Copyright ©The Author(s) 2015.
World J Gastroenterol. Nov 7, 2015; 21(41): 11825-11831
Published online Nov 7, 2015. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v21.i41.11825
Table 2 Health benefits of oats
HypocholesterolemicAn effect derived from β-glucan content, and demonstrated in normal and hypercholesterolemic subjects. The statistical significance of this cholesterol reduction has been variable, and remains controversial[15, 18]
HypoglycaemicStudies have suggested that oat consumption can significantly decrease insulin response, fasting blood glucose levels, and the incidence of postprandial hyperglycaemia. However, some studies have failed to identify a diet-related effect on glycaemic control or a person’s insulinemic response to oat-enriched products[56-58]
Prevention of cancerSelenium, present in oats, is involved in DNA repair and associated with a reduced risk for cancer; especially colon cancer. Furthermore, it is found in foods with a high fibre content[59-61]
Reduction of hypertensionSoluble fibre-rich whole oats may be effective when consumed as dietary therapy for the prevention and adjunct treatment of hypertension[62]
Immunomodulatoryβ-glucans act by stimulating the immune system and inhibiting the growth of various bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites[63]
AntioxidantOats contain chemicals with potential antioxidant properties; e.g., vitamin E (tocols), phytic acid, and phenolic compounds, etc[55]
AntiatherogenicIn vivo studies of atherosclerosis showed that oat bran reduced plasma cholesterol levels. However, it was difficult to determine whether its antiatherogenic effect was a result of reduced plasma cholesterol alone, or if additional effects of other oat components contributed to the result[64]
Obesity controlStudies revealed that oats effectively reduced obesity, as well as indexes of serum lipid levels and liver function. These effects were observed when using β-glucan with the proper molecular weight[14, 52]