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The nutritional and therapeutic importance of Avena sativa - An Overview

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Abstract

Avena sativa is a rich source of protein, minerals, lipids, β-glucan, avenanthramides, indole alkaloid, flavonoids, triterpenoidsaponins, lipids and sterols. It exerted many pharmacological effects including antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, dermatological, immunomodulatory, antidiabetic, gastrointestinal, hypolipidemic, neurological, cardiovascular and many other biological activities. This paper will highlight its chemical constituents and potential therapeutic effect.
Inter. J. of Phytotherapy / Vol 5 / Issue 1 / 2015 / 48-56
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e - ISSN - 2249-7722
Print ISSN - 2249-7730
International Journal of Phytotherapy
www.phytotherapyjournal.com
THE NUTRITIONAL AND THERAPEUTIC IMPORTANCE OF
AVENA SATIVA - AN OVERVIEW
Ali Esmail Al-Snafi
Department of Pharmacology, College of Medicine, Thiqar University, Iraq.
INTRODUCTION
For the past decades, there has been an
increasing interest in the investigation of different extract
obtained from plants for nutritional and therapeutic
purposes.Avena sativa is a rich source of protein,
minerals, lipids, β-glucan, avenanthramides, indole
alkaloid, flavonoids, triterpenoidsaponins, lipids and
sterols. It exerted many pharmacological effects
including antioxidant, anti-inflammatory,
dermatological, immunomodulatory, antidiabetic,
gastrointestinal, hypolipidemic, neurological,
cardiovascular and many other biological activities.
Synonym
Avena ativa var. abyssinica (Hochst.) Körn.
Avena sativa var. abyssinica (Hochst. ex A. Rich.) Engl.,
Avena sativa var. barbata (Pott ex Link) Fiori, Avena
sativa var. biaristata Hack. Ex Trab., ena
ativa var. biaristata Alef., Avena sativa
var. brachytricha (Thell.) Tzvelev,
Avena ativa var. braunii Körn., Avena sativa
var. brevis (Roth) Fiori, Avena sativa subsp.
byzantina (K. Koch) Romero Zarco, Avena
sativa subsp. chinensis (Fisch. ex Roem. &Schult.)
Holub,Avena sativa var. chinensis Döll,Avena sativa var.
chinensis Vilm., Avena sativa var. Cinerea Körn., Avena
sativa var. cinerea (Körn.) Vascon., Avena sativa subsp.
Contracta (Neilr.) Celak., Avena sativa var.
contracta Neilr., Avena sativa subsp. fatua (L.) Fiori,
Avena sativa var. diffusa Neilr., Avena sativa var.
fatua (L) Fiori, Avena sativa var. fatua (L) Fiori,Avena
sativa subsp. fatua (L.) Thell., Avena sativa
var. flavescens (Peterm.) Soó., Avena sativa var.
fuscoatra (Peterm.) Soó,Avena
sativa var. glaberrima (Thell.) Maire & Weiller, Avena
sativa var. Glaberrima (Thell.) Parodi, Avena
sativa var. hildebrandtii Körn., Avena
sativa var. Hispanica (Ard.)Steud., Avena
sativa var. kazanensis Vavilov, Avena sativa var. Leiantha
(Malzev) E. Morren, Avena sativa var.
ludoviciana (Durieu) Fiori, Avena sativa subsp.
macrantha (Hack.) Rocha Afonso, Avena
sativa var. macrantha Hack.,
Corresponding Author:-Ali Esmail Al-Snafi Email: aboahmad61@yahoo.com
ABSTRACT
Avena sativa is a rich source of protein, minerals, lipids, β-glucan, avenanthramides, indole alkaloid,
flavonoids, triterpenoidsaponins, lipids and sterols. It exerted many pharmacological effects including antioxidant,
anti-inflammatory, dermatological, immunomodulatory, antidiabetic, gastrointestinal, hypolipidemic, neurological,
cardiovascular and many other biological activities. This paper will highlight its chemical constituents and potential
therapeutic effect.
Key words: Avena sativa, Oat, Pharmacology, Chemical constituents.
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Avena sativa subsp. macrantha Mordv., Avena sativa
var. macrathera (Thell.) Parodi, Avena
sativa var. macrotricha (Malzev) Tzvelev, Avena
sativa var. Macrotricha (Malzev) E. Morren, Avena
sativa var. microtricha (Malzev) Tzvelev, Avena
sativa var. nigra E. Krause, Avena sativa var.
nigra Alph. Wood, Avena sativa var. nigra Prov., Avena
sativa subsp. nodipilosa (Malzev) Vasc., Avena
sativa subsp. nuda (L.) Gillet & Magne, Avena
sativa var. nuda (L.) Körn., Avena
sativa subsp. orientalis (Schreb.) Asch. &Graebn., Avena
sativa subsp. orientalis (Schreb.) Asch. &Graebn.,
Avena sativa var. orientalis (Schreb.) Alef., Avena
sativa subsp. orientalis Jessen, Avena
sativa var. pilifera (Malzev) Tzvelev, Avena sativa var.
pilosa (Koeler) Tab. Morais, Avena sativa subsp.
