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Be sure to eat your oats!

September 13, 2017

Oatmeal

Oats, Avena sativa, are one of the more common grains eaten since the Bronze Age. It is particularly popular amongst people that are gluten sensitive, although gluten sensitivity is far more complex than most articles would suggest. Gluten is a mixture of hundreds of different proteins, with gliadins from wheat being some of the most immunoreactive. Technically, avenins in oats are a form of gluten as well, though they are not as reactive. (Biesiekierski) Many people who are sensitive to wheat are not sensitive to gluten. However, gluten sensitivity has the potential to also sensitize a person to other grains such as oats (Sandhu).

 

Oats have one hundred times the membrane lipids than other foods, a good amino acid profile that is high in glutamine (which helps heal the intestinal mucosa) and are high in beta glucans that beneficial bacteria can metabolize. Fermentations of oats can produce over 1000 different species and strains of Lactobacillus (Bengmark).

 

It is important to note that while the greatest benefits of oats may occur in their fermented state, oats are a useful prebiotic that feeds beneficial bacteria and may change both the gut bacteria and immune function (Valeur). Fermentation of oats by Lactobacillus strains results in tremendous health benefits (Dharmasena, Bernat, Zhang) which can even be used to create a fermented baby food (Rasane). It should be noted that consuming a prebiotic such as oats feeds the beneficial bacteria already in the gut, so as long as a person is host to some Lactobacillus (and sadly, not everyone is!) then non-fermented oats would still be just as healthy. Without native Lactobacillus, the oats could “feed up” any remaining Lactobacillus symbionts and increase their populations, but there is more benefit in a shorter time to be had by fermenting the oats before consumption. This increases the level of Lactobacillus far beyond what is possible with any probiotic—though adding probiotics is still a good thing to make sure!

 

Oats have been found to reduce the postprandial glucose levels in overweight people (Lindstrom) which is critical to preventing a prediabetic state of reduced insulin sensitivity that leads to more inflammation. Controlling inflammation is central not only to Rheumatoid arthritis but also to a great many other health problems such as Type II diabetes. The Beta-glucans in oats have been found to effectively reduce inflammation, including specific cytokines such as Tumor Necrosis Factor Alpha or TNF-α, a molecule well known to anyone battling rheumatoid arthritis. Other inflammatory factors such as Interleukin-10 are also reduced by fermented oats along with a proportionate increase in lactic acid bacteria (Wilczak).

 

Oats, as a prebiotic (Berger) or pre-fermented, help protect from the harmful effects of a high fat diet. Fermentation increases the polyphenols and antioxidants that are bioavailable (Luana). Polyphenols are also capable of reducing the effects of rheumatoid arthritis (Oliviero). Fermented oats have even been found to reduce gut leakiness that is caused by oxidative stress that results from consuming alcohol (Tang).

 

Elevated levels of Lactobacillus present in fermented oats have been found to protect the gut from harmful pathogens such as Clostridium difficile (Klarin). Fermented oats also help in the absorption of iron (Sering) while reducing intestinal permeability, which can help protect the liver from alcohol-related damage that occurs after intestinal permeability is compromised (Keshavarzian). Even after liver resection surgery (Wang) fermented oats prevent bacterial translocation (ie, bacteria passing through the gut wall due to abnormally increased permeability, which leads to lipopolysaccharide induced systemic inflammation) by a factor of 90%!

 

Fermented oats have been found to increase the resident Lactobacillus populations, as the added Lactobacillus is able to colonize the intestines, which then has been found to reduce levels of Clostridia by 100x, and pathogenic Enterobacteriaceae by a factor of 1000 (Johansson).

 

Of course, it is always better to purchase organic oats, because the herbicide Glyphosate, often sold as RoundUp, is used to “stage” crops such as oats and wheat to increase harvest yield by making sure all the plants are dead/dry and release their seed. This is an issue for gut bacteria health, as Glyphosate is toxic to bacteria. While often vehemently debated on Internet forums, the reality is easy to find if one pretends to be a farmer while Googling for information. Sample references are provided at the end of this article.

 

Oats are a tremendous prebiotic with gut-healing potential, which is increased by fermentation. The increase in Lactobacillus species and the improvement in immune function and gut permeability make this common food a winner!

