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Wholegrain cereals and bread: A duet of the Mediterranean diet for the prevention of chronic diseases

1Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology II, Centre for Biomedical Research (CIB), Institute of Nutrition and Food Technology, University of Granada, Avda. del Conocimiento s/n, 18100 Armilla, Granada, Spain.
Public Health Nutrition (Impact Factor: 2.48). 12/2011; 14(12A):2316-22. DOI: 10.1017/S1368980011002576
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The promotion of healthy lifestyles is one of the major goals of governments and international agencies all over the world. Wholegrain cereals are rich in nutrients and many phytochemical compounds, with recognised benefits for health, including dietary fibre, a number of phenolic compounds, lignans, vitamins and minerals and other bioactive components. The aim of the present work is to review the fundamental studies that support the consumption of wholegrain cereals and bread to prevent chronic diseases.
Descriptive review considering human studies.
Subjects included in randomised intervention trials and cohort studies from different countries published up to 2010.
Several studies show consistently that subjects who ingest three or more portions of foods per day based on wholegrain cereals have a 20-30 % lower risk of CVD than subjects who ingest low quantities of cereals. This level of protection is not observed with the ingestion of refined cereals, these being even higher than with the intake of fruit and vegetables. Likewise, high intake of wholegrain cereals and their products, such as whole-wheat bread, is associated with a 20-30 % reduction in the risk of type 2 diabetes. Finally, protection against the risk of colorectal cancer and polyps, other cancers of the digestive tract, cancers related to hormones and pancreatic cancer has been associated with the regular consumption of wholegrain cereals and derived products.
The regular intake of wholegrain cereals can contribute to reduction of risk factors related to non-communicable chronic diseases.

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    • "In fact, in acute experimental settings, a reduction in insulin response has been reported with whole kernel rye/whole rye bread when compared with white wheat bread. This has been confirmed in longer term experimental conditions (2e4 weeks) that demonstrated a reduction of both insulin and glucose post-prandial responses after a whole grain rye or wheat diet in overweight men (Gil et al., 2011). "
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    • "The beneficial health effects of plant-derived products have been largely attributed to polyphenolic compounds, as well as vitamins, minerals and dietary fibers [24] [25] [26] [27] [28]. Although the positive role of antioxidant vitamins in the metabolic syndrome is still controversial [29] [30] [31], interesting data suggests that high levels of vitamin D are related to a lower risk of developing T2D [32]. "
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    • "In recent years the role of bioactive phenolic compounds as protective dietary constituents has become an increasingly important area of human nutrition research [12]. Unlike the traditional vitamins, they are not essential for short-term well-being, but there is increasing evidences that modest longterm intakes may exhibit a potential for modulating human metabolism in a favourable manner contributing to the beneficial effects of fruit-and vegetable-rich diets [13] [14] [15] [16] [17] [18]. Phenolic compounds consist in one or more benzenic ring with each containing at least one hydroxyl group (–OH). "
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