Look after your heart every day by adding beta-glucans to your diet
Choose Granoro CuoreMio Bio!!

Granoro “CuoreMio Bio” Pasta

Granoro “CuoreMio Bio” pasta is made using raw materials that are 100% from Italian Organic Agriculture; a mixture composed of high-quality durum wheat semolina and barley flour rich in beta-glucans, which help to reduce cholesterol.

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CuoreMio Bio – an evolution in whole wheat food

With barley beta-glucans

Barley beta-glucans are soluble fibres performing numerous functions that are beneficial to the body and regulating the absorption of some nutrients, such as sugars and fats.
A 100g portion of Granoro’s “CuoreMio Bio” pasta provides about 3g of Beta-glucans, found naturally in barley.
A daily intake of 3g of barley beta-glucans accompanied by a healthy, active lifestyle and a well-balanced, low-fat diet, reduces cholesterol, helping to maintain normal blood cholesterol levels.

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Rich in fibre

Granoro “CuoreMio Bio” pasta is a high-fibre food product.
A 100g portion of Granoro “CuoreMio Bio” pasta provides about 7.5g of fibre in total, more than double compared to the amount contained in conventional durum wheat semolina pasta. Of these 7.5g, about 3g are beta-glucans.

100% Italian Organic Agriculture 

Organic Agriculture is about respect for nature, the environment and the protection of biodiversity. The raw materials used to make Granoro CuoreMio Bio pasta are 100% from Italian Organic Agriculture, produced using a production method that only pemits the use of natural substances and prohibits the use of chemical pesticides and fertilisers.


The Granoro CuoreMio Bio range includes traditional Mediterranean shapes, bringing to your table every day the same delicious taste as always, with the added bonus that is good for your heart too.


Granoro “CuoreMio Bio” pasta production came about as the result of a meeting between two industrialists, passionate about their work.

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Our wellbeing starts with taking care of ourselves, even at the table

Diet, cereals and health

There has been a considerable evolution in the concept of diet over the last few years. Eating must be a pleasure, but it is also important to follow a healthy diet so that we can live a healthier life, preventing the onset of chronic illnesses such as cardiovascular disease.
The guidelines for a healthy diet promote the consumption of cereals, especially whole wheat ones, which are richer in vitamins, trace minerals and insoluble fibre, all of which are precious substances enclosed in the bran, which in processed cereals is lost during the production process.

Dietary fibre

Dietary fibre is an extremely important part of our diet and can be found in many foods of vegetable origin, such as fruit, vegetables, pulses and cereals. It does not have energy and nutritional values as such, but it is used to regulate some of the body’s physiological functions.

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Barley is a cereal, a herbaceous plant, similar to wheat and not widely used in our diet yet.

Each grain of barley consists of about 80% of carbohydrates, including starch, which is an important source of energy for the body, whilst it is low in simple sugars.

Dietary fibre accounts for about 10% of the caryopsis and is mainly composed of a certain type of soluble fibre called beta-glucans, which differentiates barley from wheat.

It also contains protein, B vitamins and is a good source of minerals, above all potassium.  The percentage of lipid content is very low.

Numerous studies have highlighted the health benefits of barley and foods made from it, which are mainly attributed to the presence of beta-glucans

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Beta-glucans are polysaccharides (glucose polymers), which are found in some cereals; barley and oats contain the highest amounts. CuoreMio Bio pasta is made using a particular variety of pearl barley, called Orzo Beta, which produces a flour with a high concentration of soluble fibres known as beta-glucans; combined with durum wheat semolina, it can be used to produce a pasta rich in substances good for the health. Barley beta-glucans have an interesting effect on the lipid and carbohydrate metabolism, with a reduction in the total cholesterol level and above all the level of bad cholesterol (LDL) and a reduction in the glycemic response after meals.

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Improving wellbeing through food means eating a healthy, well-balanced diet that can help control various risk factors.
The goal is to:
• maintain normal cholesterol and blood pressure levels;
• promote better use of glucose by the body;
• maintain or reach a normal body weight.
In the event of a considerable increase in cholesterol and triglycerides, take a close look at your diet and consult a doctor.

