encyclopedia

Oat Bran and Germ Oil

Scientific Names:
Avena sativa Linnι, [Fam. Graminaceae]

Forms:
Organic Oat Bran and Germ Oil expeller-pressed in the absence of light, heat and oxygen

Traditional Usage:
– Essential Fatty Acid Deficiency (omega-6)

– Lowering LDL Cholesterol

– Nutritive

Overview:
The bran and germ of oats, Avena sativa Linnι., contain approximately 5.5% oil that doesn’t contain trans fatty acids and therefore may be a healthier alternative to other oils used in food preparation. Oat oil is rich in phospholipids and glycolipids, also called polar lipids. Many food processors are interested in moving away from foods containing trans fatty acids – and it seems that the greatest value-added potential for oat oil is in these polar lipids. Studies indicate that trans fatty acids can raise cholesterol levels in some people and are known to be potent free radical causing agents. Studies have shown that oat oil combines with water to lubricate bread dough, helping it rise evenly and bake into a loaf that is uniformly soft and springy, even after several days of storage. Replacing pure oat oil with just 0.5 percent polar lipids taken from oat oil achieved the same result. Oat oil, which comprises about 6 percent of most dehulled oats, now is rarely sold as a commercial product. The new findings about oat oil and breads could potentially lead to a new market for oats. No studies with humans have been done with oat oil, however studies done with stabilized, full-fat rice bran or oat bran, added to the prudent diet of hypercholesterolemic adults, similarly reduced cholesterol and LDL-C and improved lipid ratios in 78% of these individuals. Researchers recommended that oat bran, as well as rice bran, should be included in the prudent diet of individuals with high cholesterol. Oat oil can also be used as a good source of omega-6 essential fatty acids (EFAs). In a study of omega-6 EFAs, patients who received a high linoleic acid diet showed a lower cardiovascular death rate than a low linoleic acid group.

Active Ingredients:
Total lipid (fat) 100g/100g; Carbohydrate, by difference 0.0g; Fiber, total dietary 0.0g; Ash 0g; Vitamin E (ATE) 14.4mg/100g; Total lipid (fat): 100%; Fatty acids, total saturated fatty acids 19.6g/100g: 12_0=0.4g; 14_0=0.2g; 16_0=16.7g; 18_0=1.0; Total monounsaturated fatty acids 35.1g/100g: 16_1=0.2g; 18_1=34.9g; Total polyunsaturated fatty acids 40.9g/100g: 18:2 =39.1g; 18_3=1.8g. (Information taken from The National Agriculture Library’s USDA Nutrient Database for Standard Reference at http://www.nal.usda.gov).

Suggested Amount:
Oat bran and germ oil is not normally taken as a food supplement but is used in food preparations at a level of 5-6%. Oat bran and germ oil, rich in omega-6 and 9 fatty acids but low in important omega-3 EFAs, should be taken as part of a balanced oil blend.

Drug Interactions:
None known

Contraindications:
None known

Side Effects:
None known

References:

Erasmus, U. 1993: Fats that Heal, Fats that Kill. Published by Alive Books, Burnaby, B.C., Canada. pp. 1-456.

Gerhardt AL, Gallo NB. 1998. Full-fat rice bran and oat bran similarly reduce hypercholesterolemia in humans. J Nutr 1998 May; 128(5): 865-9.

ten Hoor F. 1980. Cardiovascular effects of dietary linoleic acid. Nutr Metab 1980;24 Suppl 1:162-80.

Yam, Eliraz and Berry 1996: Diet and disease–the Israeli paradox: possible dangers of a high omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acid diet. Israel Journal of Medical Sciences 2(11): 1134-43.