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Oats: A multi-functional grain

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Oats are predominantly a European and North American crop, as they have cool moist climate; Russia, Canada, the United States, Finland, and Poland are leading oat producing countries. Oats have been used as livestock and human foods since ancient times. Oats (Avena sativa) is a class of cereal grain essentially grown for human consumption as well as for livestock fodder. Food industry fundamentally alter agricultural commodities into foods making it edible, palatable as well as appealing; by innumerable physical and chemical operations increasing shelf-life, bioavailability of the nutrients, stabilizing colour, flavour along with increase in the economic value of the grain. Recent observational and human interventional studies indicate that oats can have an impact on various non-communicable diseases like cardiovascular disease, diabetes; obesity and hypertension etc. Therefore it is important to increase awareness of oats and its health benefits among individuals thereby encouraging them to increase the frequency of oats in the diet. In the year 1997, USFDA approved the use of a health claim "3g/day of oat Beta- glucan may help lower blood total and low-density lipoprotein (LDL-C) cholesterol". Over all consumption of oats has increased in the recent years due to its nutritional benefits; presence of Beta-glucan, antioxidants like Avenanthramides, vitamin E (tocotrienols and tocopherols).
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© 2016 Journal of Clinical and Preventive Cardiology | Published by Wolters Kluwer - Medknow
Address for correspondence:
Purvi Varma,
Marico Limited, Marks Office, Plot No. 23/C, Mahal Industrial
Estate. Mahakali Caves Road. Landmark: Before Paper Box
Factory, Opp Andhra Bank and Travellers Inn Hotel. Andheri (E),
Mumbai - 400093, Maharashtra, India.
E-mail: purviv@maricoindia.net
disorders forcing more and more people to reel under
excess body weight, even relatively younger people are
developing joint disorders and knee pain. Excessive
weight is associated with a series of health problems,
including blood pressure, diabetes, and cardiovascular
ailments.[2]
Experts have pointed that the phenomenon in South
Asians has characteristic features - high prevalence of
abdominal obesity, with more “intra-abdominal and
truncal subcutaneous adiposity.”
Weight loss has beneficial effects on blood pressure,
lipids and glucose control, and weight loss in the range
of 5–10% of initial weight that can confer significant
improvement in these variables. In population
studies, dietary factors, such as consumption of a
vegetarian diet or a diet high in cereal fiber, fruits,
and vegetables, also appear to be associated with
IntroductIon
The burden of chronic diseases is rapidly increasing
worldwide. Almost half of the total chronic disease
deaths are attributable to cardiovascular diseases (CVDs);
obesity and diabetes are also showing worrying trends,
not only because they already affect a large proportion
of the population, but also because they have started
to appear earlier in life. A systematic analysis in Global
Burden of Disease Study revealed that the US had the
highest number of the obese people worldwide (13%)
in 2013, while China and India together accounted for
15% of the world’s obese population, with 46 million
and 30 million obese people, respectively.[1]
It is clear that the earlier labeling of chronic diseases as
“diseases of affluence” is increasingly a misnomer, as
they emerge both in poorer countries and in the poorer
population groups in richer countries. This shift in the
pattern of disease is taking place at an accelerating
rate; furthermore, it is occurring at a faster rate in
developing countries than it did in the industrialized
regions of the world half a century ago. This rapid
rate of change, together with the increasing burden of
disease, is creating a major public health threat which
demands immediate and effective action. With lifestyle
Review Article
Oats: A multi‑functional grain
Purvi Varma1, M.Sc. R.D.; Hitha Bhankharia2, M.Sc.CND, R.D.; Shikha Bhatia3, M.Sc. CND
Oats are predominantly a European and North American crop, as they have cool
moist climate; Russia, Canada, the United States, Finland, and Poland are leading
oat producing countries. Oats have been used as livestock and human foods since
ancient times. Oats (Avena sativa) is a class of cereal grain essentially grown for
human consumption as well as for livestock fodder. Food industry fundamentally alter
agricultural commodities into foods making it edible, palatable as well as appealing;
by innumerable physical and chemical operations increasing shelf-life, bioavailability
of the nutrients, stabilizing colour, flavour along with increase in the economic value
of the grain. Recent observational and human interventional studies indicate that
oats can have an impact on various non-communicable diseases like cardiovascular
disease, diabetes; obesity and hypertension etc. Therefore it is important to increase
awareness of oats and its health benefits among individuals thereby encouraging
them to increase the frequency of oats in the diet. In the year 1997, USFDA approved
the use of a health claim “3g/day of oat Beta- glucan may help lower blood total
and low-density lipoprotein (LDL-C) cholesterol”. Over all consumption of oats has
increased in the recent years due to its nutritional benefits; presence of Beta-glucan,
antioxidants like Avenanthramides, vitamin E (tocotrienols and tocopherols).
Key Words: Adiposity, cardiovascular disease, weight loss
AbstrAct
From the 1Principal
Nutrition Manager,
Marico Ltd, 2Senior
Nutrition Officer, Marico
Ltd, 3Research Officer,
Marico Ltd, Mumbai,
Maharashtra, India
Received: March, 2016.
Accepted: April, 2016.
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DOI: 10.4103/2250-3528.183984 How to cite this article: Varma P, Bhankharia H, Bhatia S. Oats: A
multi-functional grain. J Clin Prev Cardiol 2016;5:9-17.
