A Whole-Grain Diet Reduces Cardiovascular Risk Factors in Overweight and Obese Adults: A Randomized Controlled Trial.
Journal article, 2016

BACKGROUND: Increased dietary whole-grain intake may protect against cardiovascular disease (CVD). OBJECTIVE: The objective was to evaluate the efficacy of whole grains compared with refined grains on body composition, hypertension, and related mediators of CVD in overweight and obese adults. METHODS: We conducted a double-blind, randomized, controlled crossover trial in 40 overweight or obese men and women aged <50 y with no known history of CVD. Complete whole-grain and refined-grain diets were provided for two 8-wk periods, with a 10-wk washout between diets. Macronutrient composition was matched, except for the inclusion of either whole grains or refined grains (50 g/1000 kcal in each diet). Measurements included blood pressure, body composition, blood lipids and adiponectin, and markers of inflammation and glycemia. RESULTS: Thirty-three participants (6 men and 27 women) completed the trial [mean ± SD age: 39 ± 7 y; mean ± SD body mass index (in kg/m2): 33.1 ± 4.3]. Decreases in diastolic blood pressure were -5.8 mm Hg (95% CI: -7.7, -4.0 mm Hg) after the whole-grain diet and -1.6 mm Hg (95% CI: -4.4, 1.3 mm Hg) after the control diet (between effect, P = 0.01). Decreases in plasma adiponectin were -0.1 (95% CI: -0.9, 0.7) after the whole-grain diet and -1.4 (95% CI: -2.6, -0.3) after the control diet (between effect, P = 0.05). Decreases in diastolic blood pressure correlated with the circulating adiponectin concentration (r = 0.35, P = 0.04). Substantial reductions in body weight, fat loss, systolic blood pressure, total cholesterol, and LDL cholesterol were observed during both diet periods, with no relevant difference between them. CONCLUSIONS: The improvement in diastolic blood pressure was >3-fold greater in overweight and obese adults when they consumed a whole-grain compared with a refined-grain diet. Because diastolic blood pressure predicts mortality in adults aged <50 y, increased whole-grain intake may provide a functional approach to control hypertension. This may benefit patients at risk of vascular-related morbidity and mortality. This trial was registered at clinicaltrials.gov as NCT01411540.


J.P. Kirwan

Cleveland Clinic Foundation

Steven K Malin

Cleveland Clinic Foundation

Amanda R Scelsi

Cleveland Clinic Foundation

Emily L Kullman

Cleveland Clinic Foundation

Sankar D Navaneethan

Cleveland Clinic Foundation

Mangesh R Pagadala

Cleveland Clinic Foundation

Jacob M Haus

Cleveland Clinic Foundation

Julianne Filion

Cleveland Clinic Foundation

J. P. Godin

Nestle S.A.

S. Kochhar

Nestle S.A.

Alastair Ross

Chalmers, Biology and Biological Engineering, Food and Nutrition Science

Journal of Nutrition

0022-3166 (ISSN) 1541-6100 (eISSN)

Vol. 146 11 2244-2251

Subject Categories

Food Science

Nutrition and Dietetics


Basic sciences

Areas of Advance

Life Science Engineering (2010-2018)





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