• You're all caught up!

Foods Rich in Beta Glucan

author image Jennifer Byrne
Jennifer Byrne is a freelance writer and editor specializing in topics related to health care, fitness, science and more. She attended Rutgers University. Her writing has been published by KidsHealth.org, DietBlogTalk.com, Primary Care Optometry News, and EyeWorld Magazine. She was awarded the Gold Award from the American Society of Healthcare Publication Editors (ASHPE), 2007, and the Apex Award for Publication Excellence.
Foods Rich in Beta Glucan
bowl of raw mushrooms Photo Credit Nikolay Trubnikov/iStock/Getty Images


Beta Glucan is a type of soluble fiber that is believed to play a role in lowering cholesterol. According to an article in the July 2012 "Comprehensive Reviews in Food Science and Food Safety," this fiber has a mechanism of attaching itself to bile acids, and excreting these acids from the body as feces. When these bile acids, which are generated by the liver using the body's stores of cholesterol, are expelled from the body, the liver is required to use up more cholesterol in order to make new bile acids. In this way, the body's cholesterol levels can be decreased.


Foods Rich in Beta Glucan
bowl of raw oats Photo Credit minadezhda/iStock/Getty Images

Oats are among the richest sources of beta glucan. According to Medicinal Food News, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration allowed health claims to be made on foods that contain oat bran, rolled oats or oat flour. This is due to the high concentration of soluble fiber from beta glucan contained in oats. According to a review in the June 2011 "Nutrition Reviews," people who eat 3 grams of soluble oat fiber per day may lower their total cholesterol by 5 to 10 percent. Oats are not considered a replacement for medical treatment of high cholesterol.


Foods Rich in Beta Glucan
barley ears Photo Credit ffolas/iStock/Getty Images

The dietary fiber in barley is also known to be abundant in beta glucan, but barley fiber boasts the additional benefit of containing propionic acid, which may suppress the HMG-CoA reductase enzyme. This enzyme is responsible for generating cholesterol in the liver. A study published in 2001 in the "American Journal of Clinical Nutrition" concluded that barley dietary fiber significantly reduced both plasma total cholesterol and low-density-lipoprotein cholesterol.


Foods Rich in Beta Glucan
raw mushrooms Photo Credit efired/iStock/Getty Images

Mushrooms are another rich dietary source of beta glucan, reports HealthCheckSystems.com. Also known to contain phytonutrients and polysaccharides, mushrooms are thought to have anti-cancer properties, according to a review in the November 2010 issue of "Experimental Biology and Medicine." The beta glucan in mushrooms is also thought to bolster the immune system, reports HealthCheckSystems.com.

LiveStrong Calorie Tracker
THE LIVESTRONG.COM MyPlate Nutrition, Workouts & Tips
  • Gain 2 pounds per week
  • Gain 1.5 pounds per week
  • Gain 1 pound per week
  • Gain 0.5 pound per week
  • Maintain my current weight
  • Lose 0.5 pound per week
  • Lose 1 pound per week
  • Lose 1.5 pounds per week
  • Lose 2 pounds per week
  • Female
  • Male
ft. in.



Demand Media