Praegravis (E.L.Krause) Tab.Morais, Avena sativa
subsp. praegravis (E.L.Krause) Tab.Morais, Avena
sativa subsp. praegravis (E.L.Krause) Cif. &Giacom.,
Avena sativa var. praegravis E. Krause, Avena sativa
subsp. praegravis (Krause) Mordv., Avena sativa var.
schimperi Körn., Avena sativa
var. secunda Alph.Wood, Avena sativa var.
sericea Hook.f., Avena sativa var. setulosa (Thell.)
Parodi, Avena sativa subsp. sterilis (L.) De Wet, Avena
sativa var. sterilis (L.) Fiori, Avena sativa var.
strigosa (Schreb.) Bonnier & Layens, Avena sativa
var. strigosa (Schreb.) Fiori, Avena
sativa var. subpilosa (Thell.) E. Morren, Avena
sativa var. subuniflora (Trab.) Tzvelev, Avena sativa
var. subuniflora (Trab.) Thell, Avena sativa var.
Trichophylla (K.Koch) Griseb., Avena sativa
var. volgensis Vavilov [1].
Commonnames
Arabic: Shofan, doser, qurtman, khafour, khertal;
English: Oat, cereal oatand commonoat; French: Oats
and avoine; German: Hafer; Italian and Spanish: Avena
[1-4].
Taxonomic classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Subkingdom: Tracheobionta
Superdivision: Spermatophyta
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Liliopsida
Subclass: Commelinidae
Order: Cyperales
Family: Poaceae
Genus: Avena
Species: Avena sativa[5-6].
Description
It is erect tufted annual grass, to 1.2 m tall; culms
smooth or scabrous beneath the panicle; leaves 1530 cm
long, 0.61.2 cm wide, sheaths long and loose; panicle
terminal, 1530 cm long; spikelets usually 2-flowered, to
2.5 cm long, slender-pedicelled; glumes, several-nerved;
lemma glabrous, teeth acute, dorsal awn absent or 1 to a
floret, short; kernel 0.60.8 cm long, narrow, with nearly
parallel sides, hairy, grooved lengthwise on the
face,tightly enclosed (in inrolled lemma which also covers
the palea on the front [7].
Distribution
Oat has been cultivated for over 5000 years. Oats
are the fourth most important crop worldwide.Oat
producer’s countries (Million metric tons) were:Russia
5.1, Canada 3.3, United States 1.7, Poland 1.3, Finland
1.2, Australia 1.1, Germany 1.0, Belarus 0.8, China 0.8,
and Ukraine 0.8 - 24.6 [2].
Traditional uses
It was used as cardiac and nerve tonic, for
spermatorrhoea, palpitation, sleeplessness, antispasmodic,
for diarrhoea, dysentery, and colitis. It was also used as
thymoleptic, antidepressant and externally as emollient
[8].
Part used
Fresh milky seed was used for medicine. The
mature seed is eaten as food.
Chemical constituents
Whole oat groat contained high amounts of
valuable nutrients such as soluble fibers, proteins,
unsaturated fatty acids, vitamins, minerals, and other
phytochemicals.Each 100g of oat groat contained 17.1%
protein, 67.9% carbohydrates, 8.6% fat, 15-22% dietary
fiber, 10.4% β-glucan, 1.3 mg niacin, 171 mg magnesium,
0.17 mg copper, 441 mg potassium and α- tocopherol less
than 0.5 mg [9-11]. Silicon dioxide (2%) occurs in the
leaves and in the straw in soluble form as esters of silicic
acid. Oat straw contained a high iron (39 mg/kg dry
weight), manganese (8.5 mg) and zinc (19.2 mg) [8].
However, Avena sativa seeds were also rich in body-
building nutrients including silicon, manganese, zinc,
calcium, phosphorus and vitamins A, B1, B2 and E. [12].
Oat β-glucan was a soluble fiber and viscous
polysaccharide made up of units of the monosaccharide
D-glucose. The bonds between the D-glucose and D-
gluco-pyranosyl units are β1, 3 linkages or β 1, 4
linkages. The (13)-linkages break up the uniform
structure of the βD-glucan molecule and make it soluble
and flexible. In comparison, the oat indigestible
polysaccharide cellulose is insoluble. The reason for
insolubility is that cellulose consists only of (14)-β-D-
linkages. The percentages of β-glucan in the various
whole oat products are: oat bran, greater than 5.5% and up
to 23.0%, rolled oats, about 4%, and whole oat flour
about 4% [13].
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Soluble oligo- and polysaccharides including
saccharose, kestose, neokestose, bifurcose, beta- glucans,
galactoarabinoxylans, were isolated from Avena sativa. It
also contained silicic acid, steroid saponins (avenacoside
A and B), unusual amino acids (avenic acid A and B),
sterols (beta-sitosterol, delta-5-avenasterol), fatty oil and
flavonoids [14].
