Epidemiological studies reveal a clear association between increased wholegrain consumption and a reduced risk of colorectal cancer, cardiovascular disease, elevated blood pressure, type 2 diabetes and weight gain.
However, short-term randomized controlled intervention trials looking at biomarkers for these conditions are not quite as conclusive - at least those looking at weight control, blood pressure and fasting insulin, delegates at the Whole Grains on Every Plate conference in San Antonio were told in October: Whole grains and health: Where’s the evidence?
But this may have more to do with study design than anything else, said Paul Jacques, professor at Tufts University in Boston, who gave a presentation summarizing the science on whole grain consumption and health benefits.
“Once you start looking more closely at these intervention studies, they are often on very small groups of people that already have metabolic disorders, and they are too short for any meaningful effects to be observed”, he said.
“Whereas the observational studies are looking at thousands of healthy people studied over several years to see if they develop diabetes, obesity and so on.”