(Read the Oat Bran 25-50 update...)
(Best Health Promoting Recipe: Fermented Oatbran)
(Warning: Oatbran risks for those on stomach ulcer 'PPI' meds)
Once you have read this article, you will have the key to help you:-
Oat Bran is made up of the dehulled oat (or "groat"). It is not to be confused with the outer shell of the oat grain. It is full of nutrients.
The fibre component is made up of:-
- Minimize your risk of diabetes, and at the same time reduce your risk of hormone dependent cancers (breast, prostate, colon).
- Lower your blood cholesterol, and thus reduce your risk of heart disease.
- Normalize your bowel bacteria thus giving your system powerful protection against intestinal infections and yeast infections in general, and giving your colon its preferred food- and also help reduce antisocial smells!
- Reduce your dietary fat absorption by 10%
- Stave off the hunger pangs when you are trying to diet.
The oat bran fibre has a chemical name: "Beta-glucan".
Beta-glucan is a linear polysaccharide. Beta-glucan is the special health
giving principle contained in oat bran.
- "Insoluble" fibre(4%)
- (Insoluble fibre is the sort of fibre that does not dissolve or form a gel in water, and which even the bowel bacteria find impossible to digest).
- "Soluble" fibre (4%)
- (Soluble fibre does dissolve in water- usually forming a gel, is not digested by your digestive enzymes, but is used as food by certain bacteria).
Let us follow the career of oat bran as it traverses the digestive tract.
I think that by the end of this article, you will be amazed that one food component can do so many good things!
Events in the Stomach.
Oat Bran Fibre in the stomach swells and absorbs water, thus giving a
full feeling in the stomach.
Wet Oat Bran Fibre also forms a gel, thus slowing gastric emptying,
and lowering the glycemic (rise in blood sugar) effect of food eaten alongside of it.
Events in the Small Intestine
Oat Bran Fibre (as does all food fibre) increases the production of
mucus (not known why). The extra mucus adds to the gelling effect of
the Oat Bran Fibre, with the following effects:-
Note that all starches and sugars are absorbed by the time food passes
into the large bowel.
All this adds up to definite and measurable benefits: Just 40 grams
per day of Oat Bran, containing 3.5 grams of fibre damps the hunger
feeling. And even if you still consume the same total number of
calories, you will achieve measurable weight loss!
Events in the Large Intestine
In the large bowel, Oat Bran Fibre is digested by bacteria into
"short chain fatty acids" (SCFA for short). Mostly butyric acid.
(Side comment: Other "soluble" dietary fibres such as Psyllium,
Guargum, and Arabinoglucosan tend to be fermented into propionic acid).
Oat Bran Fibre is thus a "pre-biotic": -
- Slows mixing of digestive enzymes and bile acids with the
- Slows the break down of lipid droplets.
- Slows absorption by slowing the movement of intestinal contents.
It thus take longer for absorbable nutrients to percolate toward the
- Increases the hormone cholecystokinine, a hormone which improves
your feeling of satiety (that full feeling after a meal).
- Up to 10% of dietary fat
is actually excreted instead of absorbed.
- Up to 10% of protein gets into the large bowel undigested.
- Slows the digestion and of absorption of starches and sugars, thus reducing the blood glucose surge.
A Pre-biotic is a none-digestible food
ingredient that beneficially affects the host by selectively
stimulating the growth and/or activity of one or a limited number
of bacteria in the colon.
Oat Bran Fibre specifically is food for,
and increases the numbers of the good bacteria (Lactobacilli and Bifidobacterium) in
the large bowel.
In fact the total number of bacteria is increased
so much that excess, or waste nitrogen goes into bacterial protein,
thus diverting nitrogen excretion from the kidneys to the large
bowel. That would certainly be of benefit for patients suffering
renal failure. But here is where Oat Bran Fibre really starts to
get healthy! The "SCFA's" produced by Oat Bran fermentation are
antimicrobial! They inhibit the growth of potentially unhealthy or
pathogenic bacteria and yeasts! This is probably due to the increase in
colon acidity that they cause. (It is also theorized that some
components of Oat Bran can bind with iron, thus making it less
available to disease causing bacteria, which need iron to grow).
Chart 1 shows the change in large bowel bacteria with aging. Note how the bad bacteria (Clostridium perfringens, E.coli and Streptococcus)
increase with age, while Bifidobacterium decreases in number. From this chart, you can quickly understand why a pre-biotic such as Oat Bran Fibre is especially helpful for the middle aged or older.
Chart 1: The Change in Colon Bacteria with Age
Not only does the Butyric Acid SCFA inhibit pathogenic bacteria,
it is also the preferred energy source for the cellular lining of
the large bowel. Butyric acid provides up to 70% of the large bowel
energy requirements. This energy source enables the colonic
bacteria to better absorb water and sodium, thus combating
diarrhoea! Oat Bran Fibre increases the total fecal wet weight
and decreases total large bowel transit time. Both these effects
are due to extra bacterial mass. Oat Bran Fibre reputedly produces
less gas and flatulent smells than wheat bran, and this benefit is
increased by cooking the Oat Bran Fibre. It's also a good safe
laxative- even at up to 20 grams per day (though this would be an
excessive amount to take!)
