Oats: Practice Points – Patient Counselling. FAQ

Practice Points / Patient Counselling • Oats are a rich source of nutrients, such as calcium, potassium, phosphorus, iron, manganese, zinc; vitamins A, B-complex, C, E and K, and amino acids. Dietary oats also contain a significant amount of soluble fibre. • Regular intake of wholegrain oat-based cereals may have positive effects on cardiovascular disease risk factors such as hypertension, hyperlipidaemia and glucose regulation. • Topical use of the cut herb in the bath or 5% colloidal oatmeal in a suitable carrier is used to relieve itch. • Traditionally, oats are viewed as a nervous system nutritive and therefore used during times of convalescence. • Patients with coeliac disease should be able to tolerate moderate amounts of oats in the diet. Answers to Patients’ Frequently Asked Questions What will this herb do for me? Oats are a concentrated nutrient source and also contain soluble fibre. They not only provides a range of vitamins and minerals, but can reduce blood pressure, cholesterol and improve blood sugar regulation. When will it start to work? Scientific studies have shown that oatbran and oat-based cereals can reduce cholesterol levels and blood pressure within 5-6 weeks. Are Read more […]

Oats: Adverse Reactions. Interactions. Pregnancy Use.

Adverse Reactions Excessive intake of fibre from oats or oat bran may cause flatulence and anal irritation. Significant Interactions Controlled studies are largely unavailable; therefore, interactions are based on evidence of activity and are largely theoretical and speculative. ANTIHYPERTENSIVES Additive effects are theoretically possible; beneficial interaction is possible — observe. Patients taking oats, oat milk or oat bran should be monitored, as medication requirements may alter. LIPID-LOWERING MEDICATIONS Additive effects are theoretically possible — beneficial interaction is possible. Patients taking oats, oat milk or oat bran should be monitored, as medication requirements may alter. Conversely, two case reports exist of a reduced effect of lovastatin in patients taking 50-100 g oatbran daily. As this is likely to be due to the fibre inhibiting absorption of the drug doses should be separated by 2-3 hours. Clinical note — Do oats interfere with nutrient absorption? Although the high phytate content of oats would indicate a potential for reduced absorption of trace elements such as zinc, calcium and iron, one clinical trial investigating the effects of oat bran on zinc absorption found no evidence Read more […]

Oats: Clinical Use. Dosage

Oats are not usually used as a stand-alone treatment and tend to form part of an overall management program. HYPERLIPIDAEMIA Several clinical trials have shown a marked reduction in total and LDL-cholesterol using oat-based cereals and also oat milk (6% reduction). Oat bran has been shown to reduce LDL-cholesterol by 16% in 140 hypercholesterolaemic subjects consuming 56 g oat bran/day for 12 weeks. In overweight men consuming an oat-based cereal (14 g dietary fibre) for 12 weeks, LDL-cholesterol was most significantly affected, with a reduction in concentrations of small, dense LDL-cholesterol and LDL particle number. No adverse changes occurred in blood triacylglycerol or HDL-cholesterol concentration. In another clinical trial, a group consuming wholegrain oat-based cereals experienced a 24.2 mg/dL reduction in total cholesterol levels and a 16.2 mg/dL decrease in LDL-cholesterol levels. Oats do not generally affect total and LDL-cholesterol levels in people with normal serum cholesterol levels. (See Clinical note: Major lipids affecting cardiovascular disease risk, in on Vitamin B3.) The lipid-lowering effects of a hypocaloric diet containing oats has been shown in a clinical trial to result in significantly Read more […]

Oats: Background. Actions

Common Name Oats Other Names Groats, green oats, green tops, haver, oat herb, oatmeal Botanical Name / Family Avena sativa (family Poaceae (Graminaceae)) Plant Parts Used The whole flowering plant, including the oat straw and the seed (also used for porridge). Oat bran is also used in some clinical trials. Chemical Components Beta-glucan (soluble fibre), triterpenoid saponins (including avenacosides A and B), phenolic compounds (avenanthramides A, B, C), alkaloids (including indole alkaloid, gramine, trigonelline, avenine), sterol (avenasterol), flavonoids, starch, phytates, protein (including gluten) and coumarins. Nutrients such as silicic acid, calcium, potassium, phosphorus, iron (39 mg/kg), manganese (8.5 mg/kg), zinc (19.2 mg/kg), vitamins A, B-complex, C, E and K, and amino acids. Historical Note Culpeper (1652) recommended that ‘a poultice made of meal of oats and some oil of bay helpeth the itch and the leprosy‘. By the end of the 18th century oats was the main grain used by all levels of the population in Scotland. Students would arrive at university after the summer with a bag of oatmeal to live on during the term. The older Scottish universities still call the autumn mid-term break ‘Meal Read more […]