Diabetes MellitusDiet-NutritionHeart DiseaseMetabolic SyndromeObesityStroke

Benefits of a whole grain-enriched diet on cardiovascular risk

Researchers at Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine, in Hershey, studied the response to including whole-grain foods in a hypocaloric (reduced by 500 kcal/day) diet.

First, the details.

  • Obese adults with metabolic syndrome (increase the risk for coronary artery disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes) were randomly assigned to a treatment group for 12 weeks.
    • Dietary advice to avoid whole-grain foods
    • Dietary advice to obtain all of their grain servings from whole grains
  • All participants were given the same dietary advice in other respects for weight loss.

And, the results.

  • Both diets were well tolerated, with high adherence.
  • Body weight, waist circumference, and percentage body fat decreased significantly in both groups.
  • There was a significantly greater decrease in percentage body fat in the abdominal region in the whole-grain group vs the refined-grain group.
  • C-reactive protein (CPR) significantly decreased 38% in the whole-grain group independent of weight loss but was unchanged in the refined-grain group.
    • Blood levels of CRP increase in response to inflammation and is emerging as a risk factor for metabolic syndrome.
  • Total, LDL (bad), and HDL (good) cholesterol significantly decreased in both diet groups.
  • Dietary fiber and magnesium intakes significantly increased in the whole-grain but not the refined-grain group.

The bottom line?

The authors concluded, “Both hypocaloric diets were effective means of improving cardiovascular disease risk factors with moderate weight loss.”

There were significantly greater decreases in CRP and percentage body fat in the abdominal region in participants consuming whole grains than in those consuming refined grains.

Probably of greatest importance is that there was a high completion and compliance rate with these diets, which suggests they were well tolerated. 47 of 50 participants completed the study, and these 47 participants attended 99% of their scheduled study visits.

1/10/11 20:50 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at www.Vicus.com, a complementary and alternative medicine website.