Hypercholestrolemia leading to cardiovascular diseases are very common problem in Pakistan and in most cases it is caused due to insufficient intake of dietary fiber.A study was conducted to evaluate the role of dietary fiber and ß-glucan from major food grains used locally on plasma cholesterol level of dietary-induced hypercholesterolemic rats. Insoluble dietary fiber (lignin and cellulose) was extracted from wheat and maize, while ß glucan was extracted from barley and sorghum. Male rats (n = 32), weighing 200-220 g were induced with hypercholesterolemia and were equally divided into 5 groups to study the effect of purified diet-AIN-93 G, wheat bran feed (WBF) , maize bran feed (MBF), sorghum ß glucan feed (SGF) and barley ß glucan feed (BGF) on plasma total cholesterol (TPC), very low density lipoprotein (VLDL), low density lipoprotein (LDL), high density lipoprotein (HDL) and triglyceride level. Group I comprised control group of induced hypercholesterolemic rats fed on purified diet AIN-93 G. Group II comprised induced hypercholesterolemic rats fed on WBF. Group III comprised induced hypercholesterolemic rats fed on MBF, Group IV comprised hypercholesterolemic rats reared on SGF and Group V comprised hypercholesterolemic rats fed on BGF. Both BGF and SGF significantly lowered the TPC in experimental animals compared with purified diet AIN-93, WBF and MBF. The VLDL, LDL and triglycerides levels were also decreased accordingly while a higher ratio of HDL was recorded in rats fed on BGF and SGF compared to the other feeds. The results suggest that BGF and SGF containing the soluble ß-glucan extract can reduce TPC, VLDL, LDL, and triglycerides and higher HDL.
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