Carob pulp preparation rich in insoluble fibre lowers total and LDL cholesterol in hypercholesterolemic patients

Summary.

Background:

Recently, insoluble fibre from carob pulp has been found to affect blood lipids in animals in a similar manner as soluble dietary fibre.

Aim of the study:

To investigate whether a carob pulp preparation containing high amounts of insoluble fibre has a beneficial effect on serum cholesterol in humans.

Methods:

Volunteers (n = 58) with hypercholesterolemia were recruited to participate in a randomised, double- blind, placebo-controlled and parallel arm clinical study with a 6 week intervention phase. All participants consumed daily both, bread (two servings) and a fruitbar (one serving) either with (n = 29) or without (n = 29) a total amount of 15 g/d of a carob pulp preparation (carob fibre). Serum concentrations of total, LDL and HDL cholesterol and triglycerides were assessed at baseline and after week 4 and 6.

Results:

The consumption of carob fibre reduced LDL cholesterol by 10.5 ± 2.2% (p = 0.010). The LDL:HDL cholesterol ratio was marginally decreased by 7.9 ± 2.2 % in the carob fibre group compared to the placebo group (p = 0.058). Carob fibre consumption also lowered triglycerides in females by 11.3 ± 4.5% (p = 0.030). Lipid lowering effects were more pronounced in females than in males.

Conclusion:

Daily consumption of food products enriched with carob fibre shows beneficial effects on human blood lipid profile and may be effective in prevention and treatment of hypercholesterolemia.

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Correspondence to H. J. F. Zunft.

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Zunft, H.J.F., Lüder, W., Harde, A. et al. Carob pulp preparation rich in insoluble fibre lowers total and LDL cholesterol in hypercholesterolemic patients. Eur J Nutr 42, 235–242 (2003). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00394-003-0438-y

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Key words

  • hypercholesterolemia
  • total cholesterol
  • LDL
  • HDL
  • dietary fibre
  • insoluble fibre
  • carob
  • functional food