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.

Sprouting Rye Increases and Protects Folate

Sprouting rye increases its folate content by 1.7- to 3.8-fold, depending on germination temperature, according to researchers in Finland who studied the effects of different processes on this key nutrient. The scientists also found that thermal treatments – including extrusion, puffing, and toasting – resulted in significant folate losses. However, when the rye was germinated (sprouted) first and then heat-processed, losses were minimized, showing sprouting to be a useful potential tool in safeguarding nutrients during food processing.
The Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry, December 13, 2006; 54(25):9522-8.

Whole Grains Cut Children's Asthma Risk in Half

A team from the Dutch National Institute of Public Health and the Environment found that children who ate whole grains were 54% less likely to develop asthma and 45% less likely to develop wheezing than children who did not eat whole grains.
Thorax, December 2006; 61(12):1048-53

Barley Reduces Blood Pressure

For five weeks, adults with mildly high cholesterol were fed diets supplemented with one of three whole grain choices: whole wheat/brown rice, barley, or whole wheat/brown rice/barley. All three whole grain combinations reduced blood pressure, leading USDA researchers to conclude that “in a healthful diet, increasing whole grain foods, whether high in soluble or insoluble fiber, can reduce blood pressure and may help to control weight.”
Journal of the American Dietetic Association, September 2006; 106(9):1445-9

Whole Grains Reduce Weight, Improve Nutrition

Researchers at the University of Rhode Island, in a six-month study headed up by Kathleen Melanson, found that whole grain cereals helped 180 overweight adults lose weight while increasing their consumption of fiber, magnesium and vitamin B-6.
Journal of the American Dietetic Association, September 2006; vol 106(9):1380-8

Whole Grains May Help Reduce Blood Pressure

USDA researcher Kay Behall and colleagues studied a small group of men and women as they followed a 10-week diet where all the grains were whole grains. The subjects, all of whom had slightly elevated cholesterol, showed significant reductions in both systolic and diastolic blood pressure when whole grains were added. They also lost about 1kg during the course of the study– although the whole grain diet was higher in calories than a control low-fat diet with refined grains used at the start of the study.
Journal of the American Dietetic Association, September 2006; vol 106(9):1445-9

Gum Disease Risk Reduced with Whole Grains

The risk of periodontitis, a serious inflammation of the gums that is the major cause of tooth loss in adults, may be reduced by eating more whole grains. Anwar Merchant and colleagues at McMaster University in Ontario studied more than 34,000 men over a 14-year period, and concluded that three to four servings of whole grains daily “may be optimal to reduce periodontitis risk.”
American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, June 2006; vol 83(6):1395-1400