In a study by the Rural Development Administration and Konkuk University of Veterinary Medicine, researchers from Korea conducted an experiment on mice to verify its efficacy on improving the symptoms of atopic dermatitis (eczema).
Mice were divided into control, sprout oat extract treatment (200µL), and an oil treatment group.
All the mice were induced with eczema, before treatment was applied to the skin for three weeks.
Using SCORAD to assess the extent and severity of eczema, those in the control group scored 43, while the sprout oat extract group scored 29.4, showing a 32% reduction between both groups. Researchers observed there was less itching and erythema in the latter.
The group treated with oil scored poorer than control, receiving a score of 50.4.
Researchers attributed the reduction of symptoms to sprout oat extract’s ability to inhibit inflammation and prevent infiltration of mast cells into the skin tissue, thereby maintaining skin cell proliferation and homeostasis.
Sprout oat extract contains a large amount of avenacoside, which is a flavone glycoside-based functional substance, studied extensively for its antioxidant properties.
Avenacoside is a saponin-based functional substance that is specifically contained in sprout oats.
Sprouted oats are oats that can germinate given the right conditions. Researchers found that the functional substances were higher in sprouted oats than dry oat seeds.
They reported that total flavone glycoside content (mg/100g dry matter) was higher in sprouted oats (1280mg/100g) compared to oat seeds (185mg/100g).
Total avenacoside content was also found to be higher in sprouted oats (2360mg/100g dry matter), compared to oat seeds (68mg/100g dry matter).
They said, “The content of functional substances is highest 5 to 6 days after germination.”
Outcome for industry
The Rural Development Administration believed this is the first study in the world to confirm the effect of sprout oat extract on alleviating eczema symptoms.
It is currently applying for a patent on the findings of the research and plans to apply the technology to the industry to jointly develop functional foods and cosmetics.
Park Gi-do, director of the Crop Foundation at the Rural Development Administration said: "We hope to use the avenacoside saponins contained in the oat sprout to develop materials that improve atopic dermatitis.”
The Rural Development Administration hopes by raising sprout oats as a regional specialty crop, it will create local income and supply stable raw materials to the industry.