Oat contained 196.1 ug/g polyphenols, 83.5
mg/100g anthocyanins, 17.7 mg /100g flavonoids and
34.6% β-Carotene [9]. Several classes of compounds with
antioxidant activity have been identified in oats (Avena
sativa), including vitamin E, flavonoids, and
nonflavonoid phenolic acids [15].
Flavonoids isolated from oat plants (leaves,
stems, inflorescences) were included apigenin type
flavones: C-glycosyl-apigenins, isovitexin and its 2″-O-
arabinoside, 2″-O-glycosides of vitexin and di-C-
glucosyl-apigenin; luteolin type: 6-C-glucosyl-luteolin
(isoorientin), its 2″-O-glycosides, isoorientin-7-O-
glucoside and isoscoparin, 6-C-glucosyl-chrysoeriol and
tricin type flavones: appear both as free aglycone and as
tricin-4′- and/or -7-O-glycosides [14,16].
Three Avenanthramides compounds were
isolated from Avena sativa seeds. Spectroscopic analyses
suggested that they were amides of 4,5-
dihydroxyanthranilic acid with caffeic, p-coumaric, and
ferulic acids, respectively [17].
A protein fraction rich in Cys/Gly residues was
extracted from oat Avena sativa seeds. Quantitative
amino acid analysis indicated that it contained a series of
heterogeneous Cys/Gly-rich proteins with molecular
masses of 3.6-4.0 kDa. From this fraction, a new
polypeptide, designated (avesin A), was purified and
sequenced by Edman degradation. Avesin A consists of
37 amino-acid residues, with 10 glycine residues and
eight cysteine residues forming disulfide bridges, and
contained a single chitin-binding domain, which indicated
that avesin A is a new member of the putative chitin-
binding proteins [18].
PHARMACOLOGICAL EFFECTS
Antioxidant effect
Oats (Avena sativa L.), contained many
antioxidants (vitamin E, flavonoids, and nonflavonoid
phenolic acids). Handelman et al., tested the antioxidant
activity of oat. They found that phenolic-rich fractions of
oats possessed an antioxidant capacity and the greatest
degree of antioxidant capacity was associated with
compounds extracted with methanol [15].
The antioxidative potential of an oat by-product
was compared with the effect of vitamin E on the
oxidative stability of pork from pigs fed a diet enriched
with linseed oil. The oat by-product, comprising oat hulls
and bran, was used at 10 and 20% in the grower and
finisher diets, respectively. Diets with the oat by-product
increased serum alpha-tocopherol concentration (p <
0.01) and decreased the thiobarbituric acid reactive
substance (TBARS) levels in the fresh and stored
longissimusdorsi muscle (p<0.05), without increasing
muscle alpha-tocopherol concentration. The obtained
results indicate that the phenolic compounds present in
oat by-products have a considerable antioxidant potential
and a beneficial effect on the pig organism and oxidative
stability of meat. However, dietary inclusion with the oat
by-product was not as efficient as supplementation with
vitamin E [19].
Three Avenanthramides compounds were
isolated from Avena sativa seeds. Spectroscopic analyses
suggested that they are amides of 4,5-
dihydroxyanthranilic acid with caffeic, p-coumaric, and
ferulic acids, respectively. These compounds showed
stronger 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) radical-
scavenging activity than the corresponding
avenanthramides with 5-hydroxyanthranilic acid,
indicating the involvement of 4,5-dihydroxyanthranilic
acid moiety in the scavenging of DPPH radicals [17].
The antioxidant activities from whole oat groats
of seven common varieties were evaluated. All oat
varieties had very similar oxygen radical absorption
capacity compared with other whole grains.
Avenanthramide levels did not correlate with the
observed antioxidant activities [20].
The protective effect of oat bran extract was
evaluated on human dermal fibroblast injury induced by
hydrogen peroxide (H2O2). Assays for 1,1-diphenyl-2-
picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) radical scavenging activity
indicate that oat peptide-rich extract has a direct and
concentration-dependent antioxidant activity. 3-(4,5-
Dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyl tetrazolium bromide
(MTT) colorimetric assay and the TdT-mediated
digoxigenin-dUTP nick-end labeling (TUNEL) assay for
apoptosis showed that administration of H2O2 in human
dermal fibroblasts caused cell damage and apoptosis. Pre-
incubation of human dermal fibroblasts with the oat for
24 h markedly inhibited human dermal fibroblast injury
induced by H2O2, but application of oat peptides with
H2O2 at same time did not. Pre-treatment of human
dermal fibroblasts with oat significantly reversed the
H2O2-induced decrease of superoxide dismutase (SOD)
and the inhibition of malondialdehyde (MDA). The
results demonstrate that oat peptides possess antioxidant
activity and were effective against H2O2- induced human
dermal fibroblast injury by the enhaning activity of SOD
and decreasing MDA level. The results suggest that oat
bran have the potential to prevent aging-related skin
injury [21].
