline intake for adult diets, according to the USDA food pyramid).
Results: The oat bran cereal diet was shown to lower serum total-cholesterol as well LDL-cholesterol levels. Total cholesterol was reduced by 5.4% while taking 25g of fiber daily. LDL cholesterol was lowered in the men taking the oat bran diet by 8.5%. The study shows even ready-to-eat oat bran can provide a realistic way to incorporate soluble fiber in your diet. Oat bran can lower cholesterol in a short time, and maintain healthy levels long term.
Oat Bran Concentrations Lower Men’s LDL Cholesterol
Summary: Research was conducted to evaluate the effectiveness of plant fiber on selections of the men’s metabolism. Two diets were administered to male subjects. The primary difference between the two diets was whether the subjects received 100 grams of oat bran.
Reference Publication: American Journal of Clinical Nutrition Authors: R.W. Kirby, J.W. Anderson, B. Sieling, E.D. Reed, W.J. Chen, R.E. Miller, R.M. Kay
Methods: Randomized administration of a special diet were given to male participants. The carbohydrate, protein, fat, and cholesterol makeup of each diet were nearly identical.
Results: The oat bran diets produced an average reduction of 13% in total cholesterol. Low density lipoproteins (LDL, or “bad cholesterol”) was reduced by 14% on the oat bran diet. High density lipoproteins (HDL, or “good cholesterol”) remained the same on the oat bran diet. The oat bran diets also helped remove some of the bile acids which produce cholesterol. In fact, the oat bran diet helped remove 50% more bile acids from the male participants. Removing the cholesterol-producing bile acids can help keep cholesterol lower long-term. The study concluded that oat bran, high-fiber foods may be an effective treatment for patients with hypercholesterolemia.
(Please note: Beta Glucan should be used in conjunction with a low fat diet. Results can vary. For best results take at least 2 scoops daily.)