BARLEY

OTHER NAME(S):

Barley Beta-Glucan, Barley Bran, Barley Grass, Barley Malt, Bêta-Glucane d'Orge, Cebada, Cereal Fiber, Dietary Fiber, Fibre Alimentaire, Fibre de Céréale, Green Barley, Green Barley Grass, Herbe d'Orge, Herbe d'Orge Verte, Hordeum, Hordeum Distichon, Hordeum distychum, Hordeum vulgare, Mai Ya, Malt d'Orge, Malt d'Orge Germée, Orge, Orge Germée, Orge Perlé, Orge Mondé, Pearl Barley, Pot Barley, Scotch Barley, Son d'Orge, Sprouted Barley, Sprouted Barley Malt.<br/><br/>

Overview

Overview Information

Barley is a plant. People use the grain to make medicine.

Barley is taken by mouth to lower blood sugar, blood pressure, and cholesterol, and for weight loss. It is also taken by mouth for digestive complaints including diarrhea, stomach pain, and inflammatory bowel conditions. Barley is also used for cancer prevention.

Some people apply barley directly to the skin for treating boils.

In manufacturing, barley is used as a food grain, natural sweetener, and as an ingredient for brewing beer and making alcoholic beverages.

How does it work?

The fiber in barley might lower cholesterol in people with high cholesterol. Barley may also reduce blood sugar and insulin levels. Barley seems to slow stomach emptying. This could help keep blood sugar stable and create a sensation of being full, which might help to control appetite.

Uses

Uses & Effectiveness?

Likely Effective for

  • High cholesterol. Research shows that taking barley reduces total cholesterol and "bad" low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol. The benefit might depend on the amount of barley taken.

Possibly Effective for

  • Stomach cancer. Some research suggests that eating dietary fiber, including barley, reduces the risk of getting stomach cancer.

Possibly Ineffective for

  • Colon cancer (colorectal cancer). Eating dietary cereal fiber, including barley fiber, does not seem to reduce the risk of developing colon cancer.

Insufficient Evidence for

  • Inflammatory bowel disease (ulcerative colitis). Early research shows that eating food containing germinated barley daily for 4-24 weeks reduces the symptoms of ulcerative colitis. Other research shows that taking a specific product (Profermin) containing barley and other ingredients for 8 weeks reduces symptoms of ulcerative colitis and increases the chance of disease remission.
  • Weight loss. Early research in Japanese women shows that eating white rice mixed with barley high in beta-glucans can decrease hunger and the amount of food eaten at the next meal.
  • Bronchitis.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Boils.
  • Increasing strength and energy.
  • Weight loss.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate barley for these uses.

Side Effects

Side Effects & Safety

Barley is LIKELY SAFE for most people when taken by mouth appropriately. In some people, barley can cause stomach upset. In some adults and children, barley can cause an allergic reaction after eaten, inhaled, or applied to the skin. Symptoms may include skin rash and difficulty breathing.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Barley is LIKELY SAFE when taken by mouth during pregnancy in amounts commonly found in foods. However, barley sprouts are POSSIBLY UNSAFE and should not be eaten in high amounts during pregnancy.

There is not enough reliable information about the safety of taking barley if you are breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.

Celiac disease or gluten sensitivity: The gluten in barley can make celiac disease worse. Avoid using barley.

Allergies to cereal grains: Consuming barley might cause an allergic reaction in people who are sensitive to other cereal grains, including rye, wheat, oat, corn and rice. An allergic reaction is also possible in people allergic to grass.

Diabetes: Barley might lower blood sugar levels. Your diabetes medications might need to be adjusted by your healthcare provider.

Surgery: Barley might lower blood sugar levels. There is a concern that it might interfere with blood sugar control during and after surgery. Stop using barley at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.

Interactions

Interactions?

Moderate Interaction

Be cautious with this combination

!
  • Medications for diabetes (Antidiabetes drugs) interacts with BARLEY

    Barley might decrease blood sugar by decreasing the absorption of sugars from food. Diabetes medications are also used to lower blood sugar. Taking barley with diabetes medications might cause your blood sugar to be too low. Monitor your blood sugar closely. The dose of your diabetes medication might need to be changed.<br/><br/> Some medications used for diabetes include glimepiride (Amaryl), glyburide (DiaBeta, Glynase PresTab, Micronase), insulin, pioglitazone (Actos), rosiglitazone (Avandia), chlorpropamide (Diabinese), glipizide (Glucotrol), tolbutamide (Orinase), and others.

