A new research study published in The European Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that Barley can reduce two types of bad cholesterol that are associated with cardiovascular diseases. Barley aids lowering both low-density lipoprotein, or LDL, and non-high-density lipoprotein, or non-HDL cholesterol by 7%.
The study conducted by St. Michael’s Hospital, Toronto, Canada, has observed 14 studies on clinical trials held in seven countries. They have found that Barley has similar potential in lowering cholesterol levels as observed in Oats.
The researchers claimed that it is the first study to look at the effects of barley and barley products linked to cholesterol, apart from the apolipoprotein B, or apoB, a lipoprotein which transfers bad cholesterol. Assessing the non-HDL and apoB presents a precise estimation for the cardiovascular risk, as they are generalized under the total ‘bad cholesterol’ found in the blood.
Dr. Vladimir Vuksan, a research scientist and associate director of the Risk Factor Modification Centre of St. Michael’s said, “The findings are most important for populations at high risk for cardiovascular disease, such as Type 2 diabetics, who have normal levels of LDL cholesterol, but elevated levels of non-HDL or apo B.”
“Barley can not only reduce the total bad cholesterol among the high-risk people, but the grains can also promote individuals without high cholesterol, and it is comparably as effective as Oats in lowering the risks of cardiovascular diseases,” he further added.
Barley is fiber-rich foods and has twice the protein as Oats, which makes a good breakfast meal. Plus, the food is just half the calories of Oats, thereby promoting in weight loss as well. Dr. Vuksan recommends including Barley into diet, as a substitute for rice or on its own like the Oatmeal.
It is known fact that High cholesterol and Blood Sugar levels are two risk factors for the increased risks of cardiovascular disease and strokes. Dr. Vuksan adds that healthy diet and good lifestyle can reduce these risk factors.
Dr. Vuksan however opined that barley is not as ingrained as several highly recommended foods such as Oats. The researchers added that barley consumption by humans has fallen by 35 per cent in the previous decade.