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Cholesterol is not a toxic substance and is found naturally in our body. It only becomes bad for our health when there is an excessive amount in the blood. It performs some important functions in the body:

  • it acts as a “brick” for the synthesis (construction) of some hormones and bile salts;
  • it is important for the production of Vitamin D;
  • it is a component of cell membranes and the various tissues.
Cholesterol is contained in foods of animal origin such as meat, offal, cured meats, butter, cheese and egg yolks; it is completely absent in foods of vegetable origin such as pasta, bread, vegetables, fruit, pulses, etc.) and also extra virgin olive oil and seed oils.

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Hypercholesterolemia is when the cholesterol level is higher than the “normal”, recommended level.
Even small increases can be potentially damaging and the risk of serious problems is even greater when other risk factors are also present, such as smoking, high blood pressure, being overweight or suffering from diabetes.
Hypercholesterolemia does not present immediate symptoms: many people do not know that they suffer from hypercholesterolemia.

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Granoro has always believed in the effectiveness of CuoreMio Bio pasta, so supported and encouraged by numerous scientific findings, the company decided to fund a research project for the prevention of heart failure following a heart attack, using CuoreMio Bio pasta as the primary vehicle of antioxidant active principles, and in so doing, proposing a healthy and constructive way of eating.

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Frequently asked questions

Do you have any questions or are you simply curious to find out more about Granoro “CuoreMio Bio”? Send your enquiry to Our Consumer Service Team will get back to you as soon as possible.

Why has Granoro chosen barley beta-glucans?

Of all the cereals, barley and oats contain the highest amounts of beta-glucans. Granoro has chosen a specific variety of barley called “Beta”, which contains a considerably higher amount of beta-glucans than conventional varieties of barley. After removing the surface layers of the grains, they are milled and divided into the various fractions.  The coarser fraction (richer in beta-glucans) is recouped and mixed in the right proportions with durum wheat semolina. A mixture of organic semolina and barley destined for the production of pasta is thus created through a simple process of milling and physical selection of the barley, without the need to extract beta-glucans using chemical products. The result is Granoro’s “CuoreMio Bio” pasta, naturally rich in beta-glucans.

How much of Granoro’s “CuoreMio Bio” pasta should we eat?

Granoro recommends consuming a 100g portion of “CuoreMio Bio” pasta, which will provide 3g of beta-glucans, the amount recommended by EFSA (European Food Safety Authority) and the American FDA  (FOOD & DRUG ADMINISTRATION, American government body for the control of food and drugs) to help us reduce blood cholesterol. Nonetheless, it is worth noting that the consumption of high-fibre foods should always be combined with an active lifestyle and a varied and well-balanced diet.

Is Granoro “CuoreMio Bio” pasta suitable for children?

Granoro “CuoreMio Bio” is an organic pasta, suitable for all age groups, made with durum wheat semolina and barley. Children often shy away from eating fruit and vegetables (containing fibre), so unless they have special dietary requirements, it is always best to encourage regular consumption of cereals, pulses and fruit, all of which are high in fibre. In this way, children learn to make the right food choices.

Does Granoro “CuoreMio Bio” really work?

The effect of beta-glucans on the lipid and carbohydrate metabolism has been proven by years of experimental research on humans.   Regular consumption of beta-glucans, which are especially present in barley, has positive effects on the reduction of blood cholesterol. This pasta is also high in fibre, in particular soluble fibre, so when eaten regularly it helps increase the amount of fibre in your diet and improve the health of your heart, whilst still allowing you to enjoy a delicious plate of pasta.

Where can I buy Granoro “CuoreMio Bio” pasta?

To find a store close to you selling the “CuoreMio Bio” range of pasta and other Granoro products, please send an email to specifying your address. We will respond to you as quickly as possible.
Alternatively, all Granoro products can be purchased online from our web store
For any other questions, you will find us on Facebook. See you there! 

What do you mean by functional food?