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10 Journal of Clinical and Preventive Cardiology ¦ Jan-Mar 2016 ¦ Volume 5 ¦ Issue 1
Varma, et al.: Benefits of oat grains
reduced risk for hypertension, dyslipidemia, and CVD
itself. Identification of such factors has stimulated
considerable research effort directed toward the
prevention of CVD and its risk factors through
diet modification. In many circumstances, dietary
interventions have been shown to have salutary effects
on hypertension and hyperlipidemia. Oats (Avena
sativa) is a class of cereal grain essentially grown for
human consumption as well as for livestock fodder.[3]
Complex diets have shown to impart beneficial
results in weight reduction and also in other diseases’
management. It remains possible that particular classes
of food or individual foods can confer specific benefit.
Sometimes, it is difficult to bring about broader dietary
changes in the diet; in such cases, it is preferable to
introduce individual diet constituents which may bring
about a major change. One such possible constituent is
oats, a whole-grain cereal that is rich in soluble fiber. The
effects of oats on lipid metabolism are well documented,
and there is a growing body of literature to suggest that
oats also lower blood pressure or help prevent CVD.
Population studies suggest that diets rich in oats or other
foods containing soluble fiber are associated with lower
levels of blood pressure or rates of coronary disease.
Oat or oat fiber consumption has been shown to reduce
postprandial glucose and insulin concentrations, and
the reduction in insulin concentration may provide a
mechanism by which blood pressure could be reduced
in response to oats consumption.[4]
New insights about the potential benefits of oats have
emerged over the past 10 years. More recent data
indicate that including oats and oat-based products
as part of a lifestyle management program may confer
health benefits that extend beyond total cholesterol and
low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol reduction.
Oats remain an important cereal crop in the developing
world, and the most popularly cultivated species is
Avena sativa L. Compared to other cereals, oats require
a cool and moist climate. It requires more moisture for
its growth. Oats is predominantly grown in American
and European countries, mainly Russia, Canada and the
United States of America. Oats are grown in temperate
regions. They have a lower summer heat requirement
and greater tolerance of rain than other cereals, such
as wheat, rye, or barley, so are particularly important
in areas with cool, wet summers, such as Northwest
Europe and even Iceland. Oats are an annual harvest,
and can be planted either in autumn (for late summer
harvest) or in the spring (for early autumn harvest).[5]
It was used mostly for animal feeding and to some
extent as human food. The use of oats as animal
feed has declined steadily owing to emerging use
and interest in oats as human health food. Oats
consumption in human diet has been increased because
of health benefits associated with dietary fibers such
as beta-glucan, functional protein, lipid and starch
components, and phytochemicals present in the oat
grain.[6]
In the year 1997, USFDA approved the use of a health
claim “3g/day of oat Beta- glucan may help lower blood
total and low-density lipoprotein (LDL-C) cholesterol”.[7]
Over all consumption of oats has increased in the recent
years due to its nutritional benefits; presence of Beta-
glucan, antioxidants like Avenanthramides, vitamin E
(tocotrienols and tocopherols).[8]
oAts versus other GrAIns
Compared with other cereals (wheat, rice, barley,
buckwheat, and rice), oats contain higher content
of protein, and the composition of oat amino acid is
more reasonable [Table 1]. Moreover, the levels of
crude fat, showing the nutritional and functional
potential, in oats are much higher than that of other
cereal grains, which leads oat to become an excellent
source of functional food. Oat lipids are rich in
polyunsaturated fatty acids, Vitamin E, and plan
sterols. Judd and Truswell[9] concluded that both the
lipophilic and lipophobic components of oat play a
major role in decreasing serum cholesterol in humans.
However, there is no information about the effect of
these components other than beta-glucan in oat on the
reduction of serum cholesterol in animals or humans.
Moreover, oats are therapeutically active against
diabetes, high blood pressure, inflammatory state,
and dyslipidemia rather than other grains which are
predominantly insoluble such as wheat or rice. This
makes oats a unique cereal.
In oats, there are more than 20 distinct forms of
avenanthramides (AVEs) differing in the substituents of
the acid rings, but the three major forms are A, B, and C.
They help in reduction of coronary heart disease (CHD)
as they posses anti-inflammatory and antiproliferative
properties and also cause vasodilation, anti-itch and
Table 1: Comparison of oats with other cereals
Characteristics Oats Other cereals
Crude fat ↑ ↓
Polyunsaturated fatty
acids
↑ ↓
Vitamin E ↑ ↓
Plant sterols ↑ ↓
Lipophilic properties ↑ ↓
Lipophobic properties ↑ ↓
Beta-glucan ↑↑ ↓
Micronutrients ↑ ↓
Avenanthramide/
antioxidant
Only cereal to
posses
Not available
Consumption form Mostly consumed
as a whole-gain
Mostly as flour
(except rice)
International health
claim
Available None
=High, =Low
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Varma, et al.: Benefits of oat grains
cytoprotection effects. A randomized placebo-controlled
three-way crossover study was conducted to determine
the bioavailability and bioactivity of AVE A, B, and C
in healthy older adults with 1-week washout period.
Six free-living patients were asked to consume
360 ml skim milk alone (placebo) or containing 0.5 or
1 g avenanthramide-enriched mixture (AEM) extracted
from oats. Plasma samples were collected over a 10-h
period. The bioavailability of avenanthramides (AV-A)
was 4-fold larger than that of avenanthramides (AV-B)
at 0.5 g AEM dose. Thus, oats AV are bio-available and
increase antioxidant capacity in healthy older adults.
