Nutrition journal

The role of soluble fiber intake in patients under highly effective lipid-lowering therapy.

PMID 21810257


It has been demonstrated that statins can increase intestinal sterol absorption. Augments in phytosterolemia seems related to cardiovascular disease. We examined the role of soluble fiber intake in endogenous cholesterol synthesis and in sterol absorption among subjects under highly effective lipid-lowering therapy. In an open label, randomized, parallel-design study with blinded endpoints, subjects with primary hypercholesterolemia (n = 116) were assigned to receive during 12 weeks, a daily dose of 25 g of fiber (corresponding to 6 g of soluble fibers) plus rosuvastatin 40 mg (n = 28), rosuvastatin 40 mg alone (n = 30), sinvastatin 40 mg plus ezetimibe 10 mg plus 25 g of fiber (n = 28), or sinvastatin 40 mg plus ezetimibe 10 mg (n = 30) alone. The four assigned therapies produced similar changes in total cholesterol, LDL-cholesterol, and triglycerides (p < 0.001 vs. baseline) and did not change HDL-cholesterol. Fiber intake decreased plasma campesterol (p < 0.001 vs. baseline), particularly among those patients receiving ezetimibe (p < 0.05 vs. other groups), and β-sitosterol (p = 0.03 vs. baseline), with a trend for lower levels in the group receiving fiber plus ezetimibe (p = 0.07). Treatment with rosuvastatin alone or combined with soluble fiber was associated with decreased levels of desmosterol (p = 0.003 vs. other groups). Compared to non-fiber supplemented individuals, those treated with fibers had weight loss (p = 0.04), reduced body mass index (p = 0.002) and blood glucose (p = 0.047). Among subjects treated with highly effective lipid-lowering therapy, the intake of 25 g of fibers added favorable effects, mainly by reducing phytosterolemia. Additional benefits include improvement in blood glucose and anthropometric parameters.