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USDA Researchers May Have Found Key To Breeding Healthiest Oats

February 1, 2010: 05:52 AM EST
Avenanthramides (Avn) – metabolites with potent antioxidant properties – are a main reason that oats have been widely promoted for their many health benefits. Scientists at the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service (ARS) have been trying to figure out what environmental factors regulate production of Avn. Though the specific purpose of Avn inside the oat plant is still a mystery, earlier studies have found that when oat leaves are attacked by a fungus, Avn production increases. With this knowledge in hand, researchers believe that oat breeders can selectively cultivate certain oat plant varieties for enhanced production of Avn, and even healthier oats.
Stephanie Yao, "Uncovering the Nutritional Value of Oats", Agricultural Research Service, February 01, 2010, via Agricultural Research Service, © USDA
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