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J Nutr. 2011 Jan;141(1):137-43. doi: 10.3945/jn.110.127720. Epub 2010 Nov 24.

Bioprocessing of wheat bran in whole wheat bread increases the bioavailability of phenolic acids in men and exerts antiinflammatory effects ex vivo.

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Maastricht University, 6200 MD Maastricht, The Netherlands.


Whole grain consumption has been linked to a lower risk of metabolic syndrome, which is normally associated with a low-grade chronic inflammation. The benefits of whole grain are in part related to the inclusion of the bran, rich in phenolic acids and fiber. However, the phenols are poorly bioaccessible from the cereal matrix. The aim of the present study was to investigate the effect of bioprocessing of the bran in whole wheat bread on the bioavailability of phenolic acids, the postprandial plasma antioxidant capacity, and ex vivo antiinflammatory properties. After consumption of a low phenolic acid diet for 3 d and overnight fasting, 8 healthy men consumed 300 g of whole wheat bread containing native bran (control bread) or bioprocessed bran (bioprocessed bread) in a cross-over design. Urine and blood samples were collected for 24 h to analyze the phenolic acids and metabolites. Trolox equivalent antioxidant capacity was measured in plasma. Cytokines were measured in blood after ex vivo stimulation with LPS. The bioavailabilities of ferulic acid, vanillic acid, sinapic acid, and 3,4-dimethoxybenzoic acid from the bioprocessed bread were 2- to 3-fold those from the control bread. Phenylpropionic acid and 3-hydroxyphenylpropionic acid were the main colonic metabolites of the nonbioaccessible phenols. The ratios of pro-:antiinflammatory cytokines were significantly lower in LPS-stimulated blood after the consumption of the bioprocessed bread. In conclusion, bioprocessing can remarkably increase the bioavailability of phenolic acids and their circulating metabolites, compounds which have immunomodulatory effects ex vivo.

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