A food may be described as functional if, irrespective of its nutritional properties, it has been scientifically proven to have a positive effect on one or more of the physiological functions, helping to maintain or improve the body’s health and wellbeing and reduce the risk of developing diet-related diseases. Granoro “CuoreMio Bio” pasta is a functional food.

Are functional foods also dietetic foods?

A food may be described as functional if, irrespective of its nutritional properties, it has been scientifically proven to have a positive effect on one or more of the physiological functions, helping to maintain or improve the body’s health and wellbeing and reduce the risk of developing diet-related diseases. Granoro “CuoreMio Bio” pasta is a functional food.


The main bibliography of written works referred to in the creation of content for the Granoro Cuore Mio website is detailed here below.

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  • Bazzano LA. Effects of soluble dietary fiber on low-density lipoprotein cholesterol and coronary heart disease risk. Curr Atheroscl Rep 2008; 10: 473-477

  • Lazaridou A, Biliaderis CG. Molecular aspects of cereal b-glucan functionality: physical properties, technological applications and physiological aspects. J Cereal Sci 2007; 46: 101-108

  • Kim SY, Song HJ, Lee YY, Cho K-H, Roh YK. Biomedical issues of dietary fiber b-glucan. J Korean Med Sci 2006; 21: 781-789

  • Wood PJ. Cereal b-glucans in diet and health. J Cereal Sci 2007; 46: 230-238

  • Butt MS, Tahir-Nadeem, Khan MKI, Shabir R, Butt MS. Oat: unique among the cereals. Eur J Nutr 2008; 47: 68-79

  • Erndt EA. Whole-grain barley for today’s health and wellness needs. Cereal Food World 2006; 51: 20-22

  • Andon MB, Anderson JW. The oatmeal-cholesterol connection: 10 years later. Am J Lifestyle Med 2008; 2: 51-57

  • Ames NP, Rhymer CR. Issues surrounding health claims for barley. J Nutr 2008; 138: 1237S-1243S

  • De Groot AP, Luyken R, Pikaar NA. Cholesterol-lowering effect of rolled oats. Lancet 1963; 2: 303-304

  • Ripsin CM, Keenan JM, Jacobs DR Jr, Elmer PJ, Welch RR, Van Horn L, Liu K, Turnbull WH, Thye FW, Kestin M, et al. Oat products and lipid lowering. A metaanalysis. JAMA 1992; 267: 3317-25

  • Brown L, Rosner B, Willett WW, Sacks FM. Cholesterol-lowering effects of dietary fiber: a meta-analysis. Am J Clin Nutr 1999; 69: 30-42

  • Kelly SAM, Summerbell CD, Brynes A, Whittaker V, Frost G. Wholegrain cereals for coronary heart disease. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2007, Issue 2. Art. No.: CD005051. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD005051.pub2

  • Talati R, Baker WL, Pabilonia MS, White CM, Coleman CI. The effects of barleyderived soluble fiber on serum lipids. Ann Fam Med 2009; 7: 157-63

  • Naumann E, van Rees AB, Önning G, Öste R, Wydra R, Mensink RP. b-glucan incorporated into a fruit drink effectively lowers serum LDL-cholesterol concentration. Am J Clin Nutr 2006; 83: 601-605

  • Atkinson FS, Foster-Powell K, Brand-Miller JC. International Tables of Glycemic Index and Glycemic Load Values: 2008. Diab Care 2008; 31: 2281-2283 (online only appendix).

  • Alminger M, Eklund-Jonsson C. Whole-grain products based on a high-fibre barley or oat genotype lower post-prandial glucose and insulin responses in healthy humans. Eur J Nutr 2008; 47: 294-300 

  • Cavallero A, Empilli S, Brighenti F, Stanca M. High b-glucan barley fractions in bread making and their effects in human glycaemic response. J Cereal Sci 2002; 36: 59-66

  • Mäkeläinen H, Anttila H, Sihvonen J, Hietanen RM, Tahvonen R, Salminen E, Mikola M, Sontag-Strohm T. The effect of beta-glucan on the glycemic and insulin index. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2007; 61: 779-85

