Numerous studies have shown that oats are a food source with a multitude of health benefits. A new study published in The Journal of Nutrition adds to this body of knowledge reporting that oat intake may also benefit individuals without gastrointestinal disorders and those with celiac disease.
To conduct this research, Ezra Valido (University of Lucerne), colleagues from the University of Bern, Swiss Paraplegic Center, Swiss Paraplegic Research and scientists from Standard Process performed a comprehensive search of the scientific literature using four databases, resulting in 84 articles (23 randomized controlled trials, 21 nonrandomized trials, 8 observational students, and 32 in vitro studies). The systematic review summarized and explored the evidence on the effect of oat intake on the gastrointestinal (GI) health including production of GI metabolites such as short chain fatty acids and the gut microbiome changes in individuals with GI conditions (celiac disease, irritable bowel syndrome, and inflammatory bowel disease) and those without GI disease.
Overall, the results of this systematic review show that clinical studies on the association between oat intake with respect to GI health are few and may be prone to risk of bias. Nonetheless, the researchers concluded that consumption of oats was shown to influence the GI microbial population and gut metabolites, with no significant differences in GI symptoms from those not consuming oats. Oat consumption was generally well tolerated among the pediatric population and adults with celiac disease.
It remains unknown how prevalent oat-sensitive individuals are, especially among individuals with celiac disease and other inflammatory bowel disease. Although the researchers acknowledged several limitations of their study (e.g., several reviewed studies were judged as moderate quality), oat intake was associated with increased beneficial bacterial groups in individuals without GI disease and those with celiac disease. The prevalence of oat sensitivity in individuals with celiac disease warrants further study as this could improve clinical management and facilitate inclusion of oat in the diet for this population.
Valido E, Stoyanov J, Bertolo A, Hertig-Godeschalk A, Zeh RM, Flueck JL, Minder B, Stojic S, Metzger B, Bussler W, Muka T, Kern H, Glisic M. Systematic review of the effects of oat intake on gastrointestinal health. J Nutr., Volume 151, Issue 10, October 2021, Pages 3075–3090, https://doi.org/10.1093/jn/nxab245.
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