A new discovery at the University of Queensland could help reduce heart disease and boost nutrition security – the access to balanced nourishment – globally.

Researchers in UQ’s Centre for Nutrition and Food Sciences have identified a new mechanism for how healthy cereals such as oats reduce the amount of cholesterol in the blood stream, thereby lowering the risk of heart disease.

The discovery could lead to ways of boosting the cholesterol-fighting properties of other cereals including wheat.

UQ’s Professor Mike Gidley said the study, funded through the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence in Plant Cell Walls, revealed new information on the function of beta glucans – a healthy soluble fibre naturally occurring in the cell walls of some plants, particularly cereals.

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