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Nutr Metab (Lond). 2010 May 5;7:37. doi: 10.1186/1743-7075-7-37.

The effect of whole grain wheat sourdough bread consumption on serum lipids in healthy normoglycemic/normoinsulinemic and hyperglycemic/hyperinsulinemic adults depends on presence of the APOE E3/E3 genotype: a randomized controlled trial.

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Department of Human Health and Nutritional Sciences, University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario, Canada, N1G 2W1.



Epidemiological studies associate consumption of whole grain foods, including breads, with reduced cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk; however, few studies have compared wheat whole grains with wheat refined grains.


This study investigated effects of 6-week consumption of whole grain wheat sourdough bread in comparison to white bread on fasting serum lipids in normoglycemic/normoinsulinemic (NGI; n = 14) and hyperglycemic/hyperinsulinemic (HGI; n = 14) adults. The influence of single-nucleotide polymorphisms, 3 within the APOE gene (E2, E3, E4) and 2 within the hepatic lipase gene promoter (LIPC -514C>T, LIPC -250G>A) were considered.


At baseline, HGI participants had significantly higher body weight, waist circumference, body fat, and fasted glucose, insulin, homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR), glucagon, triacylglycerols (TAG) and TAG:HDL-cholesterol, compared to NGI participants; however, none of these in addition to none of the other serum lipids, differed between bread treatments, within either participant group. For participants with the APOE E3/E3 genotype, LDL-cholesterol (P = 0.02) increased in the NGI group (n = 7), and TAG (P = 0.03) and TAG:HDL-cholesterol (P = 0.04) increased in the HGI group (n = 10), following consumption of whole grain wheat sourdough compared to white bread.


In summary, 6-week consumption of whole grain wheat sourdough bread did not significantly modulate serum lipids in NGI or HGI adults; however, it significantly increased LDL-cholesterol, TAG and TAG:HDL-cholesterol in participants with the APOE E3/E3 genotype. These data add to limited literature comparing wheat whole grains to wheat refined grains on CVD risk and highlight the need to consider genetic variation in relation to lipoprotein lipid content and CVD risk.

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