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Immunomodulatory and Prebiotic Activities of White Oat β-glucans (Avena sativa L.) and the Potential for a Food-base Ecofriendly Therapy

Douglas Luís Vieira, Juliana Bello Baron Maurer, Andréia Buzatti, Marcelo Beltrão Molento


Intestinal health is an important sanitary factor for animals and humans and is closely related to the microbiota population of the gastrointestinal tract. Correlated to this fact is the diet that is consumed, which is fundamental for the development and proliferation of ‘beneficial’ bacteria. Modulation of the intestinal microbiota can be achieved by the prebiotic activity of some polysaccharides, which are fermented by these bacteria after being able to pass the digestive enzymes. Among these polysaccharides, β-glucans present glucose blocks bound by glycosidic (β1β3) and (β1β6), that are originated from yeasts and algae. β-glucans are also present in the cell wall of cereals and have immunomodulatory properties and prebiotic capabilities. These products have already been reported to have prebiotic action, working as immune response modulators, being strong candidates for food-base therapy. The biochemical composition of white oat (Avena sativa L.) indicates their high nutritional value, both for humans and animals. The present review described the use of polysaccharides derived from cereals, focusing mainly on oat as a potential food prebiotic to develop effective ecofriendly therapies.


Cereal polysaccharide, immune system, alternative therapy, nutraceutical, carbohydrates

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