Oat Beta-Glucan Earns Heart Health Claim from EFSA

December 10, 2010

Oat beta-glucan producer CreaNutrition AG announced the news.

A rare positive opinion from the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA; Parma, Italy) has been granted for oat beta-glucan and heart health, according to a December 9 statement from the company that filed the application.

CreaNutrition AG (Zug, Switzerland), which produces OatWell oat bran ingredients, states that foods providing 3 g of oat beta-glucan per day can now use the claim “Oat beta-glucan has been shown to lower/reduce blood cholesterol. Blood cholesterol lowering may reduce the risk of heart disease.”

The health claim is pending approval from the European Commission.

EFSA has made the following deduction about how beta-glucan may work in this manner:

“The evidence presented indicates that the cholesterol-lowing effect of oat beta-glucan may depend on the increased viscosity in the small intestine that reduces the reabsorption of bile acids, increases the synthesis of bile acids from cholesterol, and reduces circulating (LDL) cholesterol concentrations. Viscosity in the small intestine is determined by the concentration, molecular weight, and solubility of oat beta-glucan.”

CreaNutrition AG adds that natural oat sources can contain other healthful ingredients beyond beta-glucan, including insoluble fibers, protein, polyunsaturated fatty acids, antioxidants, and plant sterols.

The company’s OatWell ingredients can be purchased through its U.S. distributor, Oat Ingredients LLC (Boulder, CO).