The efficiency of oats oil (6 g per kg bw) to
alleviate oxidative damage of testis induced by
deltamethrin (DEL), which is a pyrethroid pesticide that
exerts a wide range of effects on non-targeted organisms,
was studied . Exposure to deltamethrin at a dose of 5 mg
per kg bw per day caused oxidative stress in testis, proven
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by a decrease in the epididymal sperm count and motility,
an increase in the number of abnormal morphologies in
spermatozoa and a significant increase of lipid
peroxidation (LP) in the testis when compared to control
animals. Co-administration of oats oil to the DEL-treated
mice ameliorated the testicular biochemical parameters as
well as the histological impairments in testis [22].
Hyolipidemic effects
Oat β-glucan exerted cholesterol-lowering
properties. The consumption of oat meal and oat bran
reduced total plasma cholesterol and LDL-cholesterol
levels. This effect attributed to β-glucan, it interfered
with the reabsorption of bile acid in the gut and reduces
cholesterol levels The oat bran has been found to be the
fiber source that significantly lowered total and low
density-lipoprotein cholesterol levels in mild
hypercholesterolemics [23].
C57BL/6 NCrl mice responded to oat bran with
19 ± 1 % (P < 0.001) lower plasma cholesterol, 40 ± 5%
(P < 0.01) higher excretion of bile acids and increased
expression of the bile acid-producing hepatic enzymes
CYP7A1 and CYP8B1, but none of these effects were
found in C57BL/6JBomTac mice. However, on control
diet, C57BL/6JBomTac had tenfold higher expression of
CYP7A1 and levels of hepatic cholesterol esters than
C57BL/6NCrl mice [24].
The United States Food and Drug
Administration (FDA) approved a health claim for β-
glucan soluble fiber from oats for reducing plasma
cholesterol levels and risk of heart disease in 1997.
Similarly, in 2004 the United Kingdom Joint Health
Claims Initiative (JHCI) allowed a cholesterol-lowering
health claim for oat β-glucan. Studies conducted during
the past 13 years support the suggestion that intake of oat
β-glucan at daily doses, of at least 3 g, reduced plasma
total and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels
by 5-10% in normocholesterolemic or
hypercholesterolemic subjects. Studies also showed that
oat consumption is associated with 5% reductions in total
cholesterol levels [25].
The effect of oat consumption on serum lipid
profiles was studied in Thai hypercholesterolemic adults.
Following daily oat consumption, total cholesterol and
LDL-cholesterol levels were significantly lower than
baseline levels and lower than the levels observed with
rice consumption. Oat consumption reduced total
cholesterol by 5% and LDL-cholesterol by 10% from
baseline levels. In addition, mean and percent changes
were significantly different from the levels after
consuming rice porridge (p < 0.05) [26].
Cardiovascular effect
In addition to its cholesterol lowering effect, it
improved the blood pressure when consumed with
vitamin C, improved endothelial function and exerted
angiotensine converting enzyme inhibition. According to
these results, the United States Food and Drug
Administration in 1997 approved the heart-health benefit
of food containing soluble fiber from oats [19,24-25].
Katz et al., reported that a single serving of
oatmeal opposed the disturbances in endothelial function
observed after the consumption of a high fat meal [27].
In overweight patients, beta glucan from oats has
been shown to decrease hypertension. Avenanthramide is
an oat polyphenol that has been shown to enhance
production of nitric oxide, a potent vasodilator, and to
inhibit thickening of vascular smooth muscle. Both
actions are preventative for developing of
atherosclerosis[28-29].
Anti- obesity effect
A clinical trial was carried out to confirm the
anti-obesity effect of oat. Subjects with BMI ≥27 and
aged 18-65, were randomly divided into a control and an
oat-treated group, taking a placebo or beta glucan-
containing oat cereal, respectively, for 12 weeks. The
result showed that consumption of oat reduced body
weight, BMI, body fat and the waist-to-hip ratio. Profiles
of hepatic function, including AST and ALT showed
decrements in patients with oat consumption.
Nevertheless, anatomic changes were not observed by
ultrasonic image analysis. Ingestion of oat was well
tolerated and there was no adverse effect during the trial
[30].
To explored the dose-dependent effect of oat
cereal β-glucan on improving metabolic indexes of
obesity mice, C57-Bl mice were randomized to chow diet
(N) group and high fat diet group and other three doses of
oat β-glucan groups (low β-glucan, medium β-glucan, and
high β-glucan). Energy intake, glucose, lipids, and
appetite related hormones were tested. Dose-dependent
relation was observed on oat β-glucan doses and body
weight change, average energy intake, total cholesterol,
HDL cholesterol, plasma neural peptide Y, arcuate neural
peptide Y mRNA, and arcuate neural peptide Y receptor 2
mRNA level. Oat β-glucan helped to increase plasma
peptide Y-Y and intestine peptide Y-Y expression in
obesity mice [31].
