1. bookVolume 69 (2015): Issue 4 (September 2015)
Journal Details
First Published
14 Sep 2008
Publication timeframe
6 times per year
access type Open Access

Impact of Oat-Based Products on Human Gastrointestinal Tract

Published Online: 06 Oct 2015
Page range: 145 - 151
Received: 14 Apr 2015
Journal Details
First Published
14 Sep 2008
Publication timeframe
6 times per year

Oat is rich in valuable nutrients. In comparison to other cereals, oat contains more total proteins, carbohydrate, fat, non-starch fibre, as well as unique antioxidants (one of them - avenanthramides), vitamins, and minerals. One of the most often studied components of oats is β-glucan - a type of soluble dietary fibre located throughout the starch endosperm, but with highest concentration in the bran. Many studies have shown the beneficial health effects of oat β-glucan as a soluble dietary fibre. Until now, most of the studies on this nutrient have been conducted in the cardiovascular and diabetology field. This article aimed to review the literature on studies that investigated the effects of oat-based products on human gastrointestinal tract - gastrointestinal microflora, irritable bowel syndrome, inflammatory bowel disease as well as prevention/treatment of colorectal cancer. A literature search was conducted using PubMed database. More than 80 potential articles were identified, which were selected afterwards according to aims of our study. Studies done on human were preferred. A long-term dietary intake of oat-based products improves human intestinal microflora, could have benefits in irritable bowel syndrome, and probable effects were seen in patients with ulcerative colitis, but this remains to be proven. There are few studies regarding prevention/treatment of colorectal cancer and they do not show clear benefit nor provide recommendations.


Aaman, P., Graham, H. (1987). Analysis of total and insoluble mixed-linked β-D-glucans in barley and oats. J. Agric. Food Chem., 35 (5), 707-709.Search in Google Scholar

Andersson, K. (2009). Molecular Weight of Beta Glucans, Bioactivity. Doctoral dissertation, Lund University, Faculty of Medicine, Sweden. Media- tryck, Lund. 67 pp.Search in Google Scholar

Brand, T. S., Van der Merwe, J. P. (1996). Naked oats (Avena nuda) as a substitute for maize in diets for weaning and grower-finsher pigs. Anim. Feed Sci. Technol., 57, 139-141.Search in Google Scholar

Breuer, R. I., Buto, S. K., Christ, M. L., Bean, J., Vernia, P., Paoluzi, P., Di Paolo, M. C., Caprilli, R. (1991). Rectal irrigation with short-chain fatty acids for distal ulcerative colitis. Preliminary report. Dig. Dis. Sci., 36 (2), 185-187.Search in Google Scholar

Cha, M. C., Purslow, P. P. (2014). Soluble fiber beta-glucan from oats at higher concentrations promotes hydrogen peroxide-induced cytotoxicity in small intestine epithelial cells. Advances Life Sci. Health, 1 (2), 36-46.Search in Google Scholar

Chan, G. C. F., Chan, W. K., Sze, D. M. Y. (2009). The effects of β-glucan on immune and cancer cells. J. Hemat. Oncol., 2, 25.Search in Google Scholar

Ciacci, C., Franceschi, F., Purchiaroni, F., Capone, P., Buccelletti, F., Iacomini, P., Ranaudo, A., Andreozzi, P., Tondi, P., Gentiloni Siveri, N., Gasbarrini, A., Gasbarrini, G. (2011). Effect of ß-glucan, inositol and digestive enzymes in GI symptoms of patients with IBS. Eur. Rev. Med. Pharmacol. Serv., 15, 637-643.Search in Google Scholar

Coman, M. M., Verdenelli, M. C., Cecchini, C., Silvi S., Vasile, A., Bahrim, G. E., Orpianesi, C., Cresci, A. (2013). Effect of buckwheat flour and oat bran on growth and cell viability of the probiotic strains Lactobacillus rhamnosus IMC 501®, Lactobacillus paracasei IMC 502® and their combination SYNBIO®, in synbiotic fermented milk. Int. J. Food Microbiol., 167 (2), 261-268.Search in Google Scholar