  • Behall KM, Scholfield DJ, Hallfrisch JG, Liljeberg-Elmståhl HG. Consumption of both resistant starch and beta-glucan improves postprandial plasma glucose and insulin in women. Diab Care 2006; 29: 976-81

  • Casiraghi MC, Garsetti M, Testolin G, Brighenti F. Post-prandial responses to cereal products enriched with barley beta-glucan. J Am Coll Nutr 2006; 25: 313-20

  • Jenkins AL, Jenkins DJ, Zdravkovic U, Würsch P, Vuksan V. Depression of the glycemic index by high levels of beta-glucan fiber in two functional foods tested in type 2 diabetes. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2002; 56: 622

  • Yokoyama WH, Hudson CA, Knuckles BE, Chiu M-CM, Sayre RN, Turnlund JR, Schneeman BO. Effect of barley )b-glucan in durum wheat pasta on human glycemic response. Cereal Chem 1997; 74: 293-296

  • Hlebowicz J, Darwiche G, Björgell O, Almér LO. Effect of muesli with 4 g oat beta-glucan on postprandial blood glucose, gastric emptying and satiety in healthy subjects: a randomized crossover trial. J Am Coll Nutr 2008; 27: 470-5

  • Granfeldt Y, Nyberg L, Björck I. Muesli with 4 g oat beta-glucans lowers glucose and insulin responses after a bread meal in healthy subjects. Eur J Clin Nutr 2008; 62: 600-7

  • Poppitt SD, van Drunen JD, McGill AT, Mulvey TB, Leahy FE. Supplementation of a high-carbohydrate breakfast with barley beta-glucan improves postprandial glycaemic response for meals but not beverages. Asia Pac J Clin Nutr 2007; 16: 16-26

  • Bourdon I, Yokoyama W, Davis P, Hudson C, Backus R, Richter D, Knuckles B, Schneeman BO. Postprandial lipid, glucose, insulin, and cholecystokinin responses in men fed barley pasta enriched with beta-glucan. Am J Clin Nutr 1999; 69: 55-63

  • Keogh GF, Cooper GJ, Mulvey TB, McArdle BH, Coles GD, Monro JA, Poppitt SD. Randomized controlled crossover study of the effect of a highly beta-glucanenriched barley on cardiovascular disease risk factors in mildly hypercholesterolemic men. Am J Clin Nutr 2003; 78: 711-8

  • Juvonen KR, Purhonen AK, Salmenkallio-Marttila M, Lähteenmäki L, Laaksonen DE, Herzig KH, Uusitupa MI, Poutanen KS, Karhunen LJ. Viscosity of oat branenriched beverages influences gastrointestinal hormonal responses in healthy humans. J Nutr 2009; 139: 461-6

  • Nazare JA, Normand S, Oste Triantafyllou A, Brac de la Perrière A, Desage M, Laville M. Modulation of the postprandial phase by beta-glucan in overweight subjects: effects on glucose and insulin kinetics. Mol Nutr Food Res 2009; 53: 361-9

  • Kim H, Stote KS, Behall KM, Spears K, Vinyard B, Conway JM. Glucose and insulin responses to whole grain breakfasts varying in soluble fiber, beta-glucan: a dose response study in obese women with increased risk for insulin resistance. Eur J Nutr 2009; 48: 170-5

  • Nilsson AC, Ostman EM, Granfeldt Y, Björck IM. Effect of cereal test breakfasts differing in glycemic index and content of indigestible carbohydrates on daylong glucose tolerance in healthy subjects. Am J Clin Nutr 2008; 87: 645-54

  • Nilsson AC, Ostman EM, Holst JJ, Björck IM. Including indigestible carbohydrates in the evening meal of healthy subjects improves glucose tolerance, lowers inflammatory markers, and increases satiety after a subsequent standardized breakfast. J Nutr 2008; 138: 732-9

  • Kabir M, Oppert JM, Vidal H, Bruzzo F, Fiquet C, Wursch P, Slama G, Rizkalla SW. Four-week low-glycemic index breakfast with a modest amount of soluble fibers in type 2 diabetic men. Metabolism. 2002; 51: 819-26