Antidiabetic effect
The treatment with Avenasativa increased
insulin activity and improved sensitivity for normalizing
blood glucose level and reduce glucose production by the
liver [32]. The glycaemic and insulinaemic response to
oat bread, oat bread with lingonberryfibre, oat-buckwheat
bread and buckwheat porridge were tested in a small-scale
clinical study (KHSHP E514/09). Nine healthy volunteers
consumed test foods after overnight fasting. From
samples taken at seven time points during 120 min. The
mean glycaemic and C-peptide indexes (C-pepIs) were 32
and 100 for oat bread, 47 and 119 for oat-lingonberryfibre
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bread, 58 and 105 for oat-buckwheat bread and 71 and 77
for buckwheat porridge [33].
Oat and barley foods have been shown to reduce
human glycaemic response, compared to similar wheat
foods or a glucose control. Regression analysis on 119
treatments indicated that change in glycaemic response
(expressed as incremental area under the post-prandial
blood-glucose curve) was greater for intact grains than for
processed foods. For processed foods, glycaemic response
was more strongly related to the β-glucan dose alone
(r(2)=0.48, P<0.0001) than to the ratio of β-glucan to the
available carbohydrate (r(2)=0.25, P<0.0001). For
processed foods containing 4 g of β-glucan, the linear
model predicted a decrease in glycaemic response of 27 ±
3 mmol/min/l. Thus, intact grains as well as a variety of
processed oat and barley foods containing at least 4 g of
β-glucan and 30-80 g available carbohydrate can
significantly reduce post-prandial blood glucose [34].
Antimicrobial effects
The 70% ethanolic extract of the Avena sativa
exerted antibacterial activity against gram positive
bacteria (Staphylococcus aureus), and gram
negativebacteria (E. coli, Proteus vulgaris, Pseudomonas
aerugiuosa, and Klebsiella). The extract also exerted
antifungal activity against A. niger, and Candida [32]. A
protein fraction rich in Cys/Gly residues extracted from
oat (Avena sativa) seeds possessed weak to moderate
antifungal properties to some fungal strains [18].
Dermatological effects
Oatmeal preparations were effective on a variety
of dermatologic inflammatory diseases such as pruritus,
atopic dermatitis, acneiform eruptions, and viral
infections. Additionally, oatmeal plays a role in cosmetics
preparations and skin protection against ultraviolet rays
[35].
The dried seeds was used to make a decoction to
relieve the symptoms of eczema, the soothing emollient
activity of the seeds decreased itching and nourished the
skin.Oat colloidal extract containing avenanthramides has
also proved to have antihistamine and anti-irritation
activity [36-38].
MTT, Dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyl
tetrazolium bromide colorimetric assay and the TdT-
mediated digoxigenin-dUTP nick-end labeling (TUNEL)
assay for apoptosis showed that administration of H2O2 in
human dermal fibroblasts caused cell damage and
apoptosis. Pre-incubation of human dermal fibroblasts
with the oat for 24 h markedly inhibited human dermal
fibroblast injury induced by H2O2. The results suggest that
oat bran have the potential to prevent aging-related skin
injury [39].
Avenanthramides have been reported to exhibit
anti-inflammatory activity in the skin. Avenanthramides
at concentrations as low as 1 parts per billion inhibited the
degradation of inhibitor of nuclear factor kappa B-alpha
(IkappaB-alpha) in keratinocytes which correlated with
decreased phosphorylation of p65 subunit of nuclear
factor kappa B (NF-kappaB). Furthermore, cells treated
with avenanthramides showed a significant inhibition of
tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) induced NF-
kappaB luciferase activity and subsequent reduction of
interleukin-8 (IL-8) release [38].
Central nervous effects
An extract of wild green oat (Avenasativa) was
tested in rats for its behavioural effects after chronic oral
administration via extract-admixed food. Rats received 10
and 100 g/kg extract-admixed food showed slight
decreased food and fluid intake in the high dose group,
with no side effects observed during the treatment. The
low dose led to an improvement of active stress response,
an enhancement of shock avoidance learning and an
increased synchrony in social behavior [40].
Dietary oat β-glucan enhanced the endurance
capacity of rats and facilitated their recovery from stress
and fatigue. Sparsgue-Dawley rats, fed with/without oat
β-glucan 312.5 mg/ kg/day for 7 weeks, were subjected to
run on a treadmill system to make them exhausted. All
rats were immediately sacrificed after prolonged exercise,
and the major metabolic substrates were measured in
serum and liver. Feeding dietary oat β-glucan to rats
significantly reduced the body weight and increased the
maximum running time compared with normal control
(P<0.05). Furthermore, dietary oat β-glucan decreased the
levels of blood urea nitrogen, lactate acid, and creatine
kinase activity in serum, and increased the levels of non-
esterified fatty acids, lactic dehydrogenase activity in
serum, and the content of liver glycogen [41].