Another beneficial compound found in oats is tocols
also known as Vitamin E. These are natural antioxidants
in grains that may benefit human and animal health. It
includes both tocopherols and tocotrienols. They help in
scavenging of free radicals, thereby helping in lowering
the cholesterol levels. Certain trace elements such as
flavonoids, saponins, lignans, and sterols are found in
oat grain, but in minor quantities. These compounds are
bioactive and possess antioxidant properties.
vAlue And functIonAlIty cApture of oAts
Oats is a multifunctional grain. Its uses include animal
feed, human food and raw material for food, health
care, and cosmetic products. Figure 1 shows the
value pyramid and functionality of oats. The major
components of oats that contribute to its functions
include protein, oil, starch, and beta-glucan.[10]
nutrIent coMposItIon of oAts
Oats are unique among the cereals. It consists of a
large amount of total proteins, carbohydrates, i.e.,
starch crude fat, dietary fiber (nonstarch), unique
antioxidant, and vitamins and minerals [Table 2]. They
also contain a varied range of phenolic compounds
including ester-linked glycerol conjugates, ester-linked
alkyl conjugates, ether- and ester-linked glycerides,
anthranilic acids, and AVEs. These compounds possess
high level of antioxidant activity. These antioxidants
are concentrated in the outer layer of the kernel in
the bran fraction of the oat grain. The nutritional
benefits of oat have attracted attention from researchers
worldwide and have resulted in the increased interest
of food industry in using oats as food ingredient in
various food products including infant food, oat milk,
beverages, breakfast cereals, and biscuits. Whole grain
oat contains considerable amount of valuable nutrients
such as proteins, starch, unsaturated fatty acids, and
dietary fiber as soluble and insoluble fractions. Oat also
contains micronutrients such as Vitamin E, folates, zinc,
iron, selenium, copper, manganese, carotenoids, betaine,
choline, sulfur-containing amino acids, phytic acid,
lignins, lignane, and alkyl resorcinols. Although wheat
and rice are consumed in considerably higher quantities
worldwide than oat, oat has the advantage that it is
consumed as a whole grain cereal normally than its
processed products. Increasing recognition is now being
given to the consumption of whole grain cereals due to
the pro-phylactic benefits they provide.[11]
heAlth clAIM on oAts
The USFDA has allowed a health claim for an
association between consumption of diet which is
high in oat meal, oat bran, or oat flour, and reduced
risk of CHD. This represents the first health claim
for a specific food under the Nutrition Labeling and
Education Act (1990) and follows on the long history
of investigation and controversy. The claim is based on
many clinical studies that concluded oat products may
reduce serum cholesterol levels, a risk factor in CHD.
Beta-glucan is accepted as a main active ingredient,
but this does not imply that any source of beta-glucan
is allowed; the health claim is especially for oat bran,
rolled oats (oatmeal), and oat flour, and does not hold
true for other sources of beta-glucan such as oats
products or barley.[12]
The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) approved
the following health claim for food containing
beta-glucan derived from oats or oat bran, or mixtures
of nonprocessed or minimally processed beta-glucans:
“Regular consumption of beta-glucans contributes to
maintenance of normal blood cholesterol concentrations
in the body of the consumer.” Like that of FDA, EFSA
has also concluded that an intake of 3 g beta-glucans
per day was the minimum dose. The EFSA also
stated that the intake could be distributed over one or
more servings, without giving any lower limit for the
beta-glucan content of food products.
Health claims regarding the association between
cholesterol-lowering and soluble fiber from oat
products/oat beta-glucan (OBG) have been approved by
the food standards agencies worldwide (United States: US
Food and Drug Administration; Canada: Health Canada;
Europe: European Food Safety Authority; Australia and
New Zealand: Food Standards Australia New Zealand;
Malaysia: Ministry of Health Malaysia).[13-17]
processInG of oAts
Oats are processed to make it palatable and also to
improve nutrient availability as shown in Figure 2.
Oat kernel is largely nondigestible and is thus milled
to make it suitable for human consumption and
absorption.
There are few steps followed while milling oats:
1. Dehull – It helps to expose the groat
2. Exposure to heat – The heat processing helps to
Table 2: Composition of oats fiber and
beta‑glucan (g/kg dry weight)
Components Oat groat Oat gum Oat bran Oat hull fiber
Total dietary
fiber
60-90 - 120-240 900-970
Beta-glucan 35-50 600-800 55-90 -
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12 Journal of Clinical and Preventive Cardiology ¦ Jan-Mar 2016 ¦ Volume 5 ¦ Issue 1
Varma, et al.: Benefits of oat grains
inactivate the enzymes that cause rancidity and
help in developing flavor
3. Cut/flake/roll/grind – Oat groats are cut, rolled,
ground, or flattened. These groats of varying sizes
are used to make oat flakes/oat flour/oatmeal or as
an ingredient in products such as cookies/bread/
bars, etc.
GlyceMIc Index of vArIous forMs of oAts
During processing of oats, this cereal undergoes change
in physical characteristics which may influence serum
glycemic response. According to a systemic review,
the effect of different processes on acute postprandial
glycemic response, quantified using glycemic index
(GI) measurements. Table 3 below shows variety of oats
and its glycemic index (GI).
The data revealed that steel-cut and large-flake oats
have low GI value whereas muesli and granola have
medium but quick-cooking oats, and instant oatmeal
(IO) fell in the category of high GI value.
The analysis establishes that differences in processing
protocols and cooking practices modify the glycemic
response to foods made with whole-grain oats. Smaller
particle size and increased starch gelatinization appear to
increase the glycemic response[13] (Tosh and Chu, 2015).
