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Can you help us to test the effects of wholegrain oats on heart and gut health?

It is well known that what we eat and drink can have a major role in protecting us from disease. Eating more whole grain products can improve our health and this could, in part, be due to natural elements in whole grains such as phenolic acids. Indeed, regular intakes of phenolic acid related elements found in fruits, vegetables, wine, tea and chocolate have been shown to reduce our risk of suffering from cardiovascular disease. Fibre from whole grains, on the other hand, is an indigestible carbohydrate (that is usually part of plant foods) with many health effects, mainly by feeding the good bacteria in our gut and easing bowel movements. However, the health benefits of phenolic acids from whole grains remain unclear.

What is the purpose of the study?

The main purpose of this study is to test if long term intake of a 2.5 portion of whole grain oats improves your heart, blood vessels and intestinal health; and if phenolic acids are, at least in part, responsible for these effects. Potential health benefits will be measured using a range of non-invasive and harmless tests. These include blood vessel elasticity, blood pressure, gut bacteria and further markers related to the cardiovascular system.

Am I suitable to take part?

We aim to recruit people who are generally healthy with high normal to moderately elevated blood pressure. You need to be between 25 and 75 years of age, non-smoking, free of disease, not undertaking regular vigorous exercise and not taking long-term blood pressure or blood fat medication. Females taking the contraceptive pill or hormone replacement therapy (HRT) can take part. Females who are pregnant, lactating or, if of reproductive age and not using a reliable form of contraception (including abstinence) will not be able to take part in the study. At the beginning of your study participation, you will receive a health check and we will fully assess your eligibility to take part in the study.

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