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Oat bran is derived from is the outer casing of the oat grain (Avena sativa), the seed of the oat grass plant. Oat bran, like peas, beans, and barley, is a good dietary source soluble fiber. Soluble fiber attracts water adding moisture and bulk to the digestive tract, slowing the rate of digestion and helping to remove wastes and cholesterol. Absorption of certain nutrients, such as sugar or starchy foods is slowed and even lowered in the presence of sufficient soluble fiber.
Consumption of soluble fibers like oat bran has been shown to have a cholesterol-lowering effect when consumed as part of a healthy diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol.1 Some research has shown that consuming oat bran fiber may lower the risk of developing heart disease.
Many processed commercial "bran" food products may contain very little actual bran, so it is wise to read labels carefully. Oat bran supplements are an excellent way to add soluble fiber to any healthy diet.
Use as directed.
Oat bran fiber may lower the absorption of cholesterol-lowering statin medications, so consult your physician if you are taking this type of medication before using oat bran supplements.
1. Am J Clin Nutr. 1999 Jan;69(1):30-42.