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Am J Clin Nutr. 2002 Aug;76(2):390-8.

Whole-grain intake is favorably associated with metabolic risk factors for type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease in the Framingham Offspring Study.

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Jean Mayer US Department of Agriculture Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging, Tufts University, Boston, MA 02111, USA.



The influence of whole grains on cardiovascular disease risk may be mediated through multiple pathways, eg, a reduction in blood lipids and blood pressure, an enhancement of insulin sensitivity, and an improvement in blood glucose control.


The objective was to examine the association between diets rich in whole- or refined-grain foods and several metabolic markers of disease risk in the Framingham Offspring Study cohort.


Whole-grain intake and metabolic risk markers were assessed in a cross-sectional study of 2941 subjects.


After adjustment for potential confounding factors, whole-grain intake was inversely associated with body mass index (: 26.9 in the lowest and 26.4 in the highest quintile of intake; P for trend = 0.06), waist-to-hip ratio (0.92 and 0.91, respectively; P for trend = 0.005), total cholesterol (5.20 and 5.09 mmol/L, respectively; P for trend = 0.06), LDL cholesterol (3.16 and 3.04 mmol/L, respectively; P for trend = 0.02), and fasting insulin (205 and 199 pmol/L, respectively; P for trend = 0.03). There were no significant trends in metabolic risk factor concentrations across quintile categories of refined-grain intake. The inverse association between whole-grain intake and fasting insulin was most striking among overweight participants. The association between whole-grain intake and fasting insulin was attenuated after adjustment for dietary fiber and magnesium.


Increased intakes of whole grains may reduce disease risk by means of favorable effects on metabolic risk factors.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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