Proven Health Benefits for the whole Body:-
- Smoothes blood glucose fluctuations.
- Lowers cholesteral, especially "bad" (LDL) cholestral.
- Aids dieting
- Aids diabetics
- Aids Renal patients
- Provides slow release energy for endurance athletes and those who fast.
- Helps with constipation.
- Combats infections of the large bowel, and yeast infection of the bowel and skin of the "private parts".
|Table: Daily Intake of Oat Bran Fibre|
|Amount of Oat Bran Fibre
||Equates to (Oat Bran):
||Equates to (Rolled Oats):
|| Beneficial Effect
||Cholestral starts to reduce
||GI function is aided, blood glucose smoothed.
|| 250 grams
|| Maximum effect.
Warning: protein pump inhibitor (PPI) risk
(Oat bran is contra-indicated in those with compromised digestive systems)...
Since drugs to reduce stomach acid are very common nowadays and these same drugs further compromise the functioning
of an already compromised digestive system
(ref. protein pump inhibitors, adverse effects), I make this oat bran warning:
Oat bran may cause bowel osbstruction and constipation in compromised digestive systems.
If your abilty to digest food is decreased for whatever reason, you should:
- Start with smaller doses of oat bran and observe your progress
- Pre-digest your oatbran by pre-soaking overnight (see recipe below)
- Consider avoiding FODMAP carbohydrates (such as oatbran) altogether- scroll down this page to find the heading
FODMAPS - solution for IBS and IBD
(reprinted from Sally Fallon, Mary Enig: "Nourishing Traditions"- see advert to right.
Information about soaking oat meal, look for the word "porridge" on this page:
Traditional methods of Grain Preparation
For highest benefits and best assimilation, porridge should be soaked overnight
or even longer. Once soaked, oatmeal cooks up in less than 5 minutes-truly a fast food.
(Note: Those with severe milk allergies can use lemon juice or vinegar in place of whey,
yoghurt, kefir or buttermilk.)
Mix oats with warm water mixture, cover and leave in a warm place for at least 7 hours and
as long as 24 hours. Bring an additional 1 cup of water to a boil with sea salt. Add soaked
oats, reduce heat, cover and simmer several minutes. Meanwhile, grind optional flax seeds in a
mini grinder. Remove from heat, stir in optional flax seeds and let stand for a few minutes.
Serve with plenty of butter or cream and a natural sweetener like Rapadura, date sugar,
maple syrup, maple sugar or raw honey. You may also wish to add apricot butter (page 110),
chopped crispy nuts (pages 513-516) or dried sweetened coconut meat (page 159). Price, DDS
Nutrition and Physical De-generation
- 1 cup oats, rolled or cracked
- 1 cup warm filtered water plus 2 tablespoons whey, yoghurt, kefir or buttermilk (pages 83-87) 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 cup filtered water
- 1 tablespoon flax seeds/pumpkins seeds/sunflower seeds (optional)
Stir the oat bran and cup of cold water together until all lumps are removed.
Put on a stove at medium heat, and add the hot water.
Important:- Stir constantly with a wooden spoon!
As thickening proceeds, add the hot water.
Supplies the daily needs of two people. If it's too much to eat at breakfast,
then save some for lunch or evening dessert.
Update: February 9, 2004
"Oatrim" or "Oat bran 25-50"
Oatrim or "Oat Bran 25-50" is a highly processed form of oat bran, which food companies are enthusiastically endorsing.
It is the result of a patented process (The "Z-Trim" process) developed by
the USDA Agricutural Research Service.
What is the Z-trim process by which "oatrim" and other soluble processed fibers
are produced with a standard sizing of 25-50 microns?
"In the Z-Trim process, aqueous gel fibers
are obtained from dietary fibers by
complete disintegration of their cellular
structures in a multistage alkaline shear
"Alkaline shear" refers to boiling and blenderizing the raw food product in strong alkaline solutions
(solutions of Sodium or Potassium Hydroxide) at pH ranges from 8 all the way to up to 14.
(Get that on your hands and you would have third degree burns in no time)! That
strong alkalinity is of course neutralized before it is mixed with your "Low Fat" snack cakes, and
limited testing indicates that the beta glucan and other oat bran benefits are still present(3).
I take this opportunity to raise a couple of philosophical questions:_
- Nature never uses boiling in
strong alkali to process and digest foods. Can it really be healthy to have this sort of
food processing foisted upon us?
- How many years before possible harmful
health effects of this new and unnatural process are definitely known?
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Fred L. Shinnick, Melissa J. Longacre, Steven L Ink And Judith A. Marlett -
Oat Fiber: Composition versus Physiological Function
© Bruce Thomson, EasyVigour Project
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