Why are oats a valuable addition to a Jake Food shake?
The fiber in the shakes comes from the oat flour that is added to the powder of the shakes. Oats were mainly used for feeding animals, but this is now declining due to the increasing growth in the human diet due to the health benefits associated with dietary fiber such as β-glucan. Dietary fiber is only found in plant based foods, it’s the remnant of the edible parts of the plants that are resistant to the human digestive system.
What are the health benefits of oats?
1: Improving insulin response and lowering blood sugar. As mentioned earlier, β-glucan has an effect on gastric emptying. A 2005 study showed that after consuming oat bread, blood sugar levels were lower at 15, 30 and 45 minutes compared to when white bread was eaten. So, the peak level is flattened much more and the shape of the plasma glucose response curve is much flatter. These changes reduce the feeling of hunger caused by a rapid decrease in blood glucose.
2: Cholesterol-lowering effect. The significant clinical evidence for the cholesterol-lowering effects of β-glucan has led health authorities in the US, Europe and elsewhere to authorize health claims that attribute a reduction in the risk of cardiovascular disease, to the consumption of specific amounts (typically 3g per day) of β-glucan. The mechanism by which β-glucan can lower cholesterol levels is believed to be related to its ability to enhance bile acid excretion. β-glucan binds to bile acids in the gut, preventing cholesterol from being transported back to the liver. This causes the concentration of bile acids in the blood to drop, causing the liver to produce more bile acids from the cholesterol still present. This then lowers cholesterol levels in the liver, activating other processes that transport cholesterol from the blood to the liver.
3: Feeling satiated faster. In 2014, a study was conducted into the effect of feeling hungry after consuming oats. It was shown that different concentrations of β-glucan (0.7%, 3.5% and 7%) had an effect on the energy intake in mice. The energy intake and body weight decreased after the 6 week study. The increased interaction with the cells that release satiety hormones stimulates the release of peptides involved in the regulation of appetite. Appetite decreased after consuming β-glucan.
4: Cancer prevention. The higher degree of β-glucan has been proven to be associated with anti-cancer effects. A 2008 study showed that a bioactive form of β-glucan (Ganoderma lucidum polysaccharides) has the ability to stimulate the maturation of dendritic cells. These effects are implicated in the suppression of cancer cells.
An earlier study (2007) also found a link between the consumption of β-glucan and the enhancement of the immune response resulting in apoptosis (the process in which a cell kills itself). It is therefore clear that β-glucan has an effect on the inhibition of cancer cells, only how this works exactly remains to be clarified.