  • Medications taken by mouth (Oral drugs) interacts with BARLEY

    Barley contains a large amount of fiber. Fiber can decrease how much medicine the body absorbs. Taking barley along with medicine you take by mouth can decrease the effectiveness of your medication. To prevent this interaction take barley at least 1 hour after medications you take by mouth.

Dosing

Dosing

The following doses have been studied in scientific research:

ADULTS

BY MOUTH:

  • For high cholesterol: 3 grams of barley oil extract, 30 grams of barley bran flour, or up to 6 grams of soluble fiber from barley have been used. In some cases, barley has been added to a National Cholesterol Education Program (NCEP) Step I diet. Pearled barley, or barley flour, flakes, or powder in doses of 3-12 grams daily have also been used.

View References

REFERENCES:

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  • Behall, K. M., Scholfield, D. J., and Hallfrisch, J. Diets containing barley significantly reduce lipids in mildly hypercholesterolemic men and women. Am.J.Clin.Nutr. 2004;80(5):1185-1193. View abstract.
  • Behall, K. M., Scholfield, D. J., and Hallfrisch, J. Whole-grain diets reduce blood pressure in mildly hypercholesterolemic men and women. J Am Diet.Assoc 2006;106(9):1445-1449. View abstract.
  • Block, G., Tse, K. S., Kijek, K., Chan, H., and Chan-Yeung, M. Baker's asthma. Studies of the cross-antigenicity between different cereal grains. Clin Allergy 1984;14(2):177-185. View abstract.
  • Burger, W. C., Qureshi, A. A., Din, Z. Z., Abuirmeileh, N., and Elson, C. E. Suppression of cholesterol biosynthesis by constituents of barley kernel. Atherosclerosis 1984;51(1):75-87. View abstract.
  • Cronin, E. Contact dermatitis from barley dust. Contact Dermatitis 1979;5(3):196. View abstract.
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  • Liljeberg, H. G., Granfeldt, Y. E., and Bjorck, I. M. Products based on a high fiber barley genotype, but not on common barley or oats, lower postprandial glucose and insulin responses in healthy humans. J.Nutr. 1996;126(2):458-466. View abstract.
  • McIntosh, G. H., Whyte, J., McArthur, R., and Nestel, P. J. Barley and wheat foods: influence on plasma cholesterol concentrations in hypercholesterolemic men. Am.J.Clin.Nutr. 1991;53(5):1205-1209. View abstract.
  • Mitsuyama, K., Saiki, T., Kanauchi, O., Iwanaga, T., Tomiyasu, N., Nishiyama, T., Tateishi, H., Shirachi, A., Ide, M., Suzuki, A., Noguchi, K., Ikeda, H., Toyonaga, A., and Sata, M. Treatment of ulcerative colitis with germinated barley foodstuff feeding: a pilot study. Aliment.Pharmacol Ther 1998;12(12):1225-1230. View abstract.
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  • Pereira, F., Rafael, M., and Lacerda, M. H. Contact dermatitis from barley. Contact Dermatitis 1998;39(5):261-262. View abstract.
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  • Qureshi, A. A., Burger, W. C., Peterson, D. M., and Elson, C. E. The structure of an inhibitor of cholesterol biosynthesis isolated from barley. J Biol Chem 8-15-1986;261(23):10544-10550. View abstract.
  • Shimizu, C., Kihara, M., Aoe, S., Araki, S., Ito, K., Hayashi, K., Watari, J., Sakata, Y., and Ikegami, S. Effect of high beta-glucan barley on serum cholesterol concentrations and visceral fat area in Japanese men--a randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled trial. Plant Foods Hum.Nutr. 2008;63(1):21-25. View abstract.
  • Smith, K. N., Queenan, K. M., Thomas, W., Fulcher, R. G., and Slavin, J. L. Physiological effects of concentrated barley beta-glucan in mildly hypercholesterolemic adults. J.Am.Coll.Nutr. 2008;27(3):434-440. View abstract.
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CONDITIONS OF USE AND IMPORTANT INFORMATION: This information is meant to supplement, not replace advice from your doctor or healthcare provider and is not meant to cover all possible uses, precautions, interactions or adverse effects. This information may not fit your specific health circumstances. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your doctor or other qualified health care provider because of something you have read on WebMD. You should always speak with your doctor or health care professional before you start, stop, or change any prescribed part of your health care plan or treatment and to determine what course of therapy is right for you.

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