Friday, July 5, 2019

Oat drink: effects on health

The consumption of vegetable drinks grows every year and that of oatmeal is becoming popular as one of the healthiest versions. Discover the properties of this cereal and if its liquid version gives us some benefit. 


Properties of oats and health benefits

Just take a look at social networks to realize that oats are listed on the rise, both in serious profiles dedicated to the promotion of health, and in accounts of doubtful rigor that exhibit it as a panacea for weight loss. We found porridges for breakfast (the usual porridge, but with a more trendy name ), substitutes for cookies made with oatmeal, or recipes to make your own oatmeal drink at home.

But what does science tell us? Does incorporating oats in the diet suppose some benefit? The impact of oat intake on several parameters related to health has been studied, and scientific evidence shows that positive effects can be obtained on the control of some factors related to cardiovascular risk and diabetes .

These interesting properties are mainly due to the presence in oats of a soluble dietary fiber , beta-glucan , which is found mainly in the bran (outermost layer of the grain) and in the endosperm of the germ (internal part that contains the embryo). of the seed)

Thus, there have been several recent reviews of the scientific literature that support the effectiveness of oats to reduce cardiovascular risk factors such as total cholesterol and LDL-cholesterol levels.

In addition, it also has desirable effects on glycemic control and insulin sensitivity in the healthy population , but also in patients with type 2 diabetes and in overweight people .

The sum of these effects is considered to have beneficial effects on diseases associated with obesity , such as the metabolic syndrome , but there is no evidence that it alone helps to lose weight (so, as always, we flee from the dietary proposals little rigorous launched by gurus and influencers ).

Benefits of food consumption with beta-glucan

Based on this evidence, the European Commission allows food containing a specific amount of beta-glucan may take the following claims health claims :

  • "Beta-glucans contribute to the maintenance of normal levels of blood cholesterol": only in foods containing per portion at least one gram of beta-glucans from oats, oat bran, barley, barley bran, or a mixture of these products. It should be noted that the benefit is obtained by consuming at least 3g daily of beta-glucan.

  • "The consumption of beta-glucans of oats or barley as part of an intake contributes to the reduction of the rise in blood glucose after this intake": it may be indicated in foods containing at least four grams of oat beta-glucans or barley for every 30 grams of carbohydrates . 

  • "Oat beta-glucans have been shown to reduce plasma cholesterol. The high cholesterolis a risk factor in the development of coronary heart disease "can be used for foods containing at least one gram beta-glucan per serving, and should be mentioned that the benefit is obtained with a daily intake of three grams of oat beta-glucan.

However, the benefits of beta-glucan are achieved by consuming it as part of oats, but we do not achieve the same if we eat it as a supplement or extract . In this case, the reduction in plasma cholesterol levels is not significant, possibly due to changes that occur in this fiber during the extraction process.

A meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials (considered a high-quality research) found that the positive effects on carbohydrate metabolism (fasting glucose control and insulin concentration) that did occur when ingesting oats did not appear with the consumption of beta-glucan extracts.

Once again it becomes clear that we can not see food as a sum of nutrients, but that they are much more than that and that the interaction of the compounds in the food matrix conditions the benefits that it provides

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