  • Maki KC, Galant R, Samuel P, Tesser J, Witchger MS, Ribaya-Mercado JD, Blumberg JB, Geohas J. Effects of consuming foods containing oat beta-glucan on blood pressure, carbohydrate metabolism and biomarkers of oxidative stress in men and women with elevated blood pressure. Eur J Clin Nutr 2007 Jun; 61: 786-95

  • Braaten JT, Scott FW, Wood PJ, Riedel KD, Wolynetz MS, Brulé D, Collins MW. High b-glucan oat bran and oat gum reduce postprandial blood glucose and insulin in subjects with and without type 2 diabetes. Diab Med 1994; 11: 312-318

  • Tappy L, Gugolz E, Wursch P. Effects of breakfast cereals containing various amounts of )-b-glucan fibers on plasma glucose and insulin responses in NIDDM subjects. Diab Care 1996; 19: 831-834

  • Tapola N, Karvonen H, Niskanen L, Mikola M, Sarkkinen E. Glycemic responses of oat bran products in type 2 diabetic patients. Nutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis 2005; 15: 255-61

  • Rami B, Zidek T, Schober E. Influence of a beta-glucan-enriched bedtimesnack on nocturnal blood glucose levels in diabetic children. J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr 2001; 32: 34-6

  • Pick ME, Hawrysh MI, Toth E. Barley bread products improve glycemic control of type 2 subjects. Intern J Food Sci Nutr 1998; 49: 71-78

  • Ostman E, Rossi E, Larsson H, Brighenti F, Bjorck I. Glucose and insulin responses in healthy men to barley bread with different levels of (1_3;1/_4)-â-glucans; predictions using fluidity measurements of in vitro enzyme digests. J Cereal Sci 2006; 43: 230-235

  • Hughes SA, Shewry PR, Gibson GR, McCleary BV, Rastall RA. In vitro fermentation of oat and barley derived b-glucans by human faecal microbiota. FEMS Microbiol Ecol 2008; 64: 482-493

  • Jenkins DJ, Josse AR, Wong JM, Nguyen TH, Kendall CW. The portfolio diet for cardiovascular risk reduction. Curr Atheroscler Rep. 2007; 9: 501-7

Granoro CuoreMio Bio

Granoro “CuoreMio Bio” is the perfect choice for those who care about their health but still want to enjoy the pleasure of a delicious starter: the wonderful aroma of durum wheat and the perfect thickness, firmness and elasticity of the pasta, enriched with beta-glucans contained naturally in the grains of barley. It is also Organic, controlled throughout the entire production chain, from the seed to the finished product, guaranteeing the highest product quality and traceability.
The dedicated production process is designed to prevent cross contamination with conventional products. The temperature at which the pasta is dried is limited to ensure the finished product remains unaltered in terms of the nutritional and sensory characteristics (such as flavour and colour).  The result is a pasta with excellent porosity, which offers a good yield when cooked and binds well with a sauce. It also cooks quickly and evenly because the shapes are of the right thickness.