The effects of various commercial hydrothermal
processes (steaming, autoclaving, and drum drying) on
the levels of selected oat antioxidants were investigated.
Steaming and flaking of dehulled oat groats resulted in
moderate losses of tocotrienols, caffeic acid, and the AVE
Bp (N-(4’-hydroxy)-(E)-cinnamoyl-5-hydroxy-anthranilic
acid), while ferulic acid and vanillin
increased. The tocopherols and the AVEs Bc
(N-(3’,4’-dihydroxy-(E)-cinnamoyl -5-hydroxy-anthranilic
acid) and Bf (N-(4’-hydroxy-3’-methoxy)-(E)-
cinnamoyl-5-hydroxy-anthranilic acid) were not
affected by steaming. Autoclaving of grains (including
the hulls) caused increased levels of all tocopherols
and tocotrienols which were analyzed except
beta-tocotrienol, which was not affected. Vanillin,
ferulic, and p-coumaric acids also increased, whereas
the AVEs decreased, and caffeic acid was almost
completely eliminated. Drum drying of steamed rolled
oats resulted in an almost complete loss of tocopherols
and tocotrienols, as well as a large decrease in total
cinnamic acids and avenanthramides. The same
process applied to whole meal made from groats from
autoclaved grains resulted in less pronounced losses,
especially for the avenanthramides which were not
significantly affected.[18]
effect of cookInG on oAts
The effects of cooking, baking, and drying on the
extractability of OBG were comprehensively evaluated
by Johansson et al. Cooking was found to release
more soluble beta-glucan whereas baking decreased
the amount of soluble beta-glucan probably due to
enzyme activity in the flour toward beta-glucan.
Drying (overnight at 60°C) decreased the amount of
soluble beta-glucan both in bread and fermentate,
but not in porridge. All processing conditions did
not influence the ratio of cellotriosyl to cellotetraosyl
residues in soluble beta-glucan molecular structure.[19]
Major viscosity losses in oat gum have been observed
during centrifuging, which produce high shear
damage to beta-glucan residues (Wood et al. 1989).
Extrusion processing at high temperature might
Figure 1: Value pyramid
Bran isolated
Whole kernel Oat bran
Grinding
Hull removed Ready to eat processed foods lik
e
breakfast cereals, baked goods &
snack bars
Oat groats
Heat exposure
Cut up Rolled
Steel cut oats Ready to
cook oats
Develop flavor reduce rancidity flattened
Scottish oats
Rolled flattened
Old fashioned oats
grinding
Figure 2: Processing of oats
Table 3: Variety of Oats and GI values
Oats Glycemic index
Steel-cut oats 55
Large-flake oats 53
Muesli 56
Granola 56
Quick-cooking oats 71
Instant oatmeal 75
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Varma, et al.: Benefits of oat grains
decrease the molecular weight of beta-glucan.[20]
The cholesterol-lowering effect of OBG depends on
its viscosity in the small intestine and therefore its
molecular weight. A high molecular weight means it
can be released from the food matrix during digestion
and form a viscous gel inside the small intestine.
cholesterol reductIon wIth oAts
According to scientific research results it has been
known to scientists for over 2 decades that β-glucan
(oat β-glucan) has strong cholesterol and triglyceride
lowering properties leading to reduced cardiovascular
diseases.[21]
By the early 1960s, Groot et al. had observed the
cholesterol-lowering effects of rolled oats in humans.
Since then, many human studies have confirmed this
health benefit. From the meta-analysis of 20 trials,
incorporating oat products into the diet was found
to cause a modest reduction in blood cholesterol
levels, and large reductions were observed in
hypercholesterolemic subjects, particularly when a dose
of 3 g or more of soluble oat fiber was employed.[22]
Behall et al. (1997) reported that 2.1 g of β-glucan per
day reduced total cholesterol levels by 9.5%.[23] The
studies of Anderson and colleagues first brought the
potential cholesterol lowering effect of oats to public
attention, showing that oat bran reduced total serum
cholesterol in hypercholesterolemic subjects by as
much as 23%with no change in high density lipoprotein
(HDL) cholesterol.
A recent meta-analysis, which included 25 studies on
oat products, found that 3 g of soluble fiber from oats
(three servings of oatmeal, 28 g each) reduced total
cholesterol and low-density lipid by approximately
0.13 mmol/L (i.e., 2%).
A meta-analysis of 67 controlled trials of dietary
soluble fiber as a single intervention showed that the
effects on total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol levels
were modest. For example, the addition of three 28 g
servings of oats per day decreases LDL cholesterol
levels by 5 mg/dL (0.13 mmol/L).
A systematic review of literature was extracted
from Embase, Medline, and the Cochrane Library,
which identified 654 potential articles. Seventy-six
articles describing 69 studies met the inclusion
criteria. Most studies lacked statistical power to
detect a significant effect of oats on any of the risk
factors considered: 59% of the studies had less than
thirty subjects in the oat intervention group. Out of
64 studies that assessed systemic lipid markers, 37
(58%) and 34 (49%) showed a significant reduction
in total cholesterol (2–19% reduction) and LDL
cholesterol (4–23% reduction), respectively, mostly
in hypercholesterolemic subjects. Few studies (three
and five, respectively) described significant effects on
HDL cholesterol and TAG concentrations. Long-term
dietary intake of oats or oat bran has a beneficial
effect on blood cholesterol.
