A new study, published in the British Journal of Nutrition, has found that a bowl of oatmeal a day could dramatically reduce the risk of having a heart attack. 

The study, headed by Dr. Vladimir Vuksan, states that the oats are a rich source of beta-glucan which seems to be the magic ingredient for keeping heart attacks at bay.

Oats lower cholesterol, a major player in heart attacks as it often bunches up in the arteries causing them to clog. This, in turn, causes clots which can lead to heart attacks and strokes.

It has been known since the 1960s that oatmeal and rolled oats can help lower one’s LDL, which is known as “bad cholesterol.” However, new studies show that not only do the oats lower LDL, but they can also help limit the apoB (apolipoprotein B), which moves cholesterol through the body, contributing to clots in arteries and blood vessels.

Dr. Vuksan and his research team combed through 58 clinical studies involving over 4,000 individuals to come to his conclusion. Those who participated were from all around the world, representing a vast array of countries and cultures.

He found that oatmeal can lower LDL, raise HDL (“good” cholesterol) and help keep apoB (apolipoprotein B) to a minimum.

He found that those who ate the recommended amount of oatmeal had their LDL reduced by 4.2%, their non-HDL by 4.8% and apoB by 2.3%. This, in turn, dramatically reduced the risk of having a heart attack.

This, Vuksan said, was a result of the oat fiber within the oatmeal.

Vuksan said of his study:

“Diets enriched with about 3.5 grammes a day of beta-glucan fibre from oats were found to modestly improve LDL cholesterol, but also non-HDC and apoB compared to control diets.”

It is recommended that individuals who want the lower cholesterol and apoB (apolipoprotein B) benefits of oatmeal also consume oat bran. This is because it is difficult for individuals to consume enough oatmeal to actually get the benefits alone, therefore oat bran should be eaten as an addition for further protection.

He also recommends eating oat bran as a cereal or putting it on other foods to increase the benefit one receives from it.


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