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Eat porridge, keep cholesterol at bay

The dish, primarily made of oats, helps remove cholesterol from the body naturally, says a UK study.

health and fitness Updated: Aug 03, 2007 18:08 IST

Eating porridge for breakfast really does help, for a new study has found that it keeps cholesterol at bay.

And, its benefits are such that it has been certified as a health food by UK's advertising standards watchdog ASA.

ASA gave its ruling after a TV viewer challenged the breakfast cereal maker Quaker Oats commercial which stated that porridge had a ‘soluble fibre called beta glucan which naturally helps to remove cholesterol from the body’.

Quaker claimed that the health claims for oats and its blood cholesterol lowering properties had been approved in the UK, US and Sweden.

The company explained that one of the major uses of cholesterol was in the formation of acids in the liver, which were secreted as bile into the intestine where they were used to digest fat.

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The bile acids are mostly re-absorbed from the lower intestine and then recycled to the liver and oats increased the excretion on bile from the body, which results in the formation of new bile acid from cholesterol, thus lowering its level in the blood.

The company said that the cereal ‘helps naturally remove cholesterol from your body’ and this was backed by scientific evidence.

The British Advertising Clearance Centre gave the advertisement green lights and said that the company had enough evidences to support their claim.

"We noted Quaker oats contained at least 0.75 gm of beta glucan per serving, which was the amount required by the Joint Health Claim's Initiative to enable an oat/cholesterol lowering claim to be made,” the Scotsman quoted ASA, as saying.

"Our expert considered that, although other ingredients of oats might contribute to the effect, there was sufficient evidence to support a cholesterol-lowering effect of beta glucan. We considered the totality of evidence supported the proposed action of beta glucan in increasing the excretion of cholesterol in bile salts. We concluded that the claim 'helps to remove cholesterol from the body' was unlikely to mislead,” the ASA added.