A meta-analysis published in the American Journal of
Clinical Nutrition shows that daily consumption of at
least 3 g OBG reduces cholesterol levels. This effect
was observed in lean, overweight, and obese male and
female adults, with and without type-2 diabetes, across
28 randomized controlled trials.
The cholesterol-lowering effect of oat products has been
attributed specifically to OBGs. In a subsequent study,
oat gum containing 80% of beta-glucans significantly
reduced the total and LDL cholesterol levels of
hypercholesterolemic human subjects without effects
on plasma HDL cholesterol, suggesting that beta-glucan
could be the major component of oats responsible for
the overall cholesterol-lowering effect.[24]
A systematic review of observational studies also
supported the fact that increased oats consumption has
a beneficial effect on serum cholesterol concentration,
particularly in hypercholesterolemic subjects. This
is consistent with a rigorous meta-analysis by
Ripsin et al. (90) which concluded that about 3 g/day of
soluble fiber from oat products can lower total cholesterol
by 0·13–0·16 mmol/L, with a greater reduction in
individuals with higher initial cholesterol concentrations.
A 1% reduction in total cholesterol or LDL cholesterol
is associated with a 2–3% or 1% decreased risk,
respectively, of CHD. The magnitude of the effect found
in the present review (3–6% for total cholesterol and
4–8% for LDL-cholesterol when considering studies
with a sufficient sample size) would translate to a
6–18% decrease in CHD risk, which would equate to a
substantial health benefit at a population level.
The soluble fiber in oats helps lower total and
LDL cholesterol, but scientists now say that the
cardiovascular health benefits of oats go beyond fiber.
Eleven top scientists from around the globe presented
the latest findings on the powerful compounds found
in oats in a scientific session in Dallas, TX. Scientists
described research on the diverse health benefits of oats
and emphasized the growing evidence that the type
of phenolic compound AVE–found only in oats–may
possess antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-itch, and
anti-cancer properties. The culmination of the studies
suggests that oat AVEs may play an important role in
protecting the heart.
mechanism of choLesteroL reduction
A study on 4-week-old Wistar rats was conducted to
understand the mechanism of cholesterol reduction
with oats consumption. Rats were divided into six
groups of 7 rats each with similar mean body weights
and serum cholesterol concentrations. Rats were fed
with the experimental diets containing 10% oats
flour for 30 days. The results indicated that dietary
oat improved hypercholesterolemia by increasing the
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Varma, et al.: Benefits of oat grains
excretions of fecal bile acids, and this improvement was
not only related to beta-glucan, but also attributed to
the lipids and proteins. Oat proteins decreased serum
total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol contents due to
their low lysine/arginin and methionine/glycine ratio.
The co-existence of oleic acid, linoleic, Vitamin E, or
plant sterols accounted for the hypocholesterolemic
properties of oat lipids.
The mechanism by which oat-soluble fiber lowers blood
lipids is probably related to its ability to either reduce
the absorption of cholesterol and bile acids or delay
lipid digestion, although two recent studies suggest
that oats may also reduce LDL oxidation due to the
presence of various phenolic compounds. In addition,
oatmeal has been shown to prevent the constriction
of arteries, an early sign of heart disease, when
served with a high-fat meal. Beta-glucans decrease the
absorption and re-absorption of cholesterol, bile acids,
and their metabolites by increasing the viscosity of the
gastrointestinal tract contents.[25]
The mechanism for beta-glucans to lower LDL is
considered to be mediated by bile acids binding property
of beta-glucans. Therefore, beta-glucans increase the
exclusion of bile acids, and this, in turn, activates
cholesterol 7 alpha-hydroxylase and upregulates
low-density lipoprotein receptor, and thus increase the
transport of LDL into hepatocytes and the conversion of
cholesterol into bile acids as seen in Figure 3.
Other soluble dietary fibres that are resistant to
digestion by human enzymes such as pectins, guar
gums, psyllium can also have similar effects.[26,27] The
advantages for beta-glucans are that they exhibit high
viscosities at very low concentration (1%) and are stable
with pH. The viscosity determined by water solubility
and molecular weight has been shown to affect the
hypocholesterolemic effect of beta-glucans.[28] Thus,
different structure of beta-glucans may have different
properties to cause viscosity. Some betaglucans may
have no effects. It is important to characterize what sort
of structure features are essential for lowering lipids
and antidiabetic effects.[29]
oAts And prebIotIc effect
Beta-glucan present in oats has been shown to stimulate
the growth of bifido bacterium and lactobacillus in a
dose-dependent manner and also inhibit Enterobacillus
growth in the colon in a study conducted on mice.[30]
The contents of short-chain fatty acids in the colon were
significantly higher in mice fed with OBG compared to
those fed with the controlled diet. Shen et al. (2006).[30]
indicated that prebiotic effects of OBG were associated
with their molecular weight. Another study conducted
on rats where rats were fed with oat bran diets and
results showed that there was an increase in the
content of lactobacilli and bifido bacteria in fecal flora
as compared with other group which was fed fiber-free
diets.[31]
Kedia et al.[32] compared the fermentation ability of oat
fractions (pearling, whole flour, and bran) by human
Lactobacillus strains in vitro. Oat fractions with a high
concentration of soluble fiber have resulted in greater
growth of Lactobacillus reuteri, Lactobacillus plantarum,
and Lactobacillus acidophilus. The 1–3% of pearling oat
sample containing the highest amount of soluble fiber
and beta-glucan had the greatest fermentation ability,
and the nondigestible components of this fraction
treated with an in vitro digestion model also showed
the greatest growth of the three lacto bacillus strains.