Cummings, J. H., Macfarlane, G. T. (1991). The control and consequences of bacterial fermentation in the human colon. J. Appl. Bacteriol., 70, 443-459.Search in Google Scholar

Di Sabatino, A., Morera, R., Ciccocioppo, R., Cazzola, P., Gotti, S., Tinozzi, F. P., Tinozzi, S, Corazza, G. R. (2005). Oral butyrate for mildly to moderately active Crohn’s disease. Aliment. Pharmacol. Ther., 22, 789-794.Search in Google Scholar

Eckburg, P. B., Bik, E. M., Berstein, C. N., Purdom, E., Dethlefsen, L., Sargent, M., Gill, S. R., Nelson. K. E., Relman, D. A. (2005). Diversity of the human intestinal microbial flora. Science, 308, 1635-1638.Search in Google Scholar

Anonoymous (1997). Food labeling: Health claims; oats and coronary heart disease; final rule. Federal Register (Food and Drug Administration, USA), 62 (15), 3583-3601.Search in Google Scholar

Feldman, M., Friedman, L. S., Brandt, L. J. (eds.) (2010). Sleisenger and Fordtran’s Gastrointestinal and Liver Disease-2 Volume Set. 9th edn. Saunders Elsevier, Philadelphia. 2480 pp.Search in Google Scholar

Freimund, S., Sauter, M., Kapelli, O., Dutler, H. (2003). A new nondegradingisolation process for 1.3-β-glucan of high purity from baker’s yeast saccharomyces cerevisae. Carbohyd. Polym., 54, 159-171.Search in Google Scholar

Galvez, J., Rodríguez-Cabezas, M. E., Zarzuelo, A. (2005). Effects of dietary fiber on inflammatory bowel disease. Mol. Nutr. Food Res., 49 (6), 601-608.Search in Google Scholar

Gálvez, J. (2014). Role of Th17 Cells in the Pathogenesis of IBD. Int. Schol. Res. Notices Inflamm. Article ID 928461, 14 pp. htpp:/dx.doi.org.10.1155.2014/928461 (accessed 15 June 2015).Search in Google Scholar

Gibson, G. R, Roberfroid, M. B. (1995). Dietary modulation of the human microbiota: Introducing the concept of prebiotics. J. Nutr., 125, 1401-1412.Search in Google Scholar

Guyonnet, D., Chassany, O., Ducrotte, P., Picard, C., Mouret, M., Mercier, C. H., Matuchansky, C. (2007). Effect of a fermented milk containing Bifidobacterium animalis DN-173 010 on the health-related quality of life and symptoms in irritable bowel syndrome in adults in primary care: A multicentre, randomized, double-blind, controlled trial. Aliment Pharmacol. Ther., 26, 475-486.Search in Google Scholar

Hampshire, J. (2004). Variation in the content of nutrients in oats and its relevance for the production of cereal products. Proceedings of the 7th International Oat Conference, Helsinki, Finland. Agrifood Res. Rep., 51, 126.Search in Google Scholar

Hughes, S. A, Shewry, P. R., Gibson, G. R, McCleary, Rastall, R. A. (2008). In vitro fermentation of oat and barley derived β-glucans by human faecal microbiota. FEMS (Federation of European Microbiological Societies) Microbiol. Ecol., 6 (3), 482-493.Search in Google Scholar

Jenkins, D. J., Kendall, C. W., Popovich, D. G., Vidgen, E., Mehling, C. C., Vuksan, V., Ransom, T. P., Rao, A. V., Rosenberg-Zand, R., Tariq, N., Corey, P., Jones, P. J., Raeini, M., Story, J. A., Furumoto, E. J., Illingworth, D. R., Pappu, A. S., Connelly, P. W. (2001). Effect of a very-high-fiber vegetable, fruit, and nut diet on serum lipids and colonic function. Metabolism, 50 (4), 494-503.Search in Google Scholar

