Scientists from Wageningen University found that eating whole grain wheat could benefit the health of obese and overweight people.
Overweight and obesity are common conditions in the United States that are defined as the increase in size and amount of fat cells in the body.
Obesity is a chronic health condition that raises the risk for heart disease — the leading cause of death in the United States — and is linked to many other health problems, including type 2 diabetes, liver diseases, and cancer.
According to NIH, nearly 3 in 4 adults aged 20 or older in the United States have either overweight or obese. Nearly 1 in 5 children and teens ages 2 to 19 years have obesity.
Being overweight and obese can lead to serious health issues for people of all ages.
A whole grain is a grain of any cereal and pseudocereal that contains the endosperm, germ, and bran, in contrast to refined grains, which retain only the endosperm.
As part of a generally healthy diet, the consumption of whole grains is associated with a lower risk of several diseases.
Whole grain wheat foods are suggested as a healthy choice when compared with refined wheat.
One reason for these health benefits is via the gut microbiota because Whole grain wheat contains multiple fibers.
Whole grain wheat intake has been suggested to reduce nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, in which gut microbiota might play a role.
In the current study, researchers aimed to examine the effect of whole grain wheat compared with RW intervention on gut health and liver health in adults with overweight or obesity.
They tested 37 middle-aged men and women. These people were assigned to eat whole grain wheat (98 g/d) or refined wheat (98 g/d) for 12 weeks.
The team found the whole grain wheat group showed improved gut health and reduced liver fat compared to people who ate refined wheat.
They suggest that in middle-aged overweight and obese adults, a 12-week whole grain wheat intervention could boost gut health.
Future research needs to examine the protective health effects of the replacement of refined wheat with whole grain wheat on metabolic organs, such as liver health.
The research is published in the Journal of Nutrition and was conducted by Lydia A Afman et al.
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