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Health Benefits of Oats
While the health benefits of oats are documented in hundreds of studies, we've listed just a sample here to indicate the power of oats to improve human health.
OATS MAY REDUCE ASTHMA RISK IN CHILDREN
While there is widespread belief that introducing solid foods to children too early may cause later health problems, a Finnish prospective study of 1293 children found that those introduced earlier to oats were in fact less likely to develop persistent asthma.
OATS MAY BOOST NUTRITION PROFILE OF GLUTEN-FREE DIETS
Two recent studies out of Scandinavia show that adding oats to a gluten-free diet may enhance the nutritional values of the diets, particularly for vitamins
and minerals, as well as increasing antioxidant levels. Researchers asked 13 men and 18 women with Celiac disease to follow a gluten-free diet with the addition of kilned (stabilized) or unkilned oats. After six months, the addition of stabilized oats resulted in an increased intake of vitamin B1 and magnesium, while the unkilned oats increased intakes of magnesium and zinc. In the second study from Scandinavia, the addition of gluten-free oats allowed people on gluten-free diets to achieve their recommended daily intakes of fiber, as well as increasing levels of a particular antioxidant called bilirubin, which helps the body eliminate free radicals as well as protect the brain from oxidative damage.
OATS INCREASE APPETITE- CONTROL HORMONES
Australian researchers studied fourteen people who ate a control meal and three different cereals with different
levels of oat beta glucan. They then collected blood samples for four hours after each meal, and found a significant dose response between higher levels of oat beta glucan and higher levels of Peptide Y-Y, a hormone associated with appetite control.
OAT BETA GLUCANS IMPROVE IMMUNE SYSTEM DEFENSES
Italian researchers reviewed existing research about the positive effects of beta glucans on human health. They found that, in addition to reducing cholesterol and blunting glycemic and insulin response, beta glucans boost defenses of the immune system against bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites.
OATS HELP CUT THE USE OF LAXATIVES
Laxative use, especially among the elderly in nursing homes, can lead to malnutrition and unwanted weight loss. Viennese researchers studied 30 frail nursing-home residents in a controlled, blind, intervention trial where 15
patients received 7-8g of oat bran per day. At the end of 6 weeks, 59% of the oat group had discontinued laxative use while maintaining body weight; the control group showed an 8% increase in laxative use and a decrease in body weight.
OATS MAY HELP REDUCE THE RISK OF TYPE 2 DIABETES
Researchers in Mannheim, Germany carried out a dietary intervention with 14 patients who had uncontrolled type 2 diabetes and insulin resistance. The patients were introduced to a diabetes- appropriate diet containing oatmeal during a short hospital stay, then examined again four weeks later. On
average, patients achieved a 40% reduction in insulin dosage – and maintained the reduction even after 4 weeks on their own at home.
Researchers in Chicago carried out a randomized, double-blind, controlled clinical trial of ninety-seven men and women, in which half of the group consumed foods containing oat beta-
wheat group, while their HDL (“good”) cholesterol was unchanged.
OATS HELP CONTROL BLOOD PRESSURE
Using a randomized, controlled parallel- group pilot study, researchers followed 18 hypertensive and hyperinsulemic men and women for six weeks, while half of them ate oat cereal (5.52g/day of beta-glucan) and the others ate a lower-fiber cereal (less than 1g total fiber). The oat group enjoyed a 7.5mm
OATS MAY IMPROVE INSULIN SENSITIVITY
glucan, while the other half ate control foods. At the end of the trial period, the oat group showed improvements in insulin sensitivity, while the control group was unchanged.
Hg reduction in systolic blood pressure and a 5.5 mm Hg reduction in diastolic blood pressure, while the wheat group was unchanged.
OATS #3 OVERALL, #1 FOR BREAKFAST, IN SATIETY INDEX
OATS LOWER BAD CHOLESTEROL
Researchers at Colorado State University randomly assigned thirty-six overweight middle-aged men to eat either an oat or wheat cereal daily for twelve weeks. At the end of the three- month period, the men eating the oat cereal had lower concentrations of small, dense LDL cholesterol (thought to be particularly dangerous) and lower LDL overall, compared to those in the
Also in Australia, researchers at the University of Sydney fed 38 different foods, one by one, to 11-13 different people, then asked them to report their “satiety” or fullness every 15 minutes for the next two hours. From this, they ranked all 38 foods in a “Satiety Index.” Oatmeal rated #3 overall for making people feel satisfied and full, and it rated #1 in the breakfast food group.