LDL cholesterol invades blood vessels from the damaged place and forms plaque which is a mass of fat.
The wall of the blood vessel becomes thicker and becomes easy to be broken any time soon.
This is hardening of the arteries (arteriosclerosis).
Blood vessels are sometimes filled with cholesterol as shown in Fig. 1
One of the major causes of hardening of the arteries is LDL cholesterol.
What increases LDL cholesterol is irregular diet, lack of exercise, etc.
A lot of people have lost their lives due to heart and brain diseases caused by hardening of the arteries.
A food decreases LDL cholesterol
The biggest cause of vascular diseases such as stroke or heart attack is hardening of the arteries.
According to a report of United States Department of Agriculture in 2004, age of 30-50 whose cholesterol is higher than normal ate the food for 5 weeks and their LDL cholesterol decreased by 13.8-17.4%.
According to a research of University of Minnesota in 2007, 155 people whose cholesterol is higher than normal ate the food for 6 weeks and their LDL cholesterol decreased by 9-15 %.
The food which decreases LDL cholesterol and prevents hardening of the arteries is Barley.
Barley beta-glucan which is a type of dietary fiber and is contained a lot in barley has the function to excrete bile acid made of cholesterol from the body. When barley beta-glucan which is water soluble dietary fiber comes to the intestines, it dissolves in water, transforms into gel holding water, envelopes bile acid in the intestines and excrete it from the body with stools. Liver collects cholesterol from the blood to supplement the shortage of bile acid. As a result, LDL cholesterol in the blood decreases, leading to the prevention of hardening of the arteries.
Does drinking beer or barley tea get the same effect?
No, because beta-glucan is filtered out in the production process.
Barley suppresses blood sugar after meals
Barley beta-glucan is mixed with carbohydrate and makes digestion and absorption slow down, resulting in suppressing the sudden elevation of blood sugar after meals.
How much barley a day should we eat to prevent the hardening of the arteries?
According to a report of University of Minnesota, taking 3 g of barley beta-glucan a day decreases LDL cholesterol. That makes 4 cups of 30% barley rice (barley 30% and white rice 70%). It seems too much to eat so it is necessary to include barley in other dishes such as a soup, source of pasta or hamburger.
A 49 years old female’s LDL cholesterol is 151.2 mg/dl (Reference value: less than 140 mg/dl) due to having cookies and other snack while she works and eating slices of bread right before going to bed in addition to dinner. She tried barley meals for 2 weeks. Eating barley dishes made her stop eating while she was working and at midnight. In 2 weeks later, her LDL cholesterol became 121 mg/dl which is within the reference value.