Avenasativa improved overall mental fitness and
supported cognitive performance in stressful situations.
Avenasativa has been shown to positively affect the
activity of brain enzymes closely related to mental health
and cognitive function in vitro. Additionally, preclinical
and clinical studies have confirmed that Avena sativa
specifically interacted with brain structures and
neurotransmitters implicated in cognition, memory and
motivation.Avena sativa boasted a dual activity profile on
monoamino oxidase-B (MAO-B) and phosphodiestrase 4
(PDE4)thus displayed in its ability to meditate a
strengthening and balancing effect on the brain and mind
[13]. The dried seeds and fresh plant exerted
antidepressant activity, and it was useful where lowered
mood is associated with anxiety and nervous exhaustion,
especially during menopause. The fresh plant is a tonic
remedy for all types of nervous debility, and can help to
improve sleep duration and quality where the person is
literally too tired to sleep [12]. A dose of 1600 mg of oat
herb extract acutely improve attention and concentration
and the ability to maintain task focus in older adults with
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differing levels of cognitive status [42]. However, the
aqueous extract prepared from the tincture did not affect
the seizure threshold to bemegride or nicotine or the
sleeping time induced by barbitone sodium [14].
For smokers and opium addicts
The biological effects of Avenasativa have been
investigated in laboratory animals following a report that
tincture of Avenasativa reduced the craving for cigarettes
in man. On the other hand, when the tincture evaporated
to dryness, re-constituted in an equal volume of water and
administered by stomach tube or intraperitoneal injection,
it antagonized the antinociceptive effect of morphine in
two separate test (hot-plate and tail flick). Compared with
animals made dependent on morphine, mice pretreated
with repeated injections of morphine plus extract passed a
smaller number of stools and tended to jump less after
administration of nalorphine [43].
An alcoholic extract of green oats was tried on
opium human addicts. Six chronic opium addicts gave up
opium completely, two reduced their intake and two
showed no change following regular use of 2 ml three
times daily. A significant diminishment of the number of
cigarettes used by habitual tobacco smokers resulted from
using 1 ml (four times daily) offresh Avena sativa
alcoholic extract of mature plants [8].
The pressor response to intravenously
administered nicotine in urethane-anaesthetized rats was
also antagonized by prior administration of Avena sativa
[14]. An alcoholic extract of common oats (Avena sativa)
has been reported to reduce both the craving for, and the
number of, cigarettes smoked per day [44]. Hundred non-
hospitalized smokers with an average consumption of 20
cigarettes per day were treated with an alcoholic extract
of Avenasativa. There was difference of disaccustoming
between light and heavy smokers. The rate of
disaccustoming was higher for light smokers than for
smokers with a high consumption of cigarettes [45].
Gastrointestinal effects
Two broiler experiments with almost identical
basal diets were conducted to investigate the effect of
dietary oat hulls, access to litter and the antimicrobial
compound narasin on gizzard erosion and ulceration
syndrome (GEU). The effects on particle size of duodenal
digesta, ileal starch concentration, caecal Clostridium
perfringens counts, necrotic enteritis and production
performance were also examined. Oat hulls reduced GEU
severity and starch levels in the ileum in both
experiments. Access to litter reduced GEU scores when
oat hulls were included in the feed. Access to litter also
improved feed efficiency and reduced C. perfringens
counts. Oat hulls were associated with improved feed
efficiency in Experiment 1 and impaired feed efficiency
in Experiment 2. The inconsistent effect of oat hulls on
production performance appeared to be related to an
association between oat hulls and high C. perfringens
counts in Experiment 2; an association that was absent in
Experiment 1. In general, oat hulls interacted with litter
access and narasin in exerting a positive effect on gizzard
health. However, the association between oat hulls and
necrotic enteritis detected in Experiment 2 suggests that
the positive effect of oat hulls on GEU occasionally may
be outweighed by a negative effect on gut health [46].
The potential inhibitory effects of oat β-glucan
(1%, 5%, or 10%) added to a specific pathogen-free diet
was investigated in Nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH)
induced in mice by intraperitoneally injected
lipopolysaccharide (LPS). Intraperitoneal injection of LPS
for 6 weeks increased serum LPS levels; decreased serum
glucagon-like peptide-2 levels; triggered abnormal
aminotransferase activity, glucose intolerance, and insulin
resistance; and increased hepatic proinflammatory
cytokines (tumor necrosis factor-α, interleukin-6,
interleukin-1β), triglyceride, and malonyldialdehyde
levels; but reduced hepatic superoxide dismutase activity.
Histologic evaluation revealed evidence of hepatic
steatosis, inflammation, and mild necrosis in LPS-treated
mice. Dietary supplementation of oat β-glucan prevented
most of the LPS-induced metabolic disorders, and
improved hepatic steatosis and inflammation, although a
dose-dependent effect was not observed [47].
