In order to study the cholesterol-lowering properties of oat bran-based ready-to-eat cereal (RTE), rats (12/ group) were fed the following diets: basal semipurified (B), B plus 1% cholesterol (BC), BC plus 10% cellulose (fiber control), BC + 67% of an extruded RTE cereal; BC + 67% of a conventionally cooked RTE cereal; and BC + 67% of the raw ingredients of the latter. All the RTE cereal products were oat bran-based, and 1% cholesterol was included in the dietary formulations. At the end of a 3-week feeding period, serum total cholesterol was significantly increased from 2.02 ± 0.13 mmol/L to 3.57 ± 0.18 mmol/L due to cholesterol feeding alone. The presence of either cellulose or oat bran products in the diet negated the hypercholesterolemia. Inclusion of 1% cholesterol in the diet raised liver cholesterol almost 10 fold. All three of the oat bran-based products significantly inhibited the increase but cellulose was ineffective. Liver cholesterol content was due primarily to the accumulation of cholesteryl esters. Liver triglyceride was also increased by dietary cholesterol and the presence of cellulose or oat bran in the diet appeared to enhance this effect. The method of processing the RTE appears to affect the efficacy of oat bran. © 1995.
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