of the Oat Bran Fad
Then in 1990, an article in The New England Journal of Medicine1 received wide media publicity. This article incorrectly concluded that oat bran "has little cholesterol-lowering effect" and that wheat bran and oat bran supplements "reduce serum cholesterol about equally.".
In this study 20 volunteers, many of them young healthy dieticians with low cholesterol values at baseline were evaluated to determine the effect of ingesting oat bran compared to wheat bran.
The study was flawed in studying a very small group of individuals with preexisting low cholesterol values and generalizing the results to the population at large. Studying a very small group of patients can lead to missing important differences that may be documented using a study with a larger number of patients.
Following the wide spread media attention that followed the publication of this article, the oat bran fad ended.