Barley Balance® Beta-Glucan

Barley Balance® Beta-Glucan.

Cereal Beta-Glucans from barley and
oats are widely associated with an
array of healthy benefits, most notably
for heart health. Barley and oat have
earned official Health Claims in the
U.S. and have a similar claim pending
in Europe for cholesterol lowering
effect. Barley Beta-Glucans have been
shown to be potent biological response
modifiers affecting multiple systems
often associated with chronic health
issues. They are especially well suited
to the growing trend of products that
combine strong consumer appeal, with
advanced nutritional profiles and proven
health benefits. Barley Balance® is
highly enriched in Beta-Glucan, all
natural, minimally processed, and is
easy to incorporate in a wide range of
foods and beverages.
Functional Performance
The functional performance of barley
Beta-Glucans begins as these soluble
non-starch polysaccharides form
a viscous triple helix matrix under
hydration, and slow the pace of gastric
flow and uptake. These prebiotic gelling
fibres are non-digestible in the upper
digestive tract and act as a trap for a
portion of the fats, bile acid, simple
sugars and cholesterol precursors in
the diet, sweeping them out of the small
As the Beta-Glucan matrix passes from
the ileum into the colon it undergoes
a gentle fermentation by gut bacteria
(bifidobacteria and lactobacillis) that in
turn produces Short Chain Fatty Acids
(SCFAs). While the matrix entrapped
components continue on in the waste
stream, the Beta-Glucan molecules are
largely fermented. These Beta-Glucan
bi-products (SCFAs) provide immune
protection and also stimulate the release
of satiety hormones that message the
brain to stem further food consumption.
Health Claims
Barley Beta-Glucan has earned an
FDA Health Claim in the U.S. for
cholesterol reduction and lowering
risks of developing coronary heart
disease (2005). In 2009, a Claim was
submitted in the E.U. The EFSA Article
13.1 Scientific Opinion (2009) states
to the European Commission that:
“Regular consumption of Beta-Glucans
contributes to maintenance of normal
blood cholesterol concentrations.” The
US FDA summarized its findings as
follows: “Scientific evidence indicates
that including barley in a healthy diet
can help reduce the risk of coronary
heart disease by lowering LDL and
total cholesterol levels” (2006). Barley
Balance® Beta-Glucan meets the
requirements for claims when used in
the required amounts in products.
Enriched barley Beta-Glucans can
be used in a wide array of foods,
beverages and dietary supplements
to add both healthy benefits and
technical advantages. For example,
Barley Balance® with 30% Beta-
Glucan is typically added at 2.5 grams
or more per serving to reach the base
level required (0.75 g of Beta-Glucan)
for health claims. In addition, it may
add water binding, texture, structure,
fibre, and viscosity along with neutral
flavouring and colouring to the product.
Beta-Glucans from Barley Balance®
are now found in commercial products
in almost every food and beverage
category. The largest numbers are in
baked goods, ranging from breads, to
bars, to cookies and biscuits. Another
popular category is in pasta products
and pizzas. Healthy beverages in both
liquid and dry mix form, especially
with fruit and/or dairy bases are fast
growing. Cereals and snack foods are
natural applications, and this material is
excellent in extrusions. Dairy products
also provide a good combination and
a rising focus. Meat products, sauces,
puddings and other specialty areas
Barley Balance®
Naturally enriched,
clinically tested
performance, ideal fit
for the emerging wave
of functional food and
beverage innovations.
show promise as healthier offerings. And, of course, these
Beta-Glucans are applied in an array of dietary supplements.
Barley Beta-Glucans are off-white in colour and have a very
bland flavour profile, traits that make them easy to use. This is
in contrast to other Beta-Glucans where flavour and/or colour
issues can be an obstacle to formulation success. Even where
technical challenges to using Barley Balance® arise in a
specific application, simple resolutions have been achieved in
nearly every case.
Strong Evidence for Efficacy
Barley Beta-Glucans have been thoroughly tested in more than
100 clinical trials and scientific studies that have focused on
cholesterol reduction, on glycemic index and blood glucose
effects, on satiety and weight reduction and on immune
New studies focusing on satiety and weight management and
on glycemic response have added to our overall knowledge
about effects in the body.
