Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Betaglucan in Oats documented to reduce Cholestrol

Last night there was a story on Today Tonight about a new discovery that's just been released on the market having great success in significantly lowering cholesterol levels. The product is called Betaglucare and is sourced from Nordic Oats. I had never heard of Nordic Oats and did not really think much of it until the phone started ringing the next day from Health Food Stores.

The Mediterranean diet has long been a darling of nutrition experts as a proven way to prevent some chronic diseases. Heavy on olive oil, vegetables, fruit, nuts and fish, the diet most recently has been shown to reduce the risk of heart attacks, strokes and dying compared with a typical low-fat diet.

But in many regions, including Nordic countries like Denmark and Sweden, it's not easy to go Med. Olive oil, for one, is hard to find. And while obesity rates in the Nordic countries are much lower than in the U.S., there are still plenty of people at risk of diabetes and other chronic diseases who could use some dietary inspiration.


Interestingly enough up until recent years, Oats grown in the Nordic countries was traditionally used for animals more than human consumption.

So, it seems that this story had really hit a cord with customers in Australia and they were looking for the product referred to in the story. So, I decided to do some research on this product.  Effectively the product they are referring to looks as though they have extracted the beta-glucare from the oats and created a product that is concentrated. Betaglucare contains a soluble fibre from oats, called beta-glucan, which reduces cholesterol when eaten at the recommended portion of a sachet per day. Each sachet contains 3 grams of beta-glucan.

Pure Oats however, contain Beta-Glucan, a water-soluble fibre thought to decrease LDL (low density lipoprotein, the harmful cholesterol) and total cholesterol. Since soluble fibre has a high water-holding capacity, it becomes gooey when dissolved in water. This feature allows soluble fibre to travel slowly through the digestive tract and attach to bile acids in the intestine, and then carry the acids out of the body as waste. Since bile acids are made from cholesterol, soluble fibre helps with the absorption of less dietary cholesterol.
Documented health effects, health claims include the following:
  • cholesterol reduction (oat beta-glucan)
  • blood glucose levels (oat beta-glucan)
  • heart disease and weight control (whole grain use)
  • Rich in vitamins, minerals, sterols, phenolic compounds such as avenathramides, etc.
They claim that the oats they use is Nordic Oats, this 
Gloriously Free or GF Oats is suitable for those who are needing to source oats which is uncontaminated from the gluten found from wheat, rye and barley.

So, how much oats does a person really need to get the health benefits? Research has shown that two servings of oats daily can reduce cholesterol two to three percent beyond what is achieved with a low-fat diet alone. Other sources of soluble fibre may help instead of, or in addition to, the oats.

There was a question for a while about whether pure oats could cause damage to the gut, but that seems to have been put to rest with a study on oats published in the Scandinavian Journal of Gastroenterology. This study concluded: “Long-term use of oats included in the gluten-free diets of patients with coeliac disease does not stimulate an immunological response locally in the mucosa of the small intestine.”

Currently no oats can be labelled gluten free oats in Australia, however pure uncontaminated oats can be labelled "gluten free oats" in the United States, Canada, UK and parts of Europe.

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