 

References:

 

Recipe for fermented oats: https://thesymbiontfactorblog.com/2016/01/26/super-synbiotic-breakfast-improved/

 

My blog article about Glyphosate: https://thesymbiontfactorblog.com/2014/11/19/the-problem-with-roundup-and-its-health-effects/

 

Gastrointestinal surface protection and mucosa reconditioning.

Bengmark S, Jeppsson B.

JPEN J Parenter Enteral Nutr. 1995 Sep-Oct;19(5):410-5. Review.

 

Cereal byproducts have prebiotic potential in mice fed a high-fat diet.

Berger K, Falck P, Linninge C, Nilsson U, Axling U, Grey C, Stålbrand H, Nordberg Karlsson E, Nyman M, Holm C, Adlercreutz P.

J Agric Food Chem. 2014 Aug 13;62(32):8169-78. doi: 10.1021/jf502343v. Epub 2014 Jul 29.

 

A lactic acid-fermented oat gruel increases non-haem iron absorption from a phytate-rich meal in healthy women of childbearing age.

Bering S, Suchdev S, Sjøltov L, Berggren A, Tetens I, Bukhave K.

Br J Nutr. 2006 Jul;96(1):80-5.

 

Optimisation of oat milk formulation to obtain fermented derivatives by using probiotic Lactobacillus reuteri microorganisms.

Bernat N, Cháfer M, González-Martínez C, Rodríguez-García J, Chiralt A.

Food Sci Technol Int. 2015 Mar;21(2):145-57. doi: 10.1177/1082013213518936. Epub 2014 Jan 24.

 

What is gluten?

Biesiekierski JR.

J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2017 Mar;32 Suppl 1:78-81. doi: 10.1111/jgh.13703. Review.

 

Refrigerated Shelf Life of a Coconut Water-Oatmeal Mix and the Viability of Lactobacillus Plantarum Lp 115-400B.

Dharmasena M, Barron F, Fraser A, Jiang X.

Foods. 2015 Aug 10;4(3):328-337. doi: 10.3390/foods4030328.

Free PMC Article

 

The effect of exogenous administration of Lactobacillus reuteri R2LC and oat fiber on acetic acid-induced colitis in the rat.

Fabia R, Ar'Rajab A, Johansson ML, Willén R, Andersson R, Molin G, Bengmark S.

Scand J Gastroenterol. 1993 Feb;28(2):155-62.

 

Administration of different Lactobacillus strains in fermented oatmeal soup: in vivo colonization of human intestinal mucosa and effect on the indigenous flora.

Johansson ML, Molin G, Jeppsson B, Nobaek S, Ahrné S, Bengmark S.

Appl Environ Microbiol. 1993 Jan;59(1):15-20.

Free PMC Article

 

Preventing gut leakiness by oats supplementation ameliorates alcohol-induced liver damage in rats.

Keshavarzian A, Choudhary S, Holmes EW, Yong S, Banan A, Jakate S, Fields JZ.

J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 2001 Nov;299(2):442-8.

Free Article

 

Lactobacillus plantarum 299v reduces colonisation of Clostridium difficile in critically ill patients treated with antibiotics.

Klarin B, Wullt M, Palmquist I, Molin G, Larsson A, Jeppsson B.

Acta Anaesthesiol Scand. 2008 Sep;52(8):1096-102. doi: 10.1111/j.1399-6576.2008.01748.x.

 

Adhesion of the probiotic bacterium Lactobacillus plantarum 299v onto the gut mucosa in critically ill patients: a randomised open trial.

Klarin B, Johansson ML, Molin G, Larsson A, Jeppsson B.

Crit Care. 2005 Jun;9(3):R285-93. Epub 2005 Apr 28.

Free PMC Article

 

An oat bran-based beverage reduce postprandial glycaemia equivalent to yoghurt in healthy overweight subjects.

Lindström C, Voinot A, Forslund A, Holst O, Rascón A, Öste R, Östman E.

Int J Food Sci Nutr. 2015;66(6):700-5. doi: 10.3109/09637486.2015.1035233. Epub 2015 May 22.

 

Manufacture and characterization of a yogurt-like beverage made with oat flakes fermented by selected lactic acid bacteria.

Luana N, Rossana C, Curiel JA, Kaisa P, Marco G, Rizzello CG.

Int J Food Microbiol. 2014 Aug 18;185:17-26. doi: 10.1016/j.ijfoodmicro.2014.05.004. Epub 2014 May 14.

