A team of researchers from the University of Nebraska carried out a study on hamsters and found that a lipid extract from whole grain sorghum kernels had a dose-dependent effect on cholesterol reduction in the animals.
They say that the plant sterols and particularly policosanols in the grain may have been responsible for this effect. Researchers say their study has shown that both the components found in grain sorghum lipid extract work collectively in lowering plasma and liver cholesterol concentrations.
For the study, male hamsters were fed diets supplemented with a hexane-extractable lipid fraction from grain sorghum whole kernels at doses of 0.5, 1, or 5 per cent of the diet by weight. After a period of four weeks, plasma non-HDL cholesterol concentration was found to be lowered by 69 per cent in hamsters fed with the highest dose of the lipid extract and 36 per cent in the middle dose compared with controls.
Liver cholesteryl ester concentration was also significantly reduced in hamsters fed the supplement , however there was no alteration seen in plasma HDL cholesterol concentration by dietary treatment but the cholesterol absorption efficiency was significantly reduced. In conclusion researchers say that further studies need to be done, in order to further assess the effects of Sorghum in lowering cholesterol.