While the lowering of cholesterol is likely to be the main effect of oats in reducing cardiovascular risk, there is data that suggests a possible role with other cardiovascular risk factors.
A number of studies have concluded that dietary fibre, whole grains or oat beta glucan may have beneficial effects in the management of blood pressure, weight and blood glucose levels (1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11). However, further research is needed to confirm these findings.
As data continues to support the view that dietary fibre is inversely associated with the risk of coronary heart disease, interest in the benefits of oats as part of a heart-healthy diet continues to grow (10,12,13).
1. Khan K, et al. The effect of viscous soluble fiber on blood pressure: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Nutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis. 2018 Jan;28(1):3-13.
2. Tighe P, et al. Effect of increased consumption of whole-grain foods on blood pressure and other cardiovascular risk markers in healthy middle-aged persons: a randomized controlled trial. Am J Clin Nutr. 2010;92(4):733-40.
3. Whelton SP, et al. Effect of dietary fiber and on blood pressure: a meta-analysis of randomized, controlled clinical trials. J Hypertens. 2005;23:475-81.
4. Maki KC, et al. Effects of consuming foods containing oat beta-glucan on blood pressure, carbohydrate metabolism and biomarkers of oxidative stress in men and women with elevated blood pressure. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2007 June;61(6):786-795.
5. Saltzman E DS, et al. An oat-containing hypocaloric diet reduces systolic blood pressure and improves lipid profile beyond effects of weight loss in men and women. J Nutr. 2001;131(5):1465-70.
6. Beck E, et al. Oat beta-glucan increases postprandial cholecystokinin levels, decreases insulin response and extends subjective satiety in overweight subjects. Mol Nutr Food Res. 2009;53:1343-1351.
7. Malkki Y, Virtanen E. Gastrointestinal effects of oat bran and oat gum: A review. LWT - Food Science & Technology. 2001;34:337-347.
8. Salas-Salvado´ J, et al. Effect of two doses of a mixture of soluble fibres on body weight and metabolic variables in overweight or obese patients: a randomised trial. Br J Nutr. 2008; 99:1380–13877.
9. Butt MS, et al. Oat:unique among the cereals. Eur J Nutr. 2008;47(2):68-79.
10. SACN. Carbohydrates and Health. 2015. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/sacn-carbohydrates-and-health-report. Accessed February 2018.
11. European Food Safety Authority. Scientific Opinion on the substantiation of health claims related to beta-glucans from oats and barley and maintenance of normal blood LDL-cholesterol concentrations, increase in satiety leading to a reduction in energy intake, reduction of post-prandial glycaemic responses, and digestive function.EFSA Journal. 2011;9(6):2207.
12. Ruxton C and Cobb R. The Role of Oats and Oat Products in the UK Diet. Complete Nutrition. 2014/2015;14 (6):55-57.
13. Pereira MA, et al. Dietary fiber and risk of coronary heart disease: a pooled analysis of cohort studies. Arch Intern Med. 2004;164:370-6.