Oatmeal porridge: impact on microflora-associated characteristics in healthy subjects

Br J Nutr. 2016 Jan 14;115(1):62-7. doi: 10.1017/S0007114515004213. Epub 2015 Oct 29.


Oatmeal porridge has been consumed for centuries and has several health benefits. We aimed to investigate the effect of oatmeal porridge on gut microflora functions. A total of ten healthy subjects ingested 60 g oatmeal porridge daily for 1 week. The following microflora-associated characteristics were assessed before and after the intervention: intestinal gas production following lactulose ingestion, faecal excretion of SCFA and faecal levels of urease and β-galactosidase. In addition, rectal levels of PGE2 were measured. Microbial fermentation as evaluated by intestinal gas production and excretion of SCFA did not change significantly following the dietary intervention. However, faecal levels of β-galactosidase and urease decreased after eating oatmeal porridge (P=0·049 and 0·031, respectively). Host inflammatory state, as measured by rectal levels of PGE2, also decreased, but the change was not significant (P=0·168). The results suggest that oatmeal porridge has an effect on gut microbial functions and may possess potential prebiotic properties that deserve to be investigated further.

Keywords: Hydrogen; Methane; Microbiota; PGE2; SCFA; Urease; β-Galactosidase.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Avena*
  • Diet*
  • Dinoprostone / metabolism
  • Edible Grain
  • Fatty Acids, Volatile / metabolism
  • Feces / chemistry
  • Female
  • Fermentation
  • Gastrointestinal Microbiome / physiology*
  • Healthy Volunteers
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / metabolism
  • Inflammation / prevention & control
  • Intestinal Mucosa* / metabolism
  • Intestines* / microbiology
  • Lactulose / metabolism
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prebiotics*
  • Urease / metabolism*
  • Young Adult
  • beta-Galactosidase / metabolism*


  • Fatty Acids, Volatile
  • Prebiotics
  • Lactulose
  • beta-Galactosidase
  • Urease
  • Dinoprostone