Chitin-glucan fiber shows heart health potential: RCT data

By Stephen Daniells

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Atherosclerosis

Chitin-glucan fiber shows heart health potential: RCT data
Daily supplements of a chitin-glucan fiber – commercially available as Artinia – may protect against the oxidation of cholesterol, which may promote inflammation, says a new study.

Up to 4.5 grams per day of the chitin-glucan fiber was associated with significant reductions in oxidized low-density lipoprotein (OxLDL) in people with elevated LDL-cholesterol levels, according to findings published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition​.

“Oxidation of LDL particles creates unstable oxygen free radicals that can be pathogenic to cells,”​ explained the researchers, led by Joseph Evans from Stratum Nutrition.

“If the reactive oxygen species production exceeds a biological system’s ability to detoxify them, then this ‘oxidative stress’ can contribute to inflammatory processes, which is associated with metabolic disturbances, including atherosclerosis.”

The Artinia-branded ingredient is extracted from the Aspergillus niger​ fungus and is the property of a joint venture between Belgian firm KitoZyme and Missouri-based Stratum Nutrition, a division of Novus International. The study was sponsored by KitoZyme and Stratum Nutrition.

Study details

Evans and his co-workers recruited 130 people with borderline to high levels of LDL cholesterol levels to participate in their randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study.

Participants were randomly assigned them to one of four groups: Two groups received daily supplements of 4.5 or 1.5 grams per day of the chitin-glucan fiber, the third group received 1.5 grams per day of the chitin-glucan fiber plus 135 milligrams per day of an olive oil extract ((Hydroxytyrosol-20, Eisai Food and Chemical Co., Japan), and the final group received placebo.

After six weeks of intervention, the results showed that the high dose of Artinia was associated with significant reductions in OxLDL, compared with placebo.

“Pending further validation of the CHD benefits of reducing OxLDL, these results suggest the potential therapeutic utility of chitin-glucan fiber in patients at risk for coronary heart disease,”​ said the researchers.

In addition, the lower chitin dose was associated with statistically significant reductions in LDL-cholesterol.

No additional benefits were observed in the group receiving the chitin fiber plus the olive oil extracts, noted the researchers. “The low dose (135 mg/day) of olive extract used in the present study may not have been sufficient to influence substantial absorption to elicit any change in the OxLDL levels,”​ they wrote.

Source: European Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Published online ahead of print, doi: 10.1038/ejcn.2012.121
“Chitin-glucan fiber effects on oxidized low-density lipoprotein: a randomized controlled trial”
Authors: H E Bays, J L Evans, K C Maki, M Evans, V Maquet, R Cooper and J W Anderson

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