Long-term blood cholesterol-lowering effects of a dietary fiber supplement

Robert H. Knopp, H. Robert Superko, Michael Davidson, William Insull, Carlos A. Dujovne, Peter O. Kwiterovich, James H. Zavoral, Kevin Graham, Robert R. O'Connor, David A. Edelman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

61 Scopus citations


Background: The study evaluated the blood cholesterol-lowering effects of a dietary supplement of water-soluble fibers (guar gum, pectin) and mostly non-water-soluble fibers (soy fiber, pea fiber, corn bran) in subjects with mild to moderate hypercholesterolemia (LDL cholesterol, 3.37-4.92 mmol/L). Methods: After stabilization for 9 weeks on a National Cholesterol Education Program Step 1 Diet, subjects were randomly assigned to receive 20 g/d of the fiber supplement (n = 87) or matching placebo (n = 82) for 15 weeks and then receive the fiber supplement for 36 weeks. The efficacy analyses included the 125 subjects (58 fiber; 67 placebo) who were treatment and diet compliant. One hundred two (52 fiber; 50 placebo) completed the 15-week comparative phase. Of these subjects 85 (45 fiber; 40 placebo) elected to continue in the 36-week noncomparative extension phase. Results: The mean decreases during the 15-week period for LDL cholesterol (LDL-C), total cholesterol (TC), and LDL-C/HDL-C ratio were greater (P <0.001) in the fiber group. The mean changes from pre-treatment values in LDL-C, TC, and LDL-C/HDL-C ratio for subjects in the fiber group were -0.51 mmol/L (-12.1%), -0.53 mmol/L (-8.5%), and -0.30 (-9.4%), respectively. The corresponding changes in the placebo group were -0.05 mmol/L (-1.3%), -0.05 mmol/L (-0.8%), and 0.05 (1.5%), respectively. The fiber supplement had no significant effects (P > 0.05) on HDL cholesterol (HDL-C), triglyceride, iron, ferritin, or vitamin A or E levels. Similar effects were seen over the subsequent 36-week noncomparative part of the study. Conclusions: The fiber supplement provided significant and sustained reductions in LDL-C without reducing HDL-C or increasing triglycerides over the 51-week treatment period. Copyright (C) 1999 American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)18-23
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Preventive Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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