Oats and IL-1 beta

Occasionally I come across more substances that inhibit, or may inhibit!, IL-1 beta, which is a key SMM-MM progression factor (see my page on IL-1 beta or my early February posts). Just the other day I found another one: oats! Or, more precisely, polyphenols from oats called avenanthramides. A 2008 study on the prevention of atherosclerosis (see: http://tinyurl.com/croz5k) tested human aortic endothelial cells with the purpose of determining if the mechanism of inhibitory effect of these polyphenols from oats on the expression of proinflammatory cytokines is mediated through modulation of nuclear factor-kB-dependent transcription.


This study (grazie, Sherlock!) mainly examines a synthetic form of avenanthramides called CH3-Avn-c, which, to be honest, is of little interest to me (ALL I need is another pill or capsule, argh!). I am more interested in the following:


Taken together, our results demonstrate that Avns, specific polyphenols from oats, possess potential anti-inflammatory properties, which may lend to their potential beneficial effect in the prevention of atherosclerosis through inhibition of NF-kB activation. It is interesting to note that oatmeal bath has been used for skin conditions such as eczema, poison ivy, insect bites, sunburn, and shingles, where inflammation is known to be the main culprit. Our findings are in line with the observation of several naturally occurring polyphenols in foods, spices, and herbs, such as curcumin, myricetin, quercetin, resveratrol, and green tea constituent (–)-epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), all of which have been suggested to have health benefit effects through long-term consumption by modulating NF-kB activity.


Long-term. Hmmm. This adjective is a good reminder that there are no quick fixes with natural extracts. Patience is key. If something doesn’t work immediately, perhaps we shouldn’t discard it right off the bat. Well, unless our markers worsen, of course. That’s a different story…


Another important excerpt: Our data also point to the potential benefit of including oats and oat bran in daily meals over the long term. Oat products not only are known to reduce blood cholesterol, but also may help to suppress the inflammatory process associated with the development of atherosclerosis. “Long term” is mentioned again in this paragraph. Eh. We are also reminded that oats have a beneficial effect on blood pressure and are a rich source of many nutrients and antioxidants including vitamin E, phytic acid, and unique polyphenols, avenanthramides.


Well, including oats in our diet may not do much to inhibit IL-1 beta in the short term (no quick fixes!), but they are good for us in so many other ways. I am going to eat more (organic) oats from now on. In fact, I just had a bowl of (organic) oatmeal and flaxseed for lunch!


My motto of the week: can’t hurt…could help!

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