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Am J Clin Nutr. 2006 Feb;83(2):275-83.

Whole grains, bran, and germ in relation to homocysteine and markers of glycemic control, lipids, and inflammation 1.

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Department of Nutrition, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA 02115, USA.

Erratum in

  • Am J Clin Nutr. 2006 Jun;83(6):1443.



Intake of whole grains is inversely associated with risk of diabetes and ischemic heart disease in observational studies. The lower risk associated with high whole-grain intakes may be mediated through improvements in glycemic control, lipid profiles, or reduced inflammation.


The aim was to examine whether the intake of whole grains, bran, and germ is related to homocysteine, plasma markers of glycemic control (fasting insulin, hemoglobin A1c, C-peptide, and leptin), lipids (total cholesterol, triacylglycerol, HDL cholesterol, and LDL cholesterol), and inflammation (C-reactive protein, fibrinogen, and interleukin 6).


This was a cross-sectional study of the relations of whole grains, bran, and germ intakes with homocysteine and markers of glycemic control, lipids, and inflammation in 938 healthy men and women.


Whole-grain intake was inversely associated with homocysteine and markers of glycemic control. Compared with participants in the bottom quintile of whole-grain intake, participants in the highest quintile had 17%, 14%, 14%, and 11% lower concentrations of homocysteine (P < 0.01), insulin (P = 0.12), C-peptide (P = 0.03), and leptin (P = 0.03), respectively. Inverse associations were also observed with total cholesterol (P = 0.02), HDL cholesterol (P = 0.05), and LDL cholesterol (P = 0.10). Whole-grain intake was not associated with the markers of inflammation. Whole-grain intake was most strongly inversely associated with markers of glycemic control in this population.


The results suggest a lower risk of diabetes and heart disease in persons who consume diets high in whole grains.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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