Oats play an important role in improving satiety, diet quality and digestive, cardiovascular and general metabolic health.
New scientific review reveals emerging and established health benefits of whole grain oats.
According to a new, wide-reaching collection of scientific reviews published in the October 2014 supplement issue of the British Journal of Nutrition, oats may play an important role in improving satiety, diet quality and digestive, cardiovascular and general metabolic health.
In the supplement issue, entitled "Oats, More Than Just a Whole Grain ," scientists from around the world explore the oat from agriculture and sustainability to nutrition policy and opportunity and new insights in nutritional science that go beyond cardiovascular health.
"The British Journal of Nutrition oats supplement is a comprehensive compilation of scientific reviews written by a diverse group of international experts that showcase the remarkable role the oat plays in human health and agriculture," explains Jan-Willem van Klinken, MD, PhD, MSc, of the Quaker Oats Center of Excellence. "Not only does it enhance the understanding of the role of oats in health promotion from satiety to chronic disease, but the authors also identified future areas of research in agriculture and health that will help provide greater health benefits and increase availability worldwide."
While oats have been the focus of scientific investigation for decades, the supplement uniquely summarizes the developing science and technology around oats. In the supplement, new evidence is presented, while well-established benefits are further supported, in relation to human health, agriculture and food processing.
Here are some of the noteworthy takeaways from the supplement:
Oats: A Unique Whole Grain That May Contribute to Digestive Health
Oats Improve Cardiovascular Health
Review authors remind us that the evidence supporting the impact of beta-glucan fiber in oats on low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol (LDL-C) and cardiovascular disease is so convincing that authorities in the United States, Europe, Canada and Japan have issued formal health claims about the role of oats in heart health. For example, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) support the claim that oat beta-glucan has been shown to lower/reduce blood cholesterol.
A review of the most recent and compelling studies on oats and oat bran and cardiovascular disease risk factors concluded that oats and oat bran lower total cholesterol and LDL-C by respectively 2-19 percent and 4-23 percent; the effects are particularly prominent among people with high cholesterol levels.
The study's lead author, Frank Thies, PhD, of the University of Aberdeen, wrote that eating a 60-gram serving of oatmeal might lower cholesterol significantly.
To put it in perspective, an LDL-C reduction of 4-6 percent is estimated to reduce coronary heart disease risk by 6-18 percent.
What's more, all forms of oats - oat bran, oatmeal or other oat-containing foods appear to be beneficial.
About the Supplement
The ten papers in the supplement include review articles of previously published peer-reviewed studies covering all aspects of oat nutrition and food science, crop science, food processing, chronic disease prevention, food policy and public health implications.
The supplement was supported by unrestricted educational grants from Quaker Oats Co. The papers were written after a 2012 international conference, sponsored by Quaker Oats and organized by C3 Collaborating for Health, which was held to discuss the potential health implications of oats as part of a healthy diet. The views expressed in these articles are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the position or policy of PepsiCo, Inc.