Oat prevents obesity and abdominal fat distribution, and improves liver function in humans

Plant Foods Hum Nutr. 2013 Mar;68(1):18-23. doi: 10.1007/s11130-013-0336-2.


Obesity is associated with a great diversity of diseases including non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. Our recent report suggested that oat, rich in beta-glucan, had a metabolic-regulating and liver-protecting effect in an animal model. In this study, we performed a clinical trial to further confirm the effect of oat. Subjects with BMI ≥27 and aged 18-65, were randomly divided into a control (n=18) and an oat-treated (n=16) group, taking a placebo or beta glucan-containing oat cereal, respectively, for 12 weeks. Our data showed that consumption of oat reduced body weight, BMI, body fat and the waist-to-hip ratio. Profiles of hepatic function, including AST, but especially ALT, were useful resources to help in the evaluation of the liver, since both showed decrements in patients with oat consumption. Nevertheless, anatomic changes were still not observed by ultrasonic image analysis. Ingestion of oat was well tolerated and there was no adverse effect during the trial. In conclusion, consumption of oat reduced obesity, abdominal fat, and improved lipid profiles and liver functions. Taken as a daily supplement, oat could act as an adjuvant therapy for metabolic disorders.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Abdominal Fat / drug effects*
  • Abdominal Fat / metabolism
  • Adipose Tissue / drug effects
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Avena / chemistry*
  • Body Fat Distribution
  • Body Mass Index
  • Dietary Carbohydrates / pharmacology
  • Dietary Carbohydrates / therapeutic use
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Humans
  • Liver / drug effects*
  • Liver / enzymology
  • Liver / physiology
  • Middle Aged
  • Obesity / metabolism
  • Obesity / physiopathology
  • Obesity / prevention & control*
  • Phytotherapy*
  • Plant Preparations / pharmacology
  • Plant Preparations / therapeutic use
  • Seeds
  • Waist-Hip Ratio
  • Weight Loss / drug effects*
  • Young Adult
  • beta-Glucans / pharmacology
  • beta-Glucans / therapeutic use*


  • Dietary Carbohydrates
  • Plant Preparations
  • beta-Glucans