FDA Lets Barley Foods Tout Heart Perks
Labels Can Claim That Barley Lowers Risk of Heart Disease
Dec. 28, 2005 -- Barley foods have gotten the FDA's approval to claim that
they reduce the risk of heart disease.
Starting immediately, food manufacturers can use the claim for whole-grain
barley and barley-containing foods that provide at least three-fourths of a
gram of soluble fiber per serving.
Consumers can expect to see the health claim for whole barley and dry-milled
barley products such as flakes, grits, flour, and barley meal, an FDA news
Almost half a million people per year die of heart disease, according to the
FDA. Risk factors include high levels of total cholesterol and of low-density
lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol.
"Scientific evidence shows that adding barley to one's diet can
contribute to lowering serum cholesterol," states the FDA news release.
WebMD reported on a study of barley's cholesterol-lowering powers
in December 2004.
The FDA has already approved health claims for whole-grain foods, which
include oats, barley, brown rice, and a host of other grains.
But simply adding barley to a diet of cheeseburgers and pizza won't help. To
fully reap the benefits of barley and other whole grains, you must follow other
heart-friendly dietary and lifestyle habits.
Better Information, Better Choices
Scott Gottlieb, MD, the FDA deputy commissioner for medical and scientific
affairs, commented on barley's new health claim.
"Promoting health by helping people get better nutrition information
about the foods they eat is among FDA's top priorities, because the choices
that Americans make about their diet have a great impact on their
well-being," Gottlieb says in the news release.
"The FDA review process for making health claims, when combined with our
strong enforcement work, rewards companies that make healthier products while
we enforce the law against companies that appeal to consumers through false and
misleading health claims," Gottlieb says.