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1.  β-Glucan extracts inhibit the in vitro intestinal uptake of long-chain fatty acids and cholesterol and down-regulate genes involved in lipogenesis and lipid transport in rats☆ 
The Journal of nutritional biochemistry  2009;21(8):10.1016/j.jnutbio.2009.04.003.
Dietary fiber reduces the intestinal absorption of nutrients and the blood concentrations of cholesterol and triglycerides.
We wished to test the hypothesis that high-viscosity (HV) and low-viscosity preparations of barley and oat β-glucan modify the expression of selected genes of lipid-binding proteins in the intestinal mucosa and reduce the intestinal in vitro uptake of lipids.
Five different β-glucan extracts were separately added to test solutions at concentrations of 0.1–0.5% (wt/wt), and the in vitro intestinal uptake of lipids into the intestine of rats was assessed. An intestinal cell line was used to determine the effect of β-glucan extracts on the expression of intestinal genes involved in lipid metabolism and fatty acid transport.
All extracts reduced the uptake of 18:2 when the effective resistance of the unstirred water layer was high. When the unstirred layer resistance was low, the HV oat β-glucan extract reduced jejunal 18:2 uptake, while most extracts reduced ileal 18:2 uptake. Ileal 18:0 uptake was reduced by the HV barley extract, while both jejunal and ileal cholesterol uptakes were reduced by the medium-purity HV barley extract. The inhibitory effect of HV barley β-glucan on 18:0 and 18:2 uptake was more pronounced at higher fatty acid concentrations. The expression of genes involved in fatty acid synthesis and cholesterol metabolism was down-regulated with the HV β-glucan extracts. β-Glucan extracts also reduced intestinal fatty-acid-binding protein and fatty acid transport protein 4 mRNA.
The reduced intestinal fatty acid uptake observed with β-glucan is associated with inhibition of genes regulating intestinal uptake and synthesis of lipids. The inhibitory effect of β-glucan on intestinal lipid uptake raises the possibility of their selective use to reduce their intestinal absorption.
PMCID: PMC3833848  PMID: 19716281 CAMSID: cams3668
β-Glucan; Cholesterol; Fatty acids; Intestinal lipid uptake; Sterol regulatory element-binding protein; Fatty acid synthesis
2.  Supplementation of the Diet with High-Viscosity Beta-Glucan Results in Enrichment for Lactobacilli in the Rat Cecum 
BBn (BioBreeding) rats were fed casein-based diets supplemented with barley flour, oatmeal flour, cellulose, or barley β-glucans of high [HV] or low viscosity [LV] in order to measure the prebiotic effects of these different sources of dietary fiber. The dietary impact on the composition of the cecal microbiota was determined by the generation of denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) profiles of PCR-amplified 16S rRNA gene sequences. The DGGE profiles produced from the cecal microbiota of rats within each dietary group were similar, but consensus profiles generated from pooled bacterial DNAs showed differences between rat groups. Animals fed HV glucans (HV-fed rats) had DGGE consensus profiles that were 30% dissimilar from those of the other rat groups. A 16S rRNA gene fragment that was more conspicuous in the profiles of HV-fed animals than in those of cellulose-fed rats had sequence identity with Lactobacillus acidophilus. Measurements of L. acidophilus rRNA abundance (DNA-RNA hybridization), the preparation of cloned 16S rRNA gene libraries, and the enumeration of Lactobacillus cells (fluorescent in situ hybridization) showed that lactobacilli formed a greater proportion of the cecal microbiota in HV-fed rats. In vitro experiments confirmed that some lactobacilli utilize oligosaccharides (degree of polymerization, 3 or 4) present in β-glucan hydrolysates. The results of this study have relevance to the use of purified β-glucan products as dietary supplements for human consumption.
PMCID: PMC1393239  PMID: 16517639

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