mechanism of oats as a prebiotic
Oligosaccharides produced from beta-glucan have been
demonstrated to act as selective factors, favoring growth
of at least some known probiotic bacterial strains. The
favorable effect on colon function is based partly on
the enhanced production of microbial mass with good
water retention properties, partly by the bulking effect
of the insoluble components of the fiber. Soluble dietary
fiber has been found to increase the fermentation
activity in the large intestinal bowel because of the
production of butyric acid, also accelerates the growth
and colonization of some strains of probiotic bacteria,
has been found to increase the production of microbial
mass and thereby aids the removal of nitrogen via
stool. Increases the wet weight of feces, thus decreases
the constipation problems. Short-chain fatty acids
formed used as energy source for colonic mucosa as
shown in Figure 4. Effect of beta-glucans in increasing
caecal and colon mass, by increasing the resistance of
starch to digestion, and hence altering the amount of
fermentable material reaching the caecum.
oAts And dIAbetes
OBG plays a role in modulating the metabolic effects
observed after fiber-rich meals. As a soluble fiber with
viscous characteristics, it affects gastric emptying, gut
motility, and nutrient absorption, which are reflected in
lower postprandial glycemic and insulin responses.
The benefits of oats have been officially endorsed by
the American Dietetic Association (ADA). According
to a 1996 report from the ADA, oat consumption does
improve glucose control by moderating the large blood
glucose spikes that cause metabolic upsets among
diabetics.
Blood sugar control can be determined by the cooking
time of a cereal, in this case the longer cooking time
(of oats) more thorough is the breakdown of cell wall,
therefore, the rate at which beta- glucans enters the
blood stream is faster; once it enters the blood stream,
it stimulates insulin production. Low glycemic index
of oats may help in regulating blood sugar levels. The
quantity of oats and cooking time work together to
deliver the best possible glycemic control.
A study revealed the efficacy of beta-glucans from oats
which helped in slowing down the blood sugar levels.
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Journal of Clinical and Preventive Cardiology ¦ Jan-Mar 2016 ¦ Volume 5 ¦ Issue 1
Varma, et al.: Benefits of oat grains
According to this study, dietary oats were compared
with mixed-food diets containing other water-soluble
fibers. The results showed that the mixed food diet did
not match the effectiveness of daily servings of ordinary
whole oats in controlling postmeal blood sugar.
A beta-glucan-rich diet was tested against the American
Diabetic Association’s recommended diet for type-2
diabetics. About 16 males with well-controlled type-2
diabetes were split into two groups of 8, one assigned to
continue with the ADA’s diet, the other fed a modified
low-calorie diet featuring OBG sweetened by sucrose
and fructose. Both groups maintained their diets for
4 weeks while exercising 60 min each day. Glucose,
along with body mass index (BMI) and other measures
was monitored. Both diets reduced participant’s
weight, BMI, lipid profile, and basal glucose. The
significant difference was that the beta-glucan-rich
diet outstripped the ADA diet in controlling metabolic
and other nonweight body changes, the most reason is
that oats should figure importantly in the diet of every
person suffering type-2 diabetes.
Another study investigated the postprandial effect of
2 oat products, namely flaked oats (muesli) and boiled
oat flakes (oat porridge), in healthy subjects. Both
products had a similar GI effect as white bread, while
intake of boiled oat kernels tested at the same time
gave lower glucose and insulin responses. Tappy et al.
(1996)[33] gave diabetic subjects a cooked extruded oat
bran concentrate for breakfast at different doses (4.0,
6.0, and 8.4 g beta-glucan). The maximum increases in
plasma glucose for the oat bran meals were 67%, 42%,
and 38%, respectively, compared with a continental
breakfast (35 g available carbohydrates). Other studies
also showed, that when a more concentrated oat extract
is consumed in cooked, boiled, or baked form, it lowers
the glucose and insulin responses.[34]
Tapola et al. (2005)[35] in their study, “glycemic responses
of oat bran products in type-2 diabetic patients” also
concluded the same when they studied volunteers with
type-2 diabetes fed on oat bran flour, oat bran crisp, and
a glucose load providing 12.5 g glycemic carbohydrate
(series 1) and 25 g glucose load alone, and 25 g glucose
load with 30 g oat bran flour (series 2). In both series,
oat bran products rapidly lowered postprandial glucose
concentrations than after the 12.5 g or 25 g glucose
load during the 1st h, but the glucose concentration was
greater at 120 min after the oat bran products ingestion
than after the glucose load. This decrease of glucose
absorption will decrease insulin release and thereby
attenuate pancreatic insulin response. Therefore, OBG
has a greater effect at lowering peak glucose absorption
concurrently with an attenuated insulin response,
which has a high significance in control and prevention
of type-2 diabetes.[21,36]
mechanism of oats in diabetes
The potential reduction of glycemic response following
ingestion of dietary fiber has led to proposals which
implicate that the amount and quality of fiber increased
the intrinsic viscosity of the food in combination with
fluids and hence the gastrointestinal environment;
maintenance of physical integrity of the food material
and incomplete starch gelatinization. Beta-glucans
delay gastric emptying, gut motility, and the intestinal
absorption of nutrients such as digestible carbohydrates
[Figure 5]. Higher levels of fermentable material in the
caecum will lead to increased short-chain fatty acid
Oats
Binding ability of beta- glucan to
bile acids SCFA produced after fermentation inhibit
hepatic cholesterol synthesis
Favor exclusion of bile acids
Activation of cholesterol 7 a-
hydroxylase which favor
increased expression of LDLR
Transport of LDL into
hepatocytes
Conversion of cholesterol into
bile acids
Decrease
cholesterol level
Figure 3: Action of oats against dyslipidemia
Oat
s
Contain beta glucan
Contain other soluble fiber
Favour growth of probiotic
bacterial strains
Production of butyric acid. Increased
colonization and growth of some
strains of probiotic bacteria
Increased production of microbial mass and acids in
nitrogen removal via stool
Figure 4: Mechanism of oats as prebiotic effect
Figure 5: Mechanism of action of oats against diabetes
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16 Journal of Clinical and Preventive Cardiology ¦ Jan-Mar 2016 ¦ Volume 5 ¦ Issue 1
Varma, et al.: Benefits of oat grains
levels in the caecal contents. This “bulking” effect of
dietary fiber may be a consequence of increased water
holding capacity of fiber-rich foods, and thus reducing
postprandial hyperglycemia and insulin secretion. This
provides health benefits for those with type-2 diabetes,
and is also associated with reduced risk of developing
the disease and insulin insensitivity. Other notable, but
less well-documented effects of beta-glucans include
the diminished absorption of nutrients, prolonged
postprandial satiety, and increased stool bulk and relief
of constipation.
