Studies have not established the effect of oats on breast cancer

Oats (Avena sativa) are a good source of soluble dietary fiber (especially β-glucan) and iron, and also contain meaningful amounts of vitamin B1, vitamin B2, vitamin B6, calcium and zinc. Avenanthramides, polyphenols found in oats, have been shown to exhibit anti-inflammatory and anti-itch activity in the skin. Consumption of oats or β-glucan has been shown to reduce cholesterol, improve colon health, offset the increased risk of upper respiratory tract infection caused by stressful exercise, and reduce high blood pressure in obese subjects. High consumption of whole grains has been associated with lower risk of colon cancer. Whole grain consumption has also been shown to be associated with greater insulin sensitivity and lower body mass index in adolescents, especially among the heaviest. A diet containing 10% oat lipids has been shown to reduce the incidence and size of carcinogen-induced liver tumors in laboratory rats.

Breast cancer-related effects of eating oats

Diets rich in soluble fiber and whole grains have been found to be protective against breast cancer in some studies and not associated with breast cancer risk in others. Oats are a source of melatonin, which has been shown to be associated with lower risk of breast cancer. A 2008 study suggested that bowel motility was inversely related to breast cancer risk because it increases estrogen excretion. Consumption of oats increases bowel motility.

Additional comments

A 2011 study found a link between increased starch intake after a diagnosis of early-stage breast cancer and a greater risk of recurrence. This suggests that those oat-based breakfast cereals that do not have a high fiber content are not a good choice.

Below are links to recent studies concerning this food. For a more complete list of studies, please click on oats.

Tags: aromataseActivity, fiber, inflammation, insulinResistance, iron, melatonin, oats, vitaminB6, zinc

Selected breast cancer studies

Circadian and Melatonin Disruption by Exposure to Light at Night Drives Intrinsic Resistance to Tamoxifen Therapy in Breast Cancer Effects of selenium compounds on proliferation and epigenetic marks of breast cancer cells Anti-aromatase effect of resveratrol and melatonin on hormonal positive breast cancer cells co-cultured with breast adipose fibro The Bioavailability and Metabolism of Phenolics, a Class of Antioxidants Found in Grains In vitro total antioxidant capacity and anti-inflammatory activity of three common oat-derived avenanthramides Effect of Melatonin on Tumor Growth and Angiogenesis in Xenograft Model of Breast Cancer Effect of cooking on lignans content in wholegrain pasta made with different cereals and other seeds Avena sativa (Oat), A Potential Neutraceutical and Therapeutic Agent: An Overview Oat Beta-Glucan: Its Role in Health Promotion and Prevention of Diseases Selenium intake and breast cancer mortality in a cohort of Swedish women Effect of whole grains on markers of subclinical inflammation Wholegrain oat-based cereals have prebiotic potential and low glycaemic index Circulating melatonin and the risk of breast and endometrial cancer in women Evaluation of the mutagenicity and antimutagenicity of extracts from oat, buckwheat and wheat bran in the Salmonella/microsome assay A Prospective Study of Bowel Motility and Related Factors on Breast Cancer Risk Whole grain food intake elevates serum enterolactone High-fiber diets and reduced risk of breast cancer Dietary Carbohydrates, Fiber, and Breast Cancer Risk Antioxidant activity of grains Whole grain food intake and cancer risk In vitro binding of estrogens by dietary fiber and the in vivo apparent digestibility tested in pigs

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