 

 

Oats-From Farm to Fork.

Menon R, Gonzalez T, Ferruzzi M, Jackson E, Winderl D, Watson J.

Adv Food Nutr Res. 2016;77:1-55. doi: 10.1016/bs.afnr.2015.12.001. Epub 2016 Feb 22. Review.

 

Celiac disease treatment: gluten-free diet and beyond.

Mäki M.

J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr. 2014 Jul;59 Suppl 1:S15-7. doi: 10.1097/01.mpg.0000450397.76521.f9.

 

Anti-Inflammatory Effects of Polyphenols in Arthritis.

Oliviero F, Scanu A, Zamudio-Cuevas Y, Punzi L, Spinella P.

J Sci Food Agric. 2017 Sep 8. doi: 10.1002/jsfa.8664. [Epub ahead of print] Review.

 

Proliferation of Lactobacillus plantarum in solid-state fermentation of oats.

Patel HM, Wang R, Chandrashekar O, Pandiella SS, Webb C.

Biotechnol Prog. 2004 Jan-Feb;20(1):110-6.

 

Reduction in phytic acid content and enhancement of antioxidant properties of nutricereals by processing for developing a fermented baby food.

Rasane P, Jha A, Kumar A, Sharma N.

J Food Sci Technol. 2015 Jun;52(6):3219-34. doi: 10.1007/s13197-014-1375-x. Epub 2014 Apr 27.

Free PMC Article

 

Effect of dietary cereals on intestinal permeability in experimental enteropathy in rats.

Sandhu JS, Fraser DR.

Gut. 1983 Sep;24(9):825-30.

Free PMC Article

 

Oats supplementation prevents alcohol-induced gut leakiness in rats by preventing alcohol-induced oxidative tissue damage.

Tang Y, Forsyth CB, Banan A, Fields JZ, Keshavarzian A.

J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 2009 Jun;329(3):952-8. doi: 10.1124/jpet.108.148643. Epub 2009 Mar 10.

Free PMC Article

 

Oatmeal porridge: impact on microflora-associated characteristics in healthy subjects.

Valeur J, Puaschitz NG, Midtvedt T, Berstad A.

Br J Nutr. 2016 Jan 14;115(1):62-7. doi: 10.1017/S0007114515004213. Epub 2015 Oct 29.

 

The role of oral administration of oatmeal fermented by Lactobacillus reuteri R2LC on bacterial translocation after acute liver failure induced by subtotal liver resection in the rat.

Wang XD, Soltesz V, Molin G, Andersson R.

Scand J Gastroenterol. 1995 Feb;30(2):180-5.

 

Can dietary oats promote health?

Welch RW.

Br J Biomed Sci. 1994 Sep;51(3):260-70. Review.

 

The probiotic bacterium Lactobacillus plantarum species 299 reduces intestinal permeability in experimental biliary obstruction.

White JS, Hoper M, Parks RW, Clements WD, Diamond T, Bengmark S.

Lett Appl Microbiol. 2006 Jan;42(1):19-23.

Free Article

 

The effect of low or high molecular weight oat beta-glucans on the inflammatory and oxidative stress status in the colon of rats with LPS-induced enteritis.

Wilczak J, Błaszczyk K, Kamola D, Gajewska M, Harasym JP, Jałosińska M, Gudej S, Suchecka D, Oczkowski M, Gromadzka-Ostrowska J.

Food Funct. 2015 Feb;6(2):590-603. doi: 10.1039/c4fo00638k.

 

Solid-state fermentation of whole oats to yield a synbiotic food rich in lactic acid bacteria and prebiotics.

Zhang N, Li D, Zhang X, Shi Y, Wang H.

Food Funct. 2015 Aug;6(8):2620-5. doi: 10.1039/c5fo00411j. Epub 2015 Jul 1.

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oat

 

http://www.roundup.ca/_uploads/documents/MON-Preharvest%20Staging%20Guide.pdf

 

http://cropchatter.com/importance-of-preharvest-glyphosate-timing-2/

 

http://www.producer.com/2014/08/80-percent-mature-heads-ideal-time-for-pre-harvest-glyphosate/

 

http://www.syngentacropprotection.com/assets/assetlibrary/harvestmanagementbrochure_forweb.pdf

 

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