Granoro had been thinking about producing a functional pasta for about two years.
“In 2007, Mr Zucconi approached me during a trade exhibition to talk about an important study. Mr Zucconi was the owner of one of the largest brewing malt production companies in the region of Basilicata, Italy, which is still supplying some of the most famous breweries in Europe. His company had identified and grown a variety of barley, known as Beta barley, which was rich in soluble fibres, known as beta-glucans, which have important beneficial effects for the body. The high percentage of beta-glucans contained in that particular variety of barley was not recommended for making beer though, because it altered the colour and consistency of the beer, making it cloudy. Beta-glucans therefore had to eliminated, even though they had a high intrinsic and functional value.
The challenge that Mr Zucconi wanted to discuss concerned using this noble fibre to produce barley flour rich in beta-glucans that could be mixed with the right amount of durum wheat semolina to produce a functional pasta.” (Marina Mastromauro, M.D. Pastificio Attilio Mastromauro Granoro S.r.l.).
That is how the “CuoreMio Bio” pasta project began, supported by technological and sensory tests and laboratory analyses performed by the Università del Molise university, with the help of Mr Cecconi and Prof. Scalfi of the Università Federico II di Napoli university in Naples.
“Using a special process, Mr Zucconi quickly managed to produce barley flour rich in beta-glucans, whilst the most difficult challenge for me was to produce a pasta using two different types of cereal, which have different grain sizes and therefore homogenization issues, whilst preserving the functional characteristics of the barley (Marina Mastromauro, M.D. Pastificio Attilio Mastromauro Granoro S.r.l.).
Granoro worked to create a pasta that:
- provided 3g of soluble fibre (beta-glucans) per 100g of pasta, an amount deemed sufficient to produce the effect of reducing blood cholesterol, in particular bad LDL cholesterol;
- was ORGANIC: safer and better for the environment;
- was as delicious as pasta made from durum wheat semolina and was firm and elastic (thanks to the use of high-quality semolina, which compensated for the barley flour and its low gluten content);
- was loved by all, even children.
Granoro’s attention to detail in the production process and dedication to its consumers have enabled it to create a product that is not just useful, it is also just as delicious as durum wheat semolina pasta. Granoro “CuoreMio Bio” pasta is distinctive in that it is rich in beta-glucans, the soluble fibres found in barley,  which absorb water and produce a gelatinous substance in the gastrointestinal tract that reduces the absorption of cholesterol, helping to eliminate it from the body.
“We are really proud of the positive reaction we have received from all who have tried it, even children love it. With Granoro “CuoreMio Bio”, we have won the battle to produce a pasta that is as good as it is functional.” (Marina Mastromauro, M.D. Pastificio Attilio Mastromauro Granoro S.r.l.).

Dietary fibre

Dietary fibre is composed of a group of complex carbohydrates that cannot be digested by humans; they are found in the walls of vegetable cells and can be divided into the following types:  
Mainly found in cereal bran, it helps regulate gastrointestinal functions. It does not ferment in the colon, it helps prevent constipation and speeds up intestinal transit time, but it does not have a direct effect on cholesterol levels and the use of glucose.
Can be found in some pulses, in vegetables and in cereals such as barley and oats.  Soluble fibre, such as barley beta-glucans, is metabolised by intestinal bacterial flora and is capable of absorbing water, forming a gelatinous compound that increases the volume and viscosity of the contents of the intestine, thus slowing down the rate at which it is emptied. This regulates the absorption of some nutrients such as fats and sugars, helping to control the level of glucose and reduce cholesterol.
How to increase the amount of dietary fibre in your diet
The recommended daily intake of dietary fibre is about 25 to 30g for the adult population; at least 10g of which should be soluble fibre.
In Italy, many people follow a diet that has become very different to the famous Mediterranean Diet followed previously, because it now contains a lot more products of animal origin and less of vegetable origin.
The intake of dietary fibre is therefore much lower than it should be. That is why the healthy eating guidelines insist on promoting the consumption of fruit, vegetables and whole wheat or high-fibre cereals.
It is still not easy to increase the intake of soluble fibre (pectin, beta-glucans, etc.) as it is not found in abundance in most foods of vegetable origin.
A good solution to this is to eat foods that have been enriched with soluble fibre, such as barley beta-glucans, foods like Granoro “CuoreMio Bio” pasta.


Barley dates back to the Stone Age and was grown by the Egyptians, Greeks and Romans.
Wild barley was first grown in an area known as the Fertile Crescent, located in the Middle East, and from there it spread to Asia Minor and northern Africa before reaching Europe.
Numerous ancient texts state that of all the cereals grown for food, barley was the one in greatest abundance.  The Egyptians used barley to make focaccias and unleavened bread. Pliny the Elder wrote how Roman gladiators were known as “hordearii”, meaning “barley men”, because barley was their staple food: it was believed that this cereal was capable of giving them greater strength and resistance.
This cereal is now quickly gaining in popularity in Italy; it is mainly used to produce beer and whisky, but it can be eaten as pearl barley or transformed into flour it can be used to make pasta, bread and baked products.

