Long-term whole-grain rye and wheat consumption and their associations with selected biomarkers of inflammation, endothelial function, and cardiovascular disease
Journal article, 2021
Background/objectives Whole-grain (WG) intake has been associated with a lowered risk of developing type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and some cancers in epidemiological studies. Reduced subclinical inflammation could be one important mechanism behind such associations. This study investigated whether high long-term WG rye and wheat intakes were associated with lower concentrations of biomarkers of inflammation, endothelial function, and protein biomarkers associated with cardiovascular disease. Subjects/methods We assessed WG intake by food frequency questionnaire (FFQ) and by measuring alkylresorcinols (ARs) in plasma and adipose tissue, respectively. Selected biomarkers in free-living 109 women and 149 men were analyzed from two clinical subcohort studies (Swedish Mammography Cohort-Clinical (SMC-C) and Cohort of Swedish Men-Clinical (COSM-C), respectively. Total WG rye and wheat (WGRnW) and the ratio of WG rye to WG rye and wheat (WGR/WGRnW) were estimated from FFQs. ARs were measured in plasma and adipose tissue by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) and the biomarkers by ELISA. Results We found no consistent associations between WG intake assessed by different methods and the selected biomarkers. However, WGRnW intake was inversely associated with cathepsin S (P-trend < 0.05) and total AR and C17:0/C21:0 in plasma were inversely associated with the endostatin concentration (P-trend < 0.05) adjusted for BMI, age, and sex. Conclusion The results give limited support to the hypothesis that a high WG wheat and rye intake is associated with lower concentrations of common biomarkers of inflammation and CVD that have previously been reported inversely associated with WG intake or an overall healthy lifestyle.