Narrative review on the effects of oat and sprouted oat components on blood pressure

Liska, D. J, Dioum, E., Chu, Y., Mah, E. (2022). Narrative review on the effects of oat and sprouted oat components on blood pressure. Nutrients, 14(22), 4772. doi:10.3390/nu14224772



Hypertension (HTN) is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease (CVD) and cognitive decline. Elevations in blood pressure (BP) leading to HTN can be found in young adults with increased prevalence as people age. Oats are known to decrease CVD risk via an established effect of β-glucan on the attenuation of blood cholesterol. Many past studies on CVD and oats have also reported a decrease in BP; however, a thorough assessment of oats and BP has not been conducted. Moreover, oats deliver several beneficial dietary components with putative beneficial effects on BP or endothelial function, such as β-glucan, γ-amino butyric acid (GABA), and phytochemicals such as avenanthramides. We conducted a comprehensive search for systematic reviews, meta-analyses, and clinical intervention studies on oats and BP and identified 18 randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and three meta-analyses that supported the role of oats in decreasing BP. Emerging data also suggest oat consumption may reduce the use of anti-hypertensive medications. The majority of these studies utilized whole oats or oat bran, which include a vast array of oat bioactives. Therefore, we also extensively reviewed the literature on these bioactives and their putative effect on BP-relevant mechanisms. The data suggest several oat components, such as GABA, as well as the delivery of high-quality plant protein and fermentable prebiotic fiber, may contribute to the anti-HTN effect of oats. In particular, GABA is enhanced in oat sprouts, which suggests this food may be particularly beneficial for healthy BP management.