Properties of oat bran


What is oat bran?

Oat bran is the product that becomes from refining the grain of oats. It contains mostly the husk of the grain, and also some fragments of the endosperm.

Bran corresponds to what would be the outer layers of grain and more specifically the pericarp, with its three sub-layers: exocarp, mesocarp and endocarp (rich in fiber and minerals), testa (rich in vitamins and enzymes) and the aleurone layer (rich in proteins and fats)

What parts of the grain does oat bran have?

oat bran spoonful

Photo of a spoon full of oat bran. Approximately, 1 tablespoon contains 24 kcal., 6g. of carbohydrates and 2 g. of proteins.

Oat bran preserves some parts of the endosperm or grain, which is the part rich in carbohydrates.

Because of this composition, oat bran contains more fiber than oats in flakes or grain, and fewer carbohydrates.

In the refinement of the grains, the elimination of these layers supposes the deprivation of a whole series of fiber that is very important for health.

Antinutrients of oat bran

In the husk of cereals is also where you can find more phytates, some antinutrient substances.

They are called antinutrients because phytates are able to bind to minerals such as iron, zinc or calcium and prevent their absorption (mineral thieves). For this reason, you should not abuse the consumption of these fibers and should only be consumed in those cases where it is not possible to provide this fiber through the diet.


Although oat bran contains other components, the main curative properties of this supplement, like in wheat bran, come from its non soluble fiber wealth.

Between the main properties of oat bran we will mention the following:

Oat bran can be a help in thinning diets


Oat bran is used in diets to lose weight due to its satiating properties and against cholesterol.

Supplements of oat bran can be used to help you lose weight, since, when mixed with water in the intestine, causing fullness in the stomach that helps reduce hunger. The fiber diet is one of the most used to cut some extra kilos.

Oat bran supplements are used in weight loss diets because of the property of soluble fiber (beta-glucans) to hydrate and provide a sensation of early satiety.

It also has proven properties to reduce cholesterol, being doubly beneficial in those cases where there is obesity and high levels of these fats are present in the blood.

Oatmeal is also suitable from a nutritional point, because it has a balanced composition, with fewer carbohydrates, more protein and more fiber than other cereals.

Recent studies indicate that a component of the grain, avenina, could have reassuring properties, suitable for those people who follow diets under a lot of stress, or who have anxiety for food.

For all these reasons, oat bran can be used to help lose weight, since, when mixed with the water of the intestine, they increase in volume causing a filling sensation in the stomach that helps to reduce hunger. Fiber diet is one of the most used resources to reduce some extra kilos. The one that was popular at the time, the Dukan diet, frequently uses this ingredient.

Oat bran can take control of cholesterol in the blood

Besides not containing cholesterol, oat bran has the capacity, by its lifted soluble fiber content, to absorb the cholesterol of the intestine and to expel it with feces to the outside before this it is absorbed by the organism.

It has been verified that the people who include bran supplements have lower cholesterol levels.

Oat bran is very useful to control constipation

oat bran

A spoonful of oat bran

The fiber contained in oat bran increases intestinal peristalsis and softens the stool so that they are expelled to the outside more easily and frequently, preventing constipation, a condition that affects many adults in Western society because of removing the bran in cereals and grains.

By comparative studies, it has been seen that cultures that eat foods high in fiber have a much higher number of stools. In India, the average of the stool is calculated between 300 and 500 grams per day, with a residence time in the gut of about 30 to 35 hours. In the western world people keep their feces for 3 days for adults and about 15 days old. The average weight of these is estimated only about 100 g.

* More information: Oat bran for constipation

Oat bran for diabetes

Oat bran contains large amounts of soluble fiber (beta-glucans). Its ingestion is very suitable for the treatment of diabetes (regulates blood sugar levels by decreasing the absorption of it in the intestine)

One of the most important considerations that differentiate oat bran from other types is that oat bran provides more carbohydrates than other types of fiber such as wheat bran. This is because it contains part of the oat grain, rich in carbohydrates.

It should be taken into account especially by people with diabetes, for whom it should be considered that 1 tablespoon of oat bran (10g.) Provides half a carbohydrate ration.