Three major oat components, β-glucan, starch,
and protein, and their interactions were evaluated for the
impact on viscosity of heated oat slurries and in vitro bile
acid binding. Oat flour from the experimental oat line
"N979" (7.45% β-glucan) was mixed with water and
heated to make oat slurry. Heated oat slurries were treated
with α-amylase, lichenase, and/or proteinase to remove
starch, β-glucan, and/or protein. Oat slurries treated with
lichenase or lichenase combined with α-amylase and/or
proteinase reduced the molecular weight of β-glucan.
Heat and enzymatic treatment of oat slurries reduced the
peak and final viscosities compared with the control. The
control bound the least amount of bile acids (p<0.05);
heating of oat flour improved the binding. Heated oat
slurries treated with lichenase or lichenase combined with
α-amylase and/or proteinase bound the least amount of
bile acid, indicating the contribution of β-glucan to
binding. Oat slurries treated with proteinase or proteinase
and α-amylase together improved the bile acid binding,
indicating the possible contribution of protein to binding
[48].
Oats have been shown to absorb intestinal toxins
and increase excretion of intestinal toxins. The
combination of taurine and oat were investigate on
endotoxin release in a rat liver ischemia/reperfusion
model. The results showed that the combination of taurine
(300mg/kg/ day) and oat fiber (15g/kg/ day) significantly
reduced endotoxin levels in the portal vein by 36.3%
when compared to the control group (0.168±0.035Eu/ml
in the treatment group vs 0.264±0.058Eu/ml in the control
Inter. J. of Phytotherapy / Vol 5 / Issue 1 / 2015 / 48-56
~ 54 ~
group, P<0.01). The treatment by taurine and oat fiber
induced 21.5% and 18.4% reduction in endotoxin levels
respectively, when compared to the control group
(P<0.05) [49]. Oat bran has been proposed as a dietary
treatment for ulcerative colitis and has been shown to
increase endogenous butyrate production and provide
symptomatic relief of abdominal pain [50].
Immunological and anti-inflammatory effects
β- glucan helped neutrophils to reach the site
of infection more rapidly and enhanced their ability to
eliminate the bacteria [51].
The different immunological aspects of β-
glucans derived from different food sources (oat, barley
and shiitake) was examined on phorbolmyristate acetate
(PMA)-differentiated THP-1 macrophages. Inflammation-
related gene expression kinetics (IL-1β, IL-8, nuclear
factor kappa B [NF-κB] and IL-10) were evaluated after
3, 6 and 24 h of stimulation with 100 μg/ml β-glucan. All
tested β-glucans were mildly up-regulated the observed
inflammation-related genes with differential gene
expression patterns. Similar gene expression kinetics, but
different fold induction values, was found for the crude β -
glucan extracts and their corresponding commercial
forms. Pre-incubation of THP-1 macrophages with β-
glucans prior to lipopolysaccharide (LPS) exposure
decreased the induction of inflammation-related genes
compared to LPS treatment. No production of nitric oxide
(NO) and hydrogen peroxide was detected in β-glucan
stimulated THP-1 macrophages. Phagocytic activity was
not differ after stimulation by β-glucan samples. Based
on these in vitro analyses, β-glucans have varying levels
of immunomodulating properties, which are likely related
to structure, molecular weight and compositional
characteristic of β-glucan [52].
The anti-inflammatory activities from whole oat
groats of seven common varieties were evaluated. Oat
variety CDC Dancer inhibited tumor necrosis factor-α
induced nuclear factor-kappa B activation by 27.5% at 2
mg/ml, whereas, variety Deiter showed 13.7% inhibition
at a comparable dose. Avenanthramide levels did not
correlate with the observed anti-inflammatory
activities[20].
Avenanthramides have been reported to exhibit
anti-inflammatory activity on the skin. Keratinocytes
treated with avenanthramides showed a significant
inhibition of tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha)
induced NF-kappa B luciferase activity and subsequent
reduction of interleukin-8 (IL-8) release [38].
Other pharmacological effects
In an experimental study, oat straw stimulated
the release of luteinizing hormone from the
adenohypophysis of rats [8].Avenasativa
containedoestrone which been shown to induce
ovulation[53-55].
Contraindications and side effects
No health hazards or side effects are known in
conjunction with the proper administration of designated
therapeutic dosages. Oat bran products should be taken
with large amounts of water to assure that the fiber is well
dispersed in the bowel. It was contraindicated in patients
with coeliac disease and intestinal obstruction. The side
effects of the herb were included flatulence and anal
irritation [14, 56].
Dosage The herb was used in combination therapy, as a
tea for internal use. To make a tea, 3 gm of the plant was
boiled in 250 ml water, which was strained after cooling.
The tea is taken repeatedly throughout the day and shortly
before going to bed[14].
CONCLUSION
The paper reviewed Avena sativa for its
nutritional and therapeutic potentials. It is a promising
medicinal plant with wide range of pharmacological
activities which could be utilized in several medical
applications because of its effectiveness and safety.
