The possible mechanisms for β-glucans to prevent atherosclerotic lesions
Foods enriched in β-glucans including oat and edible fungi as well as some purified β-glucans have been shown to reduce atherosclerotic lesions. The multiple mechanisms may be involved to affect several aspects of the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis such as phagocytosis of macrophages, NO production, epithelial cell functions and blood levels of cholesterol. Structurally different β-glucans may have different effects in the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis. The study of structure-function relationship may provide an approach for optimizing β-glucans to be used in the prevention of atherosclerosis.