Whole grain oats, more than just a fiber: Role of unique phytochemicals

Mol Nutr Food Res. 2017 Jul;61(7). doi: 10.1002/mnfr.201600715. Epub 2017 Feb 22.


Oats are a good source of soluble dietary fiber, especially β-glucan, which has outstanding functional and nutritional properties. β-Glucan is considered to be the major active component of oats because of its cholesterol-lowering and antidiabetic effects. However, the nutritional benefits of oats appear to go beyond fiber to bioactive phytochemicals with strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. In this review, we summarize current knowledge on the chemistry, stability, bioavailability, and health effects of two unique phytochemicals in oats, avenanthramides, and avenacosides A and B. We conclude that studies on the beneficial effects of avenanthramides and avenacosides A and B are still in their infancy, and additional health benefits of these unique oat components may yet be identified.

Keywords: Avenacosides; Avenanthramides Health effect; Oats; Phytochemicals.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal / pharmacology
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic / pharmacology
  • Antioxidants / pharmacology
  • Avena / chemistry*
  • Biological Availability
  • Biotransformation
  • Humans
  • Saponins / chemistry*
  • Saponins / pharmacology
  • Whole Grains / chemistry*
  • ortho-Aminobenzoates / chemistry*
  • ortho-Aminobenzoates / pharmacokinetics


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic
  • Antioxidants
  • Saponins
  • avenacoside A
  • avenacoside B
  • ortho-Aminobenzoates
  • avenanthramide-2C