Johansson, L. (2006). Structural analyses of (1β3),(1_4)-_-D-glucan of oats and barley. Published doctoral dissertation. University of Helsinki, Department of Applied Chemistry and Microbiology, General Chemistry Division, Helsinki.Search in Google Scholar

Kajander, K., Myllyluoma, E., Rajiliã-Stojanoviã, M., Kyrönpalo, S., Rasmussen, M., Järvenpää, S., Zoetendal, E. G., de Vos, W. M., Vapaatalo, H., Korpela, R. (2008). Clinical trial: Multispecies probiotic supplementation alleviates the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome and stabilizes intestinal microbiota. Aliment Pharmacol. Ther., 27 (1), 48-57.Search in Google Scholar

Katz, S. (2007). “Mind the Gap”: An unmet need for new therapy in IBD. J. Clin. Gastroenterol., 41, 799-809.Search in Google Scholar

Kedia, G., Váquez, J. A., Pandiella, S. S. (2009). In vitro fermantation of oat bran obtained by debranning with a mixed culture of human faecal bacteria. Curr. Microbiol., 4, 338-342.Search in Google Scholar

Lakatos, P. L. (2006). Recent trends in the epidemiology of inflammatory bowel diseases: Up or down? World J. Gastroenterol., 12, 6102-6108.Search in Google Scholar

Macfarlane, S., Furrie, E., Cummings, J. H., Macfarlane, G. T. (2004). Chemotaxonomic analysis of bacterial populations colonizing the rectal mucosa in patients in ulcerative colitis. Clin. Infect. Dis., 38, 1690-1699.Search in Google Scholar

Madden, J. A., Hunter, J. O. (2002).Areview of the role of the gut microflora in irritable bowel syndrome and the effects of probiotics. Brit. J. Nutr., 88 Suppl 1, 67-72.Search in Google Scholar

Maloy, K. J, Kullberg, M. C. (2008). Il-23 and Th17 cytokines in intestinal homeostasis. Mucosal Immunol., 1 (5), 339-349.Search in Google Scholar

Mantzouridou, F., Karousioti, A., Kiosseoglou, V. (2013). Formulation optimisation of a potentially prebiotic low-in-oil oat-based salad dressing to improve Lactobacillus paracasei subsp.paracasei survival and physicochemical characteristics. Food Sci. Technol., 53 (2) 560-568.Search in Google Scholar

Mariat, D., Firmesse, O., Levenez, F., Guimarães, V. D., Sokol, H., Doré, J., Corthier, G., Furet, J. P. (2009). The Firmicutes/Bacteroidetes ratio of the human microbiota changes with age. BMC Microbiol., 9, 123. Nilsson, U., Johansson, M., Search in Google Scholar

Nilsson, Å., Björck, I., Nyman, M. (2008). Dietary supplementation with β-glucan enriched oat bran increases faecal concentration of carboxylic acids in healthy subjects. Eur. J. Clin. Nutr., 62, 978-984.Search in Google Scholar

Nobaek, S., Johansson, M. L., Molin. G., Ahrné, S., Jeppsson, B. (2000). Alteration of intestinal microflora is associated with reduction in abdominal bloating and pain in patients with irritable bowel syndrome. Amer. J. Gastroenterol., 95 (5), 1231-12388.Search in Google Scholar

Peterson, D. M, Wood, D. F. (1997). Composition and structure of high-oil oat. J. Cereal Sci., 26 (1), 121-128.Search in Google Scholar

Polle, S. W., Bemelman, W. A. (2007). Surgery insight: Minimally invasive surgery for IBD. Nat. Clin. Pract. Gastroenterol. Hepatol., 4, 324-335.Search in Google Scholar

Reese, E. T., Parrish, F. W., Mandels, M. (1962). β-D-1,6-glucanases in fungi. Can. J. Microbiol., 8 (3), 327-334.Search in Google Scholar

Rothfuss, K. S., Stange, E. F., Herrlinger, K. R. (2006). Extraintestinal manifestations and complications in inflammatory bowel disease. World J. Gastroenterol., 12 (30), 4819-4831.Search in Google Scholar