obesIty And blood pressure
Weight loss is often advocated as a first-line treatment
for hypertension and hypercholesterolemia, and the
identification of weight-loss diets likely to maximize
the effects on blood pressure and blood lipids is of
considerable importance. In a study, a hypocaloric
diet-containing oats were given for over 6 weeks. It
resulted in greater decreases in SBP, total cholesterol,
and LDL cholesterol than did in a similar diet without
oats. In this normotensive population, a hypocaloric
diet-containing oats were associated with a decrease
in SBP of 6 mm Hg and a net advantage over the
control diet of 25 mmHg. Many studies have shown
beta-glucans reduced body weight.[37,38] For example,
Sanchez and Colleagues et al. (2008) showed the
lowering of body weight effect of oat bran beta-glucan
at the concentration of 10%.[39]
According to Anderson (1990) and Malkki, and
Virtanen (2001)[26,40] the diet which is rich in soluble
fiber can affect fullness (satiety) and promote weight
loss for a number of reasons including a slower rate
of meal intake, a delay in gastric emptying, elevation
of cholecystokinin (a gut hormone correlated with
prolonged satiety), and production of gas and
short-chain fatty acids by fermentation of the fiber
in the colon. A study was conducted to examine
the effect of two types of oatmeal and an oat-based
ready to eat breakfast cereal (RTEC) on appetite and
assessed differences in meal viscosity and beta-glucan
characteristics among the cereals. About 48 subjects
were enrolled in a randomized crossover trial. Subjects
consumed isocaloric breakfast meals containing
instant oatmeal (IO), old fashioned oatmeal (SO) or
RTEC in random order at least a week apart. Starch
digestion kinetics, meal viscosities, and beta-glucan
characteristics for each meal were determined. IO and
SO had higher beta-glucan content, molecular weight,
gastric viscosity, and larger hydration spheres than the
RTEC, and IO had greater viscosity after oral and initial
gastric digestion (initial viscosity) than the RTEC. IO
and SO improved appetite control over four hours
compared to RTEC.
Oat compounds provide various opportunities for
incorporating oats in functional food products. There
is a great need to determine the bioavailability of
antioxidants from oat and other food sources and to
determine various effects on human and animal health.
Oats contain very interesting components including
antioxidants and beta-glucan. Oat, being a convenience
food material consumed by humans irrespective of the
age, requires more scientific attention to justify and
modify its nutraceutical status in geriatric as well as
pediatric diets. Research and development are further
needed to determine novel functional compounds in
oat to extract these components in fractions that can be
incorporated in food products.
financiaL support and sponsorship
Nil.
confLicts of interest
There are no conflicts of interest.
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... Oat (Avena sativa L.) has achieved status of "super grain" globally due to better quality protein, helpful against cardio-vascular diseases, celiac disease, cholesterol lowering effects, obesity and also posses anticancerous properties [1], [11], [12], [14]. Oat is locally known as "jai" is very important fodder crop for livestock sustainability during Rabi season due to supply of green fodder and can be stored as hay or silage during fodder scarcity periods. ...
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principal component, genetic diversity, green fodder yield, oat, multi-cut In the present investigation 92 Avena genotypes were evaluated for multi-cut nature in randomized block design with three replications at the Research Farm area of forage Section, Department of Genetics and Plant Breeding, CCS HAU, Hisar during rabi season. Highly significant differences observed by analysis of variance showed presence of high amount of variability for single cut and multi-cut. Correlation analysis indicated positive and significant correlations of green fodder yield with dry matter yield, plant height and number of tillers. Genotypes collected from different geographical areas had a role in the clustering pattern and cluster with highest inter-cluster distances were considered for hybridization as potential parents for obtaining high heterotic response. In single cut, the principal component analysis found three components with eigen values more than one and altogether explained 67.95% of the total accumulated variability. The first principal component explained 26.24% followed by second (21.84%) and third (19.87%). of the total variance while principal factor-3 (PF-3) showed regarded as fodder yield factors. In second cut, seven principal components had eigen values more than one and altogether explained 73.34% of the total accumulated variability. The first principal component explained 15.31 % of the total variation, followed by second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh principal components explained 11.94, 11.79, 10.54, 10.40, 7.38 and 5.97 % of the total variance, respectively, while PF-2 and PF-4 regarded as fodder yield factors for second cut of multi-cut oat. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial 4.0 International License.
