Shengmin Sang, YiFang Chu. Whole grain oats, more than just a fiber: role of unique phytochemicals. Molecular Nutrition & Food Research (2016).
Laboratory for Functional Foods and Human Health, Center for Excellence in Post-Harvest Technologies, North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, North Carolina Research Campus, Kannapolis, NC, USA
Quaker Oats Center of Excellence, PepsiCo R&D Nutrition, Barrington, IL, USA
Oats are a good source of soluble dietary fiber, especially β-glucan, which has outstanding functional and nutritional properties. β-Glucan is considered to be the major active component of oats because of its cholesterol-lowering and anti-diabetic effects. However, the nutritional benefits of oats appear to go beyond fiber to bioactive phytochemicals with strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. In this review, we summarize current knowledge on the chemistry, stability, bioavailability, and health effects of two unique phytochemicals in oats, avenanthramides (AVAs) and avenacosides A and B. We conclude that studies on the beneficial effects of AVAs and avenacosides A and B are still in their infancy, and additional health benefits of these unique oat components may yet be identified.