Effect of Oat Hull Fiber on Human Colonic Function and Serum Lipids

July 1997 , Volume 74, Number 4
Pages  379  - 383 

Alison M. Stephen , 1 , 2 Wendy J. Dahl , 1 Dianne M. Johns , 1 and Hans N. Englyst 3

Division of Nutrition and Dietetics, College of Pharmacy and Nutrition, University of Saskatchewan, 110 Science Place, Saskatoon, SK Canada S7N 5C9. Corresponding author. E-mail: STEPHEN@SASK.USASK.CA Phone: 306/966-5847. Fax:306/966-6377. MRC Dunn Clinical Nutrition Centre, Hills Road, Cambridge CB2 2DH England.

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Accepted February 3, 1997. 

Oat hull fiber is an insoluble source of dietary fiber, derived from the outermost layer of the oat grain. The effect of oat hull fiber on colonic function and serum lipids was investigated by conducting a controlled study on 10 healthy males, aged 20–37, who ate, for two three-week periods, a controlled low fiber diet (13.1 g of nonstarch polysaccharide [NSP]/day), and the same diet with 25 g of oat hull fiber per day incorporated into foods, providing 17 g of NSP/day. Fecal weight increased from 113 ± 10.4 to 155 ± 10.8 g/day (P < 0.001) with no change in transit time or serum lipids. Fermentation of oat hull fiber was studied by analysis of feces for NSP. Excretion of NSP increased from 2.0 g/day excreted to 19.7 g/day, indicating that no degradation had occurred. Oat hull fiber is therefore resistant to fermentation in the human colon, has no effect on serum lipids, and provides no energy to the body

© 1997 by the American Association of Cereal Chemists, Inc.

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