A clinical trial proved that adults who consumed whole grains managed to improve their gut microbiota. Whole grains are more efficient in maintaining one’s health compared to refined grains. The study was developed during the development of another study which analyzed the effects of a whole-grain diet on people’s metabolism.
Both types of research were published online in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. The consumption of whole grains was connected with reduced risks of developing some types of cancers, type 2 diabetes, or heart diseases. Scientists argued that this food decreases the risk of developing some diseases by reducing inflammation.
Nevertheless, after comparing the results obtained from a whole-grain diet and the ones obtained after refined grain consumption, researchers claim that they did not control the cell-mediated immune responses to actually reveal the impact of whole grains on an inflammatory and immune system. The team of researchers has analyzed the outcomes after a controlled trial which lasted eight weeks and had 81 participants.
They were trying to determine the effects of a diet rich in refined grains and the ones of which were visible after whole grains consumption on stool frequency, gut microbiota and inflammatory and immune responses. During the first two weeks, all participants followed the same Western-style diet rich in refined grains. During the next six weeks, participants were split into two groups where 40 individuals were on a diet, and the rest of 41 members followed whole-grains diets.
Nevertheless, the diets of both groups were similar when it came to protein servings, the number of vegetables and fruits, total fat and total energy. The only difference was given by the source of the grains they consumed. Those participants who ate refined grains consumed certain micronutrients and less fiber.
Based on the information provided by the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, their meals were carefully prepared by trained staff. The meals were bound to help individuals maintain their weight. In several previous studies, participants tended to lose weight when increasing the intake of whole grains. Thus, researchers were not convinced whether the anti-inflammatory effect was a secondary one which appeared because of weight loss.
Simin Nikbin Meydani, the senior author of the study and the director of the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Centre on Aging, claimed that the most significant outcome regarding the study is that they managed to establish that there is a moderate improvement on gut microbiota after consuming whole grains.
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