Satiety and Weight Control
Recent research has revealed a new and important connection
between barley Beta-Glucan and satiety hormones that signal
the brain to suppress appetite. As barley Beta-Glucan is
fermented by healthy bacteria SCFAs are produced and attach
to SCFA receptors on enteroendicrine L cells. This stimulates
release of certain hormones (Peptide YY, GLP-1) that act on the
hunger/satiety control center in the brain and lead to appetite
curbs. At the same time, circulating levels of the hunger
hormone ghrelin are diminished.
In a study by Vitaglione, et. al., at U Napoli (IT) with 14 adult
subjects a significantly higher reduction of hunger and an
increase in satiety was reported in consumption of bread
containing 3% barley Beta-Glucan as compared to control.
Subjects consuming barley Beta-Glucan had plasma ghrelin
levels that were 23% lower and peptide YY levels that were
16% higher than control. And glucose response was lowered in
subjects consuming the Beta-Glucan bread.
A similar result on appetite was found in another study by
Vitaglione,, at U Napoli (IT) with 5.2% of Beta-Glucan in a
snack trial.
In addition to these hormonal effects on appetite regulation,
barley Beta-Glucan matrices slow the rate of gastric uptake,
inhibit some simple sugars and fats from absorption and
contribute to fullness. These complimentary actions can
increase the overall impact on satiety and weight management.
Glycemic Response
Barley Balance® begins with a very low Glycemic Index (GI) of
less than 30, putting it among the very best food materials on
that measure. In recent study, conducted at Oxford Brookes
University (UK) 8 subjects (ages 26-50) with BMI <30 kg/m2 in
a randomized crossover trial consuming whole wheat chapattis
(flat bread) with and without added Beta-Glucan. When
consuming 4 grams of Barley Balance® had a dramatic 44%
reduction in glycemic response compared to a whole wheat
In a second study at the Functional Food Centre at Oxford
Brookes, the effect of Barley Balance® Beta-Glucans in
chapattis on the breakdown of starch during in vitro digestion
was analyzed. This showed that Rapidly Digested Starch (RDS,
the primary source of post-prandial glycemic response) was
reduced from 236.2 mg/g (control) to 166.8 mg/g (29.4%) with
the addition of 4 grams of Beta-Glucan, while Slowly Digested
Starch (SDS, associated with a longer glycemic balance) was
increased by from 55.8 mg/g (control) to 95.9 mg/g (171%).
The influence of Beta-Glucans on the type and timing of starch
digestion significantly reduces glycemic response.
Cholesterol and Heart Health
Barley Beta-Glucans carry a long list of studies showing
significant reduction in key risk factors for heart disease. In a
2009 meta-analysis of 8 randomized controlled clinical studies
of barley soluble fiber and blood lipids, Talati found significant
reductions in total cholesterol (mean -13.38 mg/dl), LDL
cholesterol (mean -10.02 mg/dl) and triglycerides (mean 11.83
Two studies at USDA labs in the U.S. by Kay Behall were
central to the initial Health Claim (U.S. FDA 2005). The first
study found that 3 grams of barley Beta-Glucan lowered LDL
cholesterol by 17% in a group of 18 men, while the second
study found a 14% reduction at 3 grams per day in a group of
25 women and men.
In a recent trial in Japan using the barley fiber (unprocessed)
in Barley Balance® Shimizu reported reductions of 8.2% in
total cholesterol, and 7.4% in LDL cholesterol in 44 men in
a 12 week randomized trial, using rice as the control. He
also reported loss of body fat on the barley Beta-Glucan rich
diet. Another trial conducted at the University of Minnesota
(U.S.) with 60 mixed adults where subjects consuming 4 (75g)
wheat bran muffins containing barley Beta-Glucan (6 grams/
day) showed an 8.2% reduction in LDL cholesterol compared
to the wheat bran muffin control. The subjects also reported
significantly increased satiety and recorded weight loss on the
barley Beta-Glucan diet.
Barley Balance® Beta-Glucans have solid record in clinical
trials for both traditional and emerging health benefits. The
success shown in trials to reduce blood lipids, key risk factors
in heart disease has been reconfirmed by recent studies.
Strong evidence has emerged regarding their ability of these
Beta-Glucans to modulate blood sugar and glycemic cycles.
Recently new scientific evidence has established a direct link
between the fermentation of barley Beta-Glucans and the
release of hormones that suppress appetite (satiety). This is an
important finding for advancing weight control via the diet.
Barley Balance® has achieved a broad array of applications in
commercial products.
Barley Balance® is a product of PolyCell Technologies (USA)
( and is distributed in Europe by DKSH