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Lowering Cholesterol with Highly Viscous Dietary Fibre

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Lowering Cholesterol with Highly Viscous Dietary Fibre

Scientific evidence demonstrates that elevated cholesterol levels greatly increase the risk of death due to heart disease.

Scientific evidence demonstrates that elevated cholesterol levels greatly increase the risk of death due to heart disease.

One of the most important dietary strategies to lower cholesterol levels is to increase dietary fibre, especially the soluble dietary fibre found in legumes, fruit, and vegetables. Clinical studies have also clearly demonstrated that supplementing the diet with soluble fibre sources is very effective in lowering cholesterol levels. The benefits of soluble fibre in lowering cholesterol are related to its viscosity or gel-forming nature: the greater the water-binding ability of a particular dietary fibre, the more effective it will be on lowering cholesterol levels. A new highly viscous, soluble fibre blend developed in conjunction with the University of Toronto is showing greater effect than previously used fibre sources, leading to more reasonable dosage recommendations.

This fibre blend enhances the viscosity and gel-forming properties of glucomannan (from konjac root) by combining it in the right ratio with two other soluble fibres–alginate and xanthum gum. Taking this blend with or before each meal has been shown to increase the health benefits usually seen with soluble fibre.

Soluble fibre works to lower cholesterol levels by binding bile acids in the gastrointestinal tract. Since cholesterol is utilized within the liver to manufacture bile acids, cholesterol levels are reduced as the liver tries to make up for the shortage of the bile acids that are being excreted instead of being reabsorbed.

Impact of Various Fibre Supplements on Cholesterol Levels

Fibre Dosage (g) Total cholesterol reduction
Highly viscous blend 3 15-20%
Oat bran 50-100 10-15%
Guar gum 9-15 10%
Pectin 6-10 5%
Psyllium 10-20 10-15%
Vegetable fibre 25-30 10%
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