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by Pierre S. Aoukar, MD and Hratch L. Karamanoukian, MD
Posted: February 27

In Middle Eastern countries, heart disease is low compared to the United States. A large contributing factor is the consumption of whole grains, in particular, barley. Barley is grain high in soluble fiber, which aids in reducing blood cholesterol levels and teaming with tocotrienols, cousin to the tocopherols, the more well-known members of the Vitamin E family. Tocotrienols are powerful antioxidants which play a vital role in protecting LDL from changing into a form that is more likely to clog arteries. In addition, they inhibit the major enzyme in your liver responsible for producing cholesterol, HMG-CoA Reductase, in the same way statins do (you can read about statins under S). Barley can be consumed as cereal, flour, grits, and even as a sweetner in the form of malt syrup (also used to give bagels that dark caramel coating). Barley in the US may be most famous for its use in flavoring beer. Unfortunately, the amount used in beer provides very little nutritional value.

Barley, Excerpt from the book: Everything Good For The Heart: The A to Z Guide, Aoukar PS and Karamanoukian HL. Magalhaes Scientific Press

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