Here’s some motivation to replenish your oats supply.
From a 2013 Canadian human review:
“Review of human studies investigating the post-prandial blood-glucose lowering ability of oat and barley food products” https://www.nature.com/articles/ejcn201325
“Change in glycaemic response (expressed as incremental area under the post-prandial blood-glucose curve) was greater for intact grains than for processed foods. For processed foods, glycaemic response was more strongly related to the β-glucan dose alone than to the ratio of β-glucan to the available carbohydrate.”
The review found that people don’t have to eat a lot of carbohydrates to get the glycemic-response benefits of β-glucan. Also, eating ~3 grams of β-glucan in whole oats and barley will deliver the same glycemic-response benefits as eating ~4 grams of β-glucan in processed oats and barley.
However, the glycemic index used in the review is a very flawed measure. It doesn’t help healthy people to rank food desirability using an unhealthy-white-bread standard.
The reviewer somewhat redeemed herself by participating in a 2018 review:
“Processing of oat: the impact on oat’s cholesterol lowering effect” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5885279/
“For a similar dose of β-glucan:
- Liquid oat-based foods seem to give more consistent, but moderate reductions in cholesterol than semi-solid or solid foods where the results are more variable;
- The quantity of β-glucan and the molecular weight at expected consumption levels (∼3 g day) play a role in cholesterol reduction; and
- Unrefined β-glucan-rich oat-based foods (where some of the plant tissue remains intact) often appear more efficient at lowering cholesterol than purified β-glucan added as an ingredient.”
The review’s sections 3. Degree of processing and functionality and 4. Synergistic action of oat constituents were informative:
“Both in vitro and in vivo studies clearly demonstrated the beneficial effect of oat on cholesterolemia, which is unlikely to be due exclusively to β-glucan, but rather to a combined and synergetic action of several oat compounds acting together to reduce blood cholesterol levels.”
Another use of β-glucan is to improve immune response. Here’s a 2016 Netherlands study where the researchers used β-glucan to get a dozen people well after making them sick with lipopolysaccharide as is often done in animal studies:
“β-Glucan Reverses the Epigenetic State of LPS-Induced Immunological Tolerance” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5927328/
“The innate immune ‘training stimulus’ β-glucan can reverse macrophage tolerance ex vivo.”
I’ve curated other research on β-glucan’s immune-response benefits in: