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The Darker Side of Research: Corporate Funding

A recent 2020 Italian clinical trial with Beta Glucan fibers finds that indeed beta glucan fibers can lower cholesterol and help those who struggle with heart health (Cicero et al., 2020).

HOWEVER, participants also received a particular oat bran from Herbalife and the researchers received 'unlimited' funding. Their goal was to check if beta glucans or more accurately in this study, oat bran, can lower cholesterol. The product also had milk as part of the ingredients, maybe to add taste.

So do we look at this research? My tendency is to examine every research carefully and I would say that the oat bran in itself is healthy, BUT, it is not organic, we do not know if it is clean or filled with pesticides etc.  Yes, it is more expensive to get high quality and organic oat fibers and too many corporations are more concerned with high profit margins. Balancing both profits and high quality takes dedication. 

Oats are powerful and although over the years Seann and I have shown you articles that are without hidden motives, but every so often I bring to you some commercialized research so you can see the difference.

We know that commercial enterprise is funding many good scientists who want to do research and yet get caught in the ethical dilemma of working with an obvious motive. When science is funded by for profit corporations, using their own products and then publish the article, you wonder how much of it is accurate! 

Today, I thought to show you a little of the darker side of research. 

Read the article with care, we learn from everything. And enjoy!


The Beta-glucan Effects on Lipid profile, glycemia and inTestinal health (BELT) Study investigated the effect of 3 g/day oat beta-glucans on plasma lipids, fasting glucose and self-perceived intestinal well-being. The Study was an 8-week, double-blind, placebo-controlled, cross-over randomized clinical trial, enrolling a sample of 83 Italian free-living subjects, adherent to Mediterranean diet, with a moderate hypercholesterolemia and a low cardiovascular risk profile. Beta-glucans reduced mean LDL-Cholesterol (LDL-C) levels from baseline by 12.2% (95%CI: −15.4 to −3.8) after 4 weeks of supplementation and by 15.1% (95%CI: −17.8 to −5.9) after 8 weeks of supplementation (p < 0.01 for both comparison and versus placebo). Between baseline and 4 weeks Total Cholesterol (TC) levels showed an average reduction of 6.5% (95%CI: −10.9 to −1.9) in the beta-glucan sequence; while non-HDL-C plasma concentrations decreased by 11.8% (95%CI: −14.6 to −4.5). Moreover, after 8 weeks of beta-glucan supplementation TC was reduced by 8.9% (95%CI: −12.6 to −2.3) and non-HDL-C levels by 12.1% (95%CI: −15.6 to −5.3). Decreases in TC and non HDL-C were significant also versus placebo (respectively p < 0.05 and p < 0.01 to both follow-up visits). Fasting plasma glucose and self-perceived intestinal well-being were not affected by both beta-glucan and placebo supplementation. Article



  • Cicero, A. F., Fogacci, F., Veronesi, M., Strocchi, E., Grandi, E., Rizzoli, E., ... & Borghi, C. (2020). A Randomized Placebo-Controlled Clinical Trial to Evaluate the Medium-Term Effects of Oat Fibers on Human Health: The Beta-Glucan Effects on Lipid Profile, Glycemia and inTestinal Health (BELT) Study. Nutrients12(3), 686. Article

Sincerely yours,


We have developed our products based on scientific research and/or the practical experience of many healthcare practitioners. There is a growing body of literature on food based nutrition and supplements and their application in support of our health. Please use our products under the advisement of your doctor.


Green Facts:

Globe_Home 3 Anti-inflammation of Beta Glucan:

Żyła, E., Dziendzikowska, K., Kamola, D., Wilczak, J., Sapierzyński, R., Harasym, J., & Gromadzka-Ostrowska, J. (2021). Anti-Inflammatory Activity of Oat Beta-Glucans in a Crohn’s Disease Model: Time-and Molar Mass-Dependent Effects. International Journal of Molecular Sciences22(9), 4485. Article

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