Nutrient Changes Noted in Sprouted Wheat

German researchers sprouted wheat kernels for up to 168 hours (1 week), analyzing them at different stages to learn the effects of germination on different nutrient levels. While different times and temperatures produced different effects, overall the sprouting process decreased gluten proteins substantially, while increasing folate. Longer germination times led to a substantial increase of total dietary fiber, with soluble fiber tripling and insoluble fiber decreasing by 50%.
Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry, June 13, 2007; 55(12):4678-83. Epub 2007 May 12.

Oats May Improve Insulin Sensitivity

Researchers in Chicago carried out a randomized, double-blind, controlled clinical trial of ninety-seven men and women, in which half of the group consumed foods containing oat beta-glucan, while the other half ate control foods. At the end of the trial period, the oat group showed improvements in insulin sensitivity, while the control group was unchanged.
European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, June 2007; 61(6):786-95

Whole Grain and Healthier Carotid Arteries

A study by Philip Mellen at Wake Forest University and colleagues measured atherosclerosis of the common carotid artery, and its progression over five years. Mellen’s team found that, among the 1178 men and women in the study, those who ate more whole grains had less unhealthy artherosclerotic thickening of the common carotid artery.
American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, June 2007; vol 85(6):1495-1502

Whole Grains Reduce Inflammatory Disease Risk

That habitual whole grain consumption reduces the risk of both cardiovascular disease and diabetes has been well documented. Now, a recent study by the University of Minnesota’s David Jacobs shows that eating whole grains confers an even greater risk-reduction in mortality from inflammatory diseases. Jacobs and his colleagues followed more than 27,000 post-menopausal women for 17 years and concluded that “oxidative stress reduction by constituents of whole grain is a likely mechanism for the protective effect.”
American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, June 2007; vol 85(6):1606-1614

Rye Down-Regulates Some Risky Genes

For decades it was believed that genes determined destiny: if you’ve inherited genes that predispose you to heart disease, for example, you will develop cardiovascular disease. More recently, we’ve learned that genes have on/off switches: the potential may be there for your heart attack, but your diet and lifestyle may help you keep that switch turned off, by “down-regulating” the gene. Scientists at the University of Kuopio studied gene expression in 47 middle-aged adults who ate either an oat/wheat bread/potato diet or a rye/pasta diet for 12 weeks. They found 71 down-regulated genes with the rye/pasta group, including some involved with impaired insulin signaling, in contrast to 62 up-regulated genes in the oat/wheat/potato group, including genes that related to stress and over-action of the immune system, even in the absence of weight loss.
American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. May 2007; 85(5): 1169-70.

More Cereal Fiber associated with less diabetes risk

A team of German researchers led by Matthias Schulze followed over 16,000 adults for a period of seven years and found that those who ate the most cereal fiber had a 27% lower risk of developing diabetes than those who ate the least. No link was noted with total fiber – just with cereal fiber.
Archives of Internal Medicine, May 2007; 14; 167(9):956-65

Whole Grains May Reduce Colorectal Cancer Risk

A team of researchers led by Arthur Schatzkin studied data for almost half a million middle-aged men and women enrolled in the NIH-AARP Diet and Healthy Study, to learn whether fiber intake and/or whole grains might reduce the risk of colorectal cancer. In this analysis, total dietary fiber intake was not associated with a reduced risk of colorectal cancer, but both grain fiber and whole grains were shown likely to reduce the risk of colorectal cancer.
American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, May 2007; vol 85(5):1353-1360

Breast Cancer: Cereal Fiber May Affect Estrogen Regulation

A UK study suggests that women who eat large amounts of fiber – particularly fiber from cereals and possibly fruit – could cut breast cancer risk in half. The effect was greatest on pre-menopausal women, which Janet Cade and her team at Leeds University say may be because fiber affects the way the body processes and regulates the female hormone estrogen.
International Journal of Epidemiology, April 2007; 36(2):431-8

Whole Grains Associated with Lower BMI

A study of 150 college students found that higher whole grain intake was associated with lower BMI (Body Mass Index). Overall, students averaged only 0.7 servings per day of whole grain, and authors, led by Nick Rose, noted that low availability of whole grains on and around campus could be responsible for low intake.
Journal of Nutrition and Education Behavior, March 2007; vol 39 (2); 90-94

High Fiber Diet cuts Inflammation Levels

C-reactive protein (CRP), a known marker for inflammation, is increasingly accepted as a good predictor of both type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. A high-fiber diet – whether from foods like whole grains, fruits and vegetables or from fiber supplements – can cut CRP levels up to 40%. Ironically, the effect was more pronounced in healthy lean people than in obese ones, according to lead researcher Dana King at the Medical University of South Carolina.
Archives of Internal Medicine, March 2007; 12; 167(5):502-6

Ancient Wheats Higher in Healthy Carotenoids

Canadian researchers from the Food Research Program, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada evaluated several primitive and modern wheat species, and found the highest levels of carotenoids including lutein, zeaxanthin and beta-carotene in Einkorn. Durum, Kamut® and Khorosan had intermediate levels, while common bread or pastry wheat had the lowest levels of carotenoids.  The carotenoids studied are thought to be important to eye health, among other functions.
Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, February 2007; 55(3): 787-94

Amaranth Benefits Patients With Cardiovascular Disease

Russian researchers seeking to determine whether or not amaranth would show benefits for  cardiovascular disease (CVD) fed daily doses of amaranth oil or sunflower oil (a control) to 125 patients with CVD.  Patients who presented with coronary heart disease and hypertension not only showed benefits from the inclusion of amaranth in their diets, researchers also saw a decrease in the amounts of total cholesterol, triglycerides, and LDL significantly.
Lipids in Health and Disease, January 5, 2007; 6:1.  DOI:10.1186/1476-511X-6-1.