Oats, and especially the oat bran (the edible, outermost layer of the oat kernel) are very helpful in lowering cholesterol.


David Henderson of Montrose, Scotland died in 1998 at the age of 109. He credited a daily bowl of oat porridge for this good health and longevity.

This food offers the following health benefits:

  • Lowers total cholesterol levels by 25% or more within a very short time period (one to three months) when eaten regularly.

  • Reduces bad LDL and raises good HDL cholesterol.

  • Lowers triglycerides.

  • Controls weight gain by providing a feeling of fullness.

  • Combats constipation by providing needed dietary fiber.

  • Reduces blood glucose and insulin responses.

  • Enhances athletic performance when ingested 45-60 minutes before prolonged endurance exercise of moderate intensity.

  • Reduces the risks of some cancers.

  • Enhances immune response to infection.

NOTE: It takes twice as much oatmeal as oat bran to have the same cholesterol lowering affect.

Make sure that you use the old fashioned oatmeal as the instant quick-cook oatmeal frequently do not contain the oat bran.

The top health promoting components include:

  • Beta Glutan - this soluble fiber forms a gel in the digestive tract that binds onto the bile, eliminating it with the bowel movement. Since bile contains cholesterol, and the bile is removed, the body must make more. To do so, it takes cholesterol out of the bloodstream.

  • Avenanthramides - is an antioxidant compound unique to oats. It helps prevent free radicals from damaging LDL cholesterol, thus reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease.

  • Insoluble Fiber - is not absorbed by the body. It's health benefits include aiding digestion and promoting regularity by adding bulk. The "bulk" keeps other foods moving through the digestive tract.


Oats May Keep Arteries Out of Sticky Conditions. Agricultural Research, 2004

Oat Bran Stimulates Bile Acid Synthesis. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2002


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This page was last updated on 10/11/06.