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Oat Beta-Glucan

Oats are Angiosperms belonging to the order-poales, family-poaceae and genus-avena and known under the binomial name, Avena Sativa. Oats are mainly grown in the temperate zones as they require low summer heat and greater tolerance of rain . Oats are perenial plant s, and are often planted in autumn for late summer harvest. They are also grown in the spring for early autumn harvest. A. byzantina is considered to be the wild ancestor of Avena sativa and is a hexaploid .

Oat beta-glucan is a soluble fiber made up of viscous polysaccharide units of the monosaccharide D- glucose . The mixed-linkages of polysaccharides mainly consists of bonds of many combinations of D-glucose units such as beta-1, 3 linkages or beta-1, 4 linkages. The process consists of (1→3)-linkages breaking up the stable structure of the beta-D-glucan molecule thereby making it more soluble for consumption. The other non-digestible polysaccharide cellulose is also a form of beta-glucan but is non-soluble in nature. It is non-soluble because cellulose consists only of (1→4)-beta-D-linkages. The percentage of beta-glucan in all oat products are greater than 5.5% , particularly oat bran followed by 23.0% in rolled oats and about 4% in whole oat flour.

Nutritional & Health Benefits :

Oats are known to contain more soluble fiber than any other grain, making the digestion process slow and increasing the sensation of fullness. Oat bran is mainly the outer husk of the oat. Its intake is believed to lower the level of LDL cholesterol to a great extent, causing the reduction of heart disease s risks. Among other benefits of oat fiber consumption are reduction in the blood sugar levels, colorectal cancer and constipation. It also facilitates regularity by speeding the passage of food particles through the digestive system. Its' ability to balance the intestinal ph stimulates the fermentation production of short chain fatty acids.

References :

US Department of Agriculture, National Agricultural Library and National Academy of Sciences, Institute of Medicine, Food and Nutrition Board .

Eastwood M, Kritchevsky D (2005). "Dietary fiber: how did we get where we are?". Annu Rev Nutr 25 : 1–8. doi : 10.1146/annurev.nutr.25.121304.131658 . PMID   16011456 .

Anderson JW, Baird P, Davis RH et al. (2009). "Health benefits of dietary fiber". Nutr Rev 67 (4): 188–205. doi : 10.1111/j.1753-4887.2009.00189.x . PMID   19335713 .