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Preparations from green oat have traditionally been used to support mental health and cognitive function [1, 2]. CNS indications include anxiety, tension, stress, excitation and neurasthenia, although the effectiveness has not been documented so far [3]. To investigate the efficacy of the herb for the traditional indications, an hydroalcoholic extract from wild green oat, Neuravena® (EFLA®955), was tested in vivo in rats for its behavioural effects after chronic oral administration via extract-admixed food. 36 male Sprague Dawley rats received (A) standard diet (controls), (B) 10g/kg extract-admixed food or (C) 100g/kg extract-admixed food. The following behavioural tests were performed: Elevated plus maze, forced swimming, conditioned avoidance response and tetradic encounter. Body weight, food and fluid consumption were measured and apparent physical appearance was determined twice a week. Apart from a slightly decreased food and fluid intake in the high dose group there were no side effects observed during the treatment. Due to these side effects, the high dose was considered as too high, behavioural effects were not taken into further account. The low dose led to an improvement of active stress response, an enhanced speed of learning as indicated by increased shock avoidances and an improved synchrony in social behaviour that can be interpreted as increased social interest of the extract-treated animals. It may be concluded that the extract is suitable to improve behavioural initiative in different situations. [1] Müller I: Die pflanzlichen Heilmittel der Hildegard von Bingen. Salzburg: Otto Müller Verlag; 1990. [2] Wichtl M: Teedrogen und Phytopharmaka, 4. Aufl. Stuttgart: Wissenschaftliche Verlags-Gesellschaft; 2002. [3] Klein J, Blumenthal M (eds.): The Complete German Commission E Monographs: Therapeutic Guide to Herbal Medicines. American Botanical Council. Austin TX; 1998.
Article
Avena sativa belongs grasses family, the gramineae, commonly known as oat and are the third leading crop produced in United States after wheat and corn and the fourth most important crop worldwide. They are the most widely grown plant generally considered healthy food being commercially nutritious as well. Oat grain, oat bran, and oatmeal contain a soluble dietary fiber known as β-glucan, which can reduce serum concentration of total cholesterol and low–density lipoprotein cholesterol and also effective in lowering blood sugar levels. Various experimental studies have shown that oat is potential agent to prevent the induction and progression of various diseases such as cancer, bowel, malfunction, obesity, celiac disease etc. This review will discuss functional and medicinal properties of Avena sativa. However, owing to the numerous health benefits that they offer, their consumption has increased to quite an extent and they have now come to the forefront.
Article
An extensive analysis of various organs of oat plants (leaves, stems, inflorescences) showing a complex flavonoid pattern resulted in the isolation of 26 flavonoid compounds. They are of three different types: 1.Apigenin type flavones are present as C-glycosyl-apigenins: isovitexin and its 2″-O-arabinoside, 2″-O-glycosides of vitexin and di-C-glucosyl-apigenin (compounds F1-F5, AD).2.Luteolin type compounds are found as 6-C-glucosyl-luteolin (isoorientin), its 2″-O-glycosides, isoorientin-7-O-glucoside and isoscoparin, 6-C-glucosyl-chrysoeriol (compounds Fa-Ff).3.Tricin type flavones appear both as free aglycone and as tricin-4′- and/or -7-O-glycosides (compounds T, T1-T9). Additional compounds, FF1-FF3, showing typical flavone properties have not yet been identified.
Article
Nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) is part of the spectrum of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. However, there are few suitable animal models to study the pathogenesis of NASH or very limited advances in the prevention. Our aims were to establish a mouse model of NASH by intraperitoneally injecting lipopolysaccharide (LPS) at a dose of 1.5 mg per kg body weight per day for 6 weeks and to investigate the potential inhibitory effects of oat β-glucan (1%, 5%, or 10%) added to a specific pathogen-free diet. Intraperitoneal injection of LPS for 6 weeks increased serum LPS levels; decreased serum glucagon-like peptide-2 levels; triggered abnormal aminotransferase activity, glucose intolerance, and insulin resistance; and increased hepatic proinflammatory cytokines (tumor necrosis factor-α, interleukin-6, interleukin-1β), triglyceride, and malonyl dialdehyde levels; but reduced hepatic superoxide dismutase activity. Histologic evaluation revealed evidence of hepatic steatosis, inflammation, and mild necrosis in LPS-treated mice. Dietary supplementation of oat β-glucan prevented most of the LPS-induced metabolic disorders, and improved hepatic steatosis and inflammation, although a dose-dependent effect was not observed. In conclusion, oat β-glucan could inhibit LPS-induced NASH in mice.
Article
Qualitative and quantitative aspects of proteins, carbohydrates, lipids, vitamins, minerals, and antinutritional factors in rice bran and its subfractions are described. The nutritional value measured in animal feeding tests is summarized for bran, defatted bran, stabilized bran, and protein concentrates derived by alkaline extraction of bran. Stabilization of rice bran and how this process may lead to a quantum change in its utilization in foods and for recovery of edible oil is discussed. Present uses of rice bran in foodstuffs are described.