Sangwan, S., Singh, S., Tomar, S. K. (2014). Nutritional and functional properties of oats: An update. J. Innovative Biol., 1 (1), 3-14.Search in Google Scholar

Scheemann, B. O. (1987). Dietary fiber and gastrointestinal function. Nutr. Rev., 45 (5), 129-132.Search in Google Scholar

Sekirov, I., Russell, S. L., Antunes, L. C., Finlay, B. B. (2010). Gut microbiota in health and disease. Physiol. Rev., 90 (3), 859-904.Search in Google Scholar

Smith, E. A., Macfarlane, G. T. (1996). Enumeration of human colonic bacteria producing phenolic and indolic compounds: Effects of pH, carbohydrate availability and retention time on dissimilatory aromatic amino acid metabolism. J. Appl. Bacteriol., 81, 288-302.Search in Google Scholar

Steinhart, A. H., Hiruki, T., Brzezinski, A, Baker, J. P. (1996). Treatment of left-sided ulcerative colitis with butyrate enemasa controlled trial. Aliment Pharmacol. Ther., 10 (5), 729-736.Search in Google Scholar

Surlin, V., Copaescu, C., Saftoiu, A. (2012). An update to surgical management of inflammatory bowel diseases. DOI: http:/dx.doi.org/10.5772/53057. http://cdn.intechopen.com/pdfs-wm/41223.pdf (accessed 12 April 2015).Search in Google Scholar

Tedelind, S., Westberg, F., Kjerrulf, M., Vidal, A. (2007). Anti-inflammatory properties of the short-chain fatty acids acetate and propionate: A study with relevance to inflammatory bowel disease. World J. Gastroenterol., 13, 2826-2832.Search in Google Scholar

Thornton, J. R. (1981). High colonic pH promotes colorectal cancer. Lancet, 1, 1699-1728.Search in Google Scholar

Wang, Q., Ellis, P. R. (2014). Oat β-glucan: Physico-chemical characteristics in relation to its blood-glucose and cholesterol-lowering properties. Brit. J. Nutr., 112 Suppl 2, S4-S13.Search in Google Scholar

Whitehead, A., Beck, E. J., Tosh, S. M, Wolever, T. M. S. (2014). Cholesterol- lowering effects of oat β-glucan: A meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Amer. J. Clin. Nutr., 100 (6), 1413-1421.Search in Google Scholar

Wood, P. J., Weisz, J., Blackwell, B. A. (1994). Structural studies of (1β3) (1β4)- β -D-glucans by 13C-nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy and by rapid analysis of cellulose-like regions using high-performance anion- exchangechromatography of oligosaccharides released by lichenase. Cereal Chem., 35, 301-307.Search in Google Scholar

Wood, P. J., Weisz, J., Mahn, W. (1991). Molecular characterization of cereal, β-glucans. II. size-exclusion chromatography for comparison of molecular weight. Cereal Chem., 68 (5), 530-536.Search in Google Scholar

Wolever, T. M., Tosh, S. M., Gibbs, A. L., Brand-Miller, J., Duncan, A. M., Hart, V., Lamarche, B., Thomson, B. A., Duss, R., Wood, P. J. (2010). Physicochemical properties of oat β-glucan influence its ability to reduce serum LDL cholesterol in humans: A randomized clinical trial. Amer. J. Clin. Nutr., 92 (4), 723-32.Search in Google Scholar

Zoetendal, E. G., Collier, C. T., Koike, S., Mackie, R. I, Gaskins, H. R. (2004). Molecular ecological analysis of the gastrointestinal microbiota: A review. J. Nutr., 134, 465-472.Search in Google Scholar

Wolever, T. M., Spadafora, P., Eshuis, H. (1991). Interaction between colonic propionate and acetate in humans. Amer. J. Clin. Nutr., 53 (3), 681-687. Search in Google Scholar

Recommended articles from Trend MD

Plan your remote conference with Sciendo