Latest Research Highlights: Whole Grain Foods and Risk of Coronary Heart Disease

Published in BioMed Central, 2022

Intake of whole grain foods and risk of coronary heart disease in US men and women

Yang Hu, Walter C Willett, JoAnn Manson, Bernard Rosner, Frank B Hu, Qi Sun

Researchers followed participants from the Nurses’ Health Study, Nurses’ Health Study , and Health Professionals Follow-Up Study populations to assess the associations of whole grain intake with CHD risk. Data were taken from participants who did not have a history of cardiovascular disease or cancer at baseline. Intake of seven individual whole grain foods was repeatedly assessed using a validated semi-quantitative food frequency questionnaire every 2-4 years since baseline. Higher consumption of most individual whole grain foods was associated with significantly lower risk of CHD. Cubic spline regression suggested non-linear associations for certain whole grain foods: the risk reduction plateaued approximately over 2 servings/day for total whole grains, 0.5 serving/day for both cold breakfast cereal and dark bread, 0.5 serving/week for oatmeal, 1 serving/week for brown rice, and 2 serving/week for added bran. Intake of popcorn was not beneficial. These data suggest that higher consumption of total whole grains, as well as individual whole grain foods except popcorn, were significantly associated with lower CHD risk. The inverse associations may plateau at various intake levels for total whole grain and individual whole grain foods. This study provides further evidence in support of increasing whole grain intake for the prevention of CHD in US populations.