New reason to eat oats for heart health

March 17, 2014, American Chemical Society

Eleven top scientists from around the globe presented the latest findings on the powerful compounds found in oats in a scientific session titled, Physicochemical Properties and Biological Functionality of Oats, at the 247th Annual Conference of the American Chemical Society in Dallas, TX. Scientists described research on the diverse health benefits of oats and emphasized the growing evidence that the type of phenolic compound avenanthramide (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.

Eating whole grains is consistently associated with a reduced risk of chronic disease, including . Most of the benefits have been attributed to the relatively high fiber, vitamin, mineral and phytochemical content of whole grains. Notably, the soluble fiber beta-glucan found in has been recognized for its ability to lower both total and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C).

"While the data to support the importance of oat beta-glucan remains, these studies reveal that the benefit of eating oats may go beyond fiber," explains the session's presiding co-officer, Dr. Shengmin Sang of the Center for Excellence in Post-Harvest Technologies at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University. "As the scientific investigators dig deeper, we have discovered that the bioactive compounds found in oats – AVEs – may provide additional cardio-protective benefits."

Oat AVEs and Cardiovascular Disease Prevention

New research shows that oat AVEs may be partly responsible for the positive association between oats and heart health. Oliver Chen, Ph.D., of the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University, presented mechanistic data that demonstrated that the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of AVEs likely contribute to the atheroprotection of oats.

Similarly, Mohsen Meydani, Ph.D., from the Vascular Biology Laboratory at the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University, provided evidence that oat AVEs suppress the production of inflammatory cytokines associated with fatty streak formation in the arteries. In addition, oat AVEs appear to repress the process associated with the development of atherosclerosis.

"On behalf of the Quaker Oats Center of Excellence, we are inspired by the investigations in oats agriculture, processing and health research presented at the American Chemical Society's Scientific Sessions," comments YiFang Chu, Ph.D., PepsiCo R&D Nutrition. "Along with all of the oats fans out there, we value the significant contribution of scientific collaboration to help expand the thinking behind oats."

Also on the program were scientists from Tufts University; Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada; PepsiCo Inc. R&D; the Institute of Food, Nutrition and Health in Zurich, Switzerland; the University of Minnesota; and Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge, LA. Their presentations reviewed their findings on the influence of the processing of oats on the glycemic response and bioactive composition, measuring the functionality of oat beta-glucan, the antioxidant potential of oat beta-glucan, the benefits of eating whole grains on chronic disease, and how oats may improve glucose control and lipid metabolism. This high-level scientific session revealed the far-reaching impact this simple grain plays in health promotion and disease prevention.

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Group suggests pushing age of adolescence to 24

January 22, 2018
A small group of researchers with the Royal Children's Hospital in Australia is suggesting that it might be time to change the span of years that define adolescence—from the current 10 to 19 to a proposed 10 to 24 years ...

Placental accumulation of flame retardant chemical alters serotonin production in rats

January 22, 2018
A North Carolina State University-led research team has shown a connection between exposure to a widely used flame retardant chemical mixture and disruption of normal placental function in rats, leading to altered production ...

Marijuana use does not lower chances of getting pregnant

January 22, 2018
Marijuana use—by either men or women—does not appear to lower a couple's chances of getting pregnant, according to a new study led by Boston University School of Public Health (BUSPH) researchers.

Women run faster after taking newly developed supplement, study finds

January 19, 2018
A new study found that women who took a specially prepared blend of minerals and nutrients for a month saw their 3-mile run times drop by almost a minute.

Americans are getting more sleep

January 19, 2018
Although more than one in three Americans still don't get enough sleep, a new analysis shows first signs of success in the fight for more shut eye. According to data from 181,335 respondents aged 15 and older who participated ...

Wine is good for you—to a point

January 18, 2018
The Mediterranean diet has become synonymous with healthy eating, but there's one thing in it that stands out: It's cool to drink wine.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.