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Investigating the effects on general health of oat beta-glucans and potato proteins

The present study will develop a new drink, based on components with lower glycemic index, oat beta-glucans and potato proteins with the goal of lowering blood lipids, increase glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity and improve general health.

The purpose of this project is to develop and evaluate a new beverage that will benefit people's health through improvement of nutrition habits in connection with physical activity. More than 5 million Swedes exercise intermittently or regularly, mainly for general health purposes. Driven by commercial promotion, the major focus of nutrition in connection with exercise to date has been to maximize sport performance. The exercise nutrition strategy commonly used for performance with high carbohydrate and whey protein intake might not be the best solution when the primary goal is to improve blood glucose levels and lipid profile, and to enhance the ability to oxidize fat. Nutrition in connection with 'non-elite' or recreational sport to maximize long term health benefits is vastly under-researched by comparison. The present study will develop a new recovery & health drink, based on components with lower glycemic index, oat beta-glucans and potato proteins that not only have an efficient muscle recovery after training but also have the goal of lowering blood lipids, increase glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity and improve general health. The combination of physical inactivity and unhealthy diet is today the greatest risk factor for cardio-vascular diseases. Physical training and healthy nutrition is a powerful tool for human well-being and as prevention for several of the many rapidly increasing lifestyle diseases. The health industry has identified this need and therefore supply a large number of different exercise and nutrition products. Protein drinks is one of these products and focuses on efficient muscle recovery after training. But the market for protein drinks extends beyond that for exercise purposes. We know that protein creates a great feeling of satiety and combined with the knowledge that both children and elderly are recommended to consume 20% of the total energy intake from protein we propose a potential additional use for protein drinks to cover these requirements. Oatly has performed preliminary studies together with Gothenburg University to establish the positive acute effects of a prototype potato protein enriched, vegetarian drink in combination with exercise. The first results indicate a stable metabolic profile and with similar recovery potential as a conventional drink. Long-term effects on health parameters and training induced adaptations remains to be evaluated The planned project consists of two parts. The first part is to create a vegetarian beberage with the above mentioned qualities in terms of health issues and recovery effects. The drink should have high compliancy; i.e. it should taste and smell good and have a pleasant mouth feel. The product should additionally be not only milk-free but also soy-free according to Oatly’s promise to meet the needs of consumers with certain food allergies. The second part is to test the drink in a clinical setting, conducting a long term exercise training and nutrition study evaluating both performance and health parameters. Positive results from the project will be very valuable from a general health perspective. If the clinical evaluation shows reduced cholesterol levels and improved immune system there are added opportunities beyond the use as a recovery drink after physical training. There would be possibilities in the area of improving health for many others such as the elderly or sick. The ambition level of the project is set high in order to both develop an excellent product and to gain scientific knowledge in the area of exercise nutrition and health. To achieve these set goals, Oatly sees a need for co-financing. Oatly has in the past received grants from Vinnova for studying and developing oat cultivars with enhanced nutritional characteristics that are better suited for use as food and particularly as dairy alternatives. This research and development work lead to increased knowledge on the cholesterol-lowering properties of oat, which are due to both beta-glucan and a healthy lipid composition.
Acronym: 
OATLY
Project ID: 
9 596
Start date: 
01-02-2015
Project Duration: 
14months
Project costs: 
280 000.00€
Technological Area: 
AGROFOOD TECHNOLOGY
Market Area: 
MEDICAL / HEALTH RELATED

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