5] Oat diet for disease prevention
WP leader: Lieselotte Cloetens email@example.com
The metabolic syndrome is a cluster of risk factors that predispose to serious cardiovascular and metabolic conditions. Globally, about 25% of the adult population have the syndrome, with a four- to five-fold greater risk of developing type-2 diabetes and dying from cardiovascular disease. Over the years, substantial efforts have been made to treat these illnesses, but rather little is done in terms of prevention.
Promotion of healthy eating habits is central in the effort to prevent metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. This needs to be supported by a supply of food products and ingredients with improved health properties. Oats have excellent functional features, such as the ability to reduce blood LDL cholesterol, reduce postprandial glycemic response and contribute to a balanced bowel function and healthy digestion. These features are related to the content of a number of active components in oats e.g. the soluble fibers beta-glucans, good quality oil and protein, avenanthramides and other antioxidative phenolics, and are possibly also related to the prebiotic and anti-inflammatory potential of the grain.
Hence, strategies to increase the levels of those components may have sizable impact on the cardiometabolic-preventive properties of oats. Furthermore, much work remains to elucidate the suggested prebiotic, anti-inflammatory, satiating and cognitive promoting properties of this cereal. ScanOats is carrying out studies in humans in order to evaluate the physiologically relevant effects of oats, and investigate if they can be further improved by the new oat varieties and their derived products obtained and characterized within the consortium. The ultimate aim is to deepen the knowledge between oat and health and thereby facilitate development of new oat-based, health-promoting foods.