Oat consumption has been suggested to decrease the risk of cardiovascular disease; oats are frequently co-consumed with milk, but also water and other products.
We evaluated associations of 24-hour self-reported oat and cow’s milk consumption with cardiovascular disease risk factors using National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (1999–2014) data. Daily oat and milk consumptions were classified as (1) no oats, no milk; (2) yes oats, no milk; (3) no oats, yes milk; or (4) yes oats, yes milk. We used no oats/no milk as a reference to assess the effects of oats, milk, and oat with milk consumption on markers of cardiovascular disease (CVD). The yes oats/no milk group was then used as the reference to further determine if a relationship between oat and milk consumption on the same day existed past that of previously reported oat consumption alone.
Self-reported oat intake was associated with improvements in some biomarkers of CVD risk. The prevalence of abdominal obesity measured as waist circumference was lower (odds ratio, 0.57; 95% confidence interval, 0.41–0.73), and fewer than 3+ risk factors of metabolic syndrome (odds ratio, 0.66; 95% confidence interval, 0.51–0.85) were observed in the yes oats/yes milk group as compared with nonconsumers (no oats/no milk). Similar effects were found in the yes oats/no milk group. We did not find any synergistic effects of self-reported consumption of both milk and oats during a 24-hour period on markers of CVD.
These results are consistent with clinical data showing oats to be associated with improvement in some biomarkers of CVD risk; however, the addition of milk does not appear to affect CVD risk factors in this cross-sectional data set.