... Oats contain the highest protein level among the cereals, with 12 to 20% protein in the dehulled kernel (Peterson, 1992). Moreover, oat protein is unique and the amino acid profile is more reasonable in oat than cereals having high lysine content (Biel et al., 2009;Varma et al., 2016). In relation to fodder, oat used to be grown mostly as single cut which restricted its availability to shorter period but now it is extensively used as multi-cut leading to prolonged availability of green fodder which has a great role in establishing more productive dairy industry in India. ...
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The present investigation was carried out with 92 genotypes of oat maintained in germplasm of Forage Section, Department of Genetics and Plant Breeding, CCS HAU, Hisar. The Mahalanobis' D 2 statistics for genetic divergence classified 92 oat genotypes into eleven and nine clusters in first cut and second cut, respectively in multi-cut system, indicating the presence of substantial genetic diversity in the evaluated germplasm. Average inter-cluster distance in I st cut was found highest between cluster IX and XI (6.826) followed by cluster IV and VII (6.676). The minimum inter cluster distance was noticed between cluster V and VI (3.508). The minimum intra cluster distance was noticed in cluster VII (2.602) and highest intra-cluster distance was observed in cluster V (5.098).The clusters II, V, and XI were having higher cluster mean values for most of the characters studied. In 2 nd cut, average inter-cluster distance was found highest between cluster II and VII (8.071), followed by cluster III and VI (7.857). The minimum inter cluster distance was noticed between cluster VI and VIII (5.766). The minimum intra cluster distance was noticed in cluster IV (4.899) and highest intra-cluster distance was observed in cluster VII (6.078).The clusters II, III, IV and IX had higher cluster mean values for most of the characters studied. The genotypes HFO-58, OS-6, KENT, HFO-851, HFO-867, HFO-502, HFO-508 and HFO-880 which performed better in both 1 st cut and 2 nd cut clusters might prove as potential tool for obtaining high heterotic response and consequently superior segregants for dry matter yield and quality in forage oat under multi-cut system.
... From human health point of view, consumption of oat grains lowers the risk of cardiovascular diseases and inhibits bad cholesterol leading to increase in its demand in global food market (Tiwari et al., 2011;Devi 2018). Hence, it has been often referred to as "Supergrain" as it serves as excellent source of various nutritional features (Varma et al., 2016;Premkumar 2017). As fodder, the quality of the forage primarily depends upon both digestible and indigestible fractions. ...
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The objective of the present study was to estimate the level of heterosis for different agro-morphological, yield attributing and quality traits in oat. A total of 40 F 1 hybrids along with parents and standard check PLP-1 were evaluated in RBD with three replications during Rabi 2018-19. Analysis of variance revealed significant differences among parents, genotypes and hybrids for almost all the traits indicating sufficient genetic variability in the material. UPO-130 × JPO-46 showed promising heterosis for green fodder yield and seed yield. HJ-8 × JPO-46 exhibited desirable acid detergent fibre, neutral detergent fibre and highest β-glucan content. Based on mean performance, heterosis studies and resistance to powdery mildew, cross combinations KRR-AK-26 × JPO-46, Kent × JPO-46 and PLP-14 × UPO-30 were found best and can be expected to throw transgressive segregants. Thus, these hybrids can be further evaluated at multilocation trials and commercially exploited through heterosis breeding.
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Cereal and pulse crops are staple foods that provide essential nutrients to many populations of the world. Traditionally, whole grains were consumed but most current foods are derived from refined fractions of cereal and pulse crops. Consumption of processed or refined products may reduce the health benefits of food. In wheat-based processed foods, for example, the removed 40% of the grain (mainly the bran and the germ of the wheat grain) contains the majority of the health beneficial components. These components, particularly non-essential phytochemicals such as carotenoids, polyphenols, phytosterols/ stanols, and dietary fibers, have been shown to reduce the risk of major chronic diseases of humans, such as cancer, cardiovascular diseases, and Parkinson's disease. Such bioactives are therefore good candidates for ingredients of nutraceuticals and functional foods. There are many factors that can affect the bioactive content of cereal and pulse-based food ingredients, including genetics, growing and storage conditions, post-harvest treatments, food formulation and processing. All of these factors ultimately affect human health and wellness. Bioavailability is also important for these compounds for exerting their protective roles. Cereals and Pulses: Nutraceutical Properties and Health Benefits provides a summary of current research findings related to phytochemical composition and properties of cereal and pulse crops. The nutraceutical properties of each major cereal and pulse are discussed. Coverage of cereals and pulse crops includes barley, oats, rice, rye, corn, adlay, wheat, buckwheat, psyllium, sorghum, millet, common beans, field peas, faba beans, chickpea, lentil and soybeans. Chapters for each crop discuss methods to improve crop utilization, nutraceutical components and properties, bioactive compositions, antioxidant properties, beneficial health effects, disease prevention activities, and areas for future research. Also included are two chapters that examine the beneficial health properties of dietary fibers and antioxidants. Edited and written by an international team of respected researchers, this book is a reference guide for scientists working in food ingredients, food product research and development, functional foods and nutraceuticals, crop breeding and genetics, human nutrition, post-harvest treatment and processing of cereal grains and pulses. It will enable them to effect value-added food innovation for health promotion and disease risk reduction.
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