How do beta-glucans work?

The barley beta-glucans contained in Granoro’s CuoreMio Bio pasta have various positive effects on our health.
They absorb water, forming a gelatinous substance in the gastrointestinal tract that increases the volume of food ingested. This dilutes the nutrients, increasing the time it takes for them to be absorbed.
Beta-glucans therefore:

  • Increase the elimination of bile acids, thus reducing the absorption and endogenous production of cholesterol;
  • Reduce the absorption of fats, lowering blood cholesterol levels, in particular the level of bad cholesterol (LDL);
  • Reduce the absorption of sugars, reducing glycemic peaks after a meal;
  • Slow down gastric emptying, creating a feeling of fullness;
  • Help to control body weight.
It has been scientifically proven that a cause-effect relationship exists between the consumption of barley beta-glucans and the reduction of LDL blood cholesterol (LDL is an acronym for low density lipoprotein, commonly known as “bad cholesterol”).
  It is important to know that:
  • The beneficial effect can be obtained by consuming 3g of barley beta-glucans a day;
  • A 100g portion of CuoreMio pasta provides 3g of beta-glucans, which is precisely the daily amount required to reduce blood cholesterol;
  • A healthy lifestyle and regular physical exercise are the greatest allies for a healthy heart;
  • Various risk factors must be taken into account in the control of cholesterol, so you should always consult your doctor for an assessment.
*Scientific assessment performed by the European Food Safety Authority. The studies conducted can be found in the EFSA Journal 2011; 9(12):247 and EFSA Journal 2011; 9(12): 2471, magazines published by the European Food Safety Authority. The health claim connected with the intake of beta-glucans is authorised by EU Reg. No. 1048/2012.


To prevent cardiovascular diseases, your diet should meet the following essential characteristics:

  • Total fats in the diet: less than 30% of total energy
  • Saturated fats: less than 10% of total energy
  • Cholesterol: less than 300mg per day
  • Dietary fibre: at least 25-30g per day
  • Salt: less than 5-6g per day


Only 20% of the cholesterol that reaches the human intestine comes from food, whilst 80% is produced by the body and reaches the duodenum (the first part of the intestine) in bile. 50-60% of the total amount of cholesterol is absorbed in the intestine.
Cholesterol is also carried in blood, through the various tissues in the body, thanks to molecules called lipoproteins, so named because they are made up of lipids (not just cholesterol) and protein. There are various types, listed here below:
  • LDL (low density lipoprotein) carries cholesterol from the liver to other organs;
  • HDL (high density lipoprotein) acts as a scavenger: it carries excess cholesterol from the cells to the liver, where it is eliminated with the bile.
When the blood cholesterol level is too high (see “hypercholesterolemia”), more specifically when the LDL cholesterol (commonly referred to as “bad cholesterol”) level increases, cholesterol tends to slowly accumulate on the internal walls of the arteries.
By contrast, HDL cholesterol is carried away by the peripheral tissues (with the lipoprotein acting like a scavenger). Over time, thickening of the arteries can lead to the formation of plaques, which obstruct or completely block the flow of blood, causing angina, a heart attack or even a stroke.  The risk of developing these diseases increase when there are other risk factors present as well, such as smoking, sedentary lifestyle, obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, etc.



An increase in the total blood cholesterol level is considered a risk, but an increase in LDL cholesterol (“bad cholesterol”) carries the highest risk. It has also been seen that cardiovascular diseases occur more frequently when the HDL (or “good cholesterol”) level is low.
Total cholesterolemia, in LDL and HDL, is easy to measure using a simple blood test that must be repeated over time.
The reference values summarised here below may help give a rough idea to start with. Please consult a doctor for a more in-depth assessment.
Strategies for managing cholesterol                                 
To control excess cholesterol and prevent the risk of cardiovascular disease, various risk factors must be considered.
A balanced diet and regular physical exercise is key to the treatment of hypercholesterolemia, as they will help protect the health of the heart and circulatory system. It is important to eat foods of vegetable origin that are high in fibre, above all soluble fibre, and reduce the consumption of saturated fats, found in butter, cheese, cured meats and meat-based products.
In some cases though, a good diet is not enough and medication will be required, which must be administered under the control of a doctor.
Risk factors
A risk factor increases the likelihood of suffering from a cardiovascular disease. The simultaneous presence of multiple factors considerably increases this possibility.
Some risk factors are unchangeable:

