Prairie Oat Growers Association Awards Second Oat Research Grant, Dr. Lori Warren of the University of Florida Will Study Beta-Glucan

Louisville, Kentucky (PRWEB) August 11, 2014

POGA represents 15,000 hard-working Canadian oat growers in Western Canada. The EORAB encourages, and recommends for funding, research projects that will increase the knowledge of equine nutrition and well-being. The Advisory Board brings the best minds from the equine and oat industries together to promote new research. This is the second research grant made by POGA to studying the nutritional effects of oats on horses. POGA has committed nearly $270,000 in research dollars since 2013.

“There is a tremendous need for research on equine nutrition to better understand how we can keep our horses healthy and strong,” said Art Enns, President of POGA. “Dr. Warren’s research project presented a great opportunity for us to better understand the internal health needs of horses, allowing us to continue our efforts in building a platform of factual research in equine nutrition.”

Dr. Warren’s study will investigate the potential for oat beta-glucan to improve the responsiveness of the immune system in horses. Beta-glucans are a type of dietary fiber, commonly known to benefit the human body by improving heart health. The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved heart healthy labeling for packaging of food products with high levels of beta-glucan. Although numerous studies have been conducted on beta-glucan in relation to the human body, the influence of beta-glucan in equine has never been evaluated in depth.

“Oats are a rich source of beta-glucans, whereas appreciable quantities are not found in corn,” said Dr. Warren. “This study will investigate the potential for oat-beta-glucan to improve the responsiveness of the immune system in horses. If oat beta-glucan can enhance immune function or mediate stress-induced suppression of the immune system, it will greatly improve the value of oats as a main ingredient in equine feeds.”

This is the second research project studying oats and the beneficial effects on horses. The first was awarded in 2013 to Dr. Laurie Lawrence of the University of Kentucky for a two-year study.

POGA will receive funding for this research project from the Government of Canada on behalf of Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz, MP. The funding is administered through Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s (AAFC) AgriInnovation Program to help Canadian oat producers sell more of their crop in global marketplaces.

About the Prairie Oat Growers Association