provide clinical trial results on wholegrain

Eating three portions of wholegrain foods every day, such as wholemeal bread or porridge, can lower the risk of developing cardiovascular disease, report Scottish researchers.

A study by the University of Aberdeen’s Medical School and Rowett Institute of Nutrition and Health gave 200 people three daily servings of wholegrain foods either wheat or a mixture of both wheat and oats using products widely available in supermarkets. The volunteers were also encouraged to continue with their normal food choices. The wholegrain diets were then compared with one that contained the same amounts of refined cereals and white bread.

"We observed a decrease in systolic blood pressure of 5-6mm Hg in the volunteers who ate the wholegrain foods, and this effect is similar to that you might expect to get from using blood pressure-lowering drugs," said Dr Frank Thies, senior lecturer at the Institute, who led the research. "This drop in systolic blood pressure could potentially decrease the incidence of heart attack and stroke disease by at least 15% and 25% respectively."

According to Thies, this study is one of the first to test the theory that wholegrain foods might have significant health benefits in a well-designed clinical intervention trial.