  • Age: risk increases with age and, in women, after the menopause.
  • Gender: the risk is greater in men, and women in menopause.
  • Family history: beware if parents, brothers and/or sisters or other close relatives have suffered from a cardiovascular disease below 50 to 60 years of age.
However, other risk factors are changeable: because we can take action to reduce the probability of cardiovascular disease. Some of the main factors include:
  • Sedentary lifestyle: regular physical exercise helps control changeable risk factors such as excess weight, diabetes, changes in cholesterol levels and blood pressure.
  • Smoking: the risk increases with only a few cigarettes a day. Even passive smoking, that is to say being in a closed environment where other people are smoking, is harmful.
  • Blood pressure: this is often an invisible enemy as many people are not aware that they have high blood pressure.
  • Total cholesterolemia: excess cholesterol accumulates in the artery walls and contributes to the development of atherosclerosis. LDL cholesterol is the most harmful.
  • HDL cholesterolemia: HDL is removed by the body and eliminated in bile. Low HDL cholesterol levels are therefore not good for our health.
  • Diabetes: the risk increases greatly if the blood sugar level is not kept under control.
  • Obesity: being overweight and obesity have a negative effect on other risk factors, such as high blood pressure, HDL cholesterol and diabetes. Excess weight also increases the workload for the heart.


The project to determine the nutraceutical characteristics of beta-glucans got off the ground in 2012, thanks to an agreement established between Granoro and the Institute of Life Sciences of the Scuola Superiore di Sant’Anna in Pisa.
To date, the only claim used in relation to CuoreMio Bio pasta refers to the degree to which barley beta-glucans can help reduce blood cholesterol levels; however the latest research conducted by the Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna in Pisa seems to show that CuoreMio Bio pasta can offer further health benefits, as the benefits of the fibre may remain even after the digestive process.
Water-soluble barley beta-glucans are capable of stimulating the formation of new blood vessels in the presence of oxidative stress:  they could therefore help those who have suffered a heart attack to “repair” their heart.  The research, presented in Spain at the Congress of the European Society of Cardiology and published by the scientific publication, “Journal of Cellular and Molecular Medicine”, represents an important development, not just for the International Scientific Community, but also for the world of pasta and for Granoro, which funded the study.
The study showed that treatment of cardiac endothelial cells with barley beta-glucans increases the levels of an essential enzyme, manganese superoxide dismutases, already known for its ability to increase antioxidant defences and the revascularizing (that is to say repairing) properties of the endothelial progenitor cells.  The increase in this enzyme increases the endothelial production of nitric oxide, a known vasodilator, and increases the ability to regenerate blood vessels, thus helping to “repair” the heart of a person who has suffered a heart attack.
This is the latest development: beta-glucans are not only valuable because they help maintain normal blood cholesterol levels, they also stimulate the endothelium’s endogenous capacity to generate new vessels, above all in the presence of a similar ischemic oxidative stress.
Eating CuoreMio Bio pasta for a few weeks protects the heart from damage caused by ischemia and reperfusion (damage similar to that caused when cardiac blood perfusion is restored after coronary angioplasty). This considerably increases the survival rate of those who follow the “CuoreMio Bio” diet. 
How? The tests are revealing fine regulatory mechanisms activated by the diet. However, eating the pasta gradually leads to an effective increase in the number of collateral coronary capillaries that allow cardiac tissue to compensate for the brusque reduction in myocardial perfusion. Amazingly, a daily intake of 3% of beta-glucans induces the expression of Parkin, a protein that promotes the survival of cardiac cells during an ischemic stress.
This shows that the amount of beta-glucans contained in a portion of pasta can have a considerable cardioprotective effect when eaten on a daily basis.


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