*More information: Oats for diabetes

Other uses of oat bran

oat bran and wheat bran

Oat bran (left) and wheat bran (right)

  • Prevention of some types of cancers: Besides absorbing the cholesterol, oat bran has the capacity to absorb great amounts of toxins that are expelled. According to numerous studies, people who ingest some supplement of bran have an index of smaller probability to undergo some cancers, like colon cancer, breast cancer, cancer of the prostate and uterine cancer.
  • Prevention and treatment of hemorrhoids: Hemorrhoids are originated generally by an increase of pressure on the veins of the rectum. When the intestinal evacuation is difficult, the pressure exerted on the blood vessels of the rectum can produce the appearance of hemorrhoids. A diet rich in fiber help make stools soft so that removing them will be done with less effort. Eating oat bran t will be a good way to prevent hemorrhoids.
  • Prevention of diverticulitis: An adequate intake of bran can prevent the onset of digestive diseases such as diverticulitis. It has been shown that diets low in fiber food, favors the emergence of this disease.

Comparison between oat bran and wheat bran

Do not confuse the benefits of oat bran with the properties of wheat bran. Although both products are bran, compared to wheat bran, oat bran contains more carbohydrates.

* More information: Oat bran and wheat bran: What is better ?.

Precautions with oat bran

It should be borne in mind that oat bran is not a food but a nutritional supplement, so we must be prudent in the amount of bran to eat. Bran intake in excessive doses can cause more health problems than advantages.

Excess of insoluble fiber may cause intestinal abnormalities such as rots, diarrhea, bloating, flatulence or bowel obstruction. Bran excessive dieting may be responsible for more serious illnesses such as irritable bowel syndrome or, as seen above deficiency minerals. Oats presents some contraindications that we should know before using it in our diet.

It is generally not needed, unless as a therapeutic measure directed by a specialist, to take supplements of oat bran when people usually eat bread or abundant natural foods rich in insoluble fiber (all legumes, some fruits such as pineapples, custard apple, or vegetables such as carrots, spinach, artichokes, lettuces, tomatoes or chard ).

How to take supplements of oat bran

You can eat oat bran in dry fragments or tablets. The most common way is to take raw oat bran in fragments. In addition to oats, you can buy other bran as supplements are those of wheat and rice.

They have no flavor, so you can sprinkle on all kinds of preparations: juices or fruit juices, smoothies, milk, yogurt, salads, pancakes, fruit salad, crepes, milk, potatoes, rice, etc.

It is very important to take the oat bran together with plenty of liquid, for example, accompanied by a good glass of water, since it is necessary for the fiber to hydrate and not form an intestinal stopper.

Food composition of oat bran

Composition of oat bran per 100 gr.
NutrientsRaw oat bran
Water6.55 g
Energy246 kcal
Protein17, 30g
Carbohydrates66.22 g
Fibers15.4 g
Potassium566 mgs
Phosphorus734 mgs
iron5, 41mg
Sodium4 mgs
Magnesium235 mgs
Calcium58 mgs
Copper0, 403 mgs
Zinc3, 11 mgs
Manganese5, 630 mgs
Vitamin C0, 0 mg
Vitamin A0 mg
Vitamin B1(Thiamin)1, 170 mgs
Vitamin B2(Riboflavin)0, 220 mgs
Vitamin B3(Niacina)0, 934 mgs
Vitamin B6(Piridoxina)0, 166 mgs
Vitamin E1, 710 mgs
Folic acid52 mcg

Recommended amount of oat bran per day

The recommended daily doses are:

  • To prevent cholesterol, constipation or hemorrhoids, take 1 teaspoon 3 times a day, with a good glass of water.
  • To lower cholesterol, for example, it is recommended to take 25 to 100 g daily, which is between 4 and 15 grams of fiber (The total daily recommended fiber dose is 25 to 35 g per day).
  • In case of constipation it is recommended to take 15 g daily of the mixture of wheat bran and oat bran, with plenty of liquid.

It is advisable to consult with the dietitian, nutritionists or doctor to determine what is the amount that we should ingest. Little by little, the recommended dose is reached.

The reaction to the bran depends on the person. Some, for example, need up to 6 times more than others to combat constipation. It must also be borne in mind that, when taken in dry pieces, they have a much greater effect the greater the fragments in which it is presented.

  • It is recommended to start taking small doses of oat bran so that the body becomes accustomed.

Contraindications of oat bran

The ingestion of oat bran in excessive doses can cause more health problems than advantages, since there are a number of adverse effects that can occur with the ingestion of this product.

*Related information: Fiber supplements

punto rojoMore information on oats

This article was endorsed by Elisenda Carballido - Dietitian nutritionist. Postgraduate in Phytotherapy and master in Nutrition and Metabolism.
Written by Editorial Botanical-online team in charge of content writing

18 February, 2022

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