Wheat germ may aid in glucose homeostasis

The effects of a diet rich in inulin or wheat fibre on markers of cardiovascular disease in overweight male subjects

Tripkovic et al., JHND Early View



Previous studies suggest that the beneficial health effects of a diet rich in whole grains could be a result of the individual fibres found in the grain. The present study aimed to investigate the influence of a diet high in either wheat fibre (as an example of an insoluble fibre) or inulin (a nondigestible carbohydrate) on markers of cardiovascular disease.


Ten male participants classified as at higher risk of cardiovascular disease [mean (SD) body mass index 30.2 (3) kg m−2, mean (SD) waist circumference 106.4 (7) cm, mean (SD) age 39.8 (9) years] were recruited to a randomised, controlled, cross-over study comparing the consumption of bespoke bread rolls containing either inulin, wheat germ or refined grain (control) (15 g day−1) for 4 weeks with a 4-week washout period between each regime. At the end of each regime, participants underwent an oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT), measures of pulse wave velocity (PWV), 24-h ambulatory blood pressure (AMBP), plasma lipid status and markers of glucose control.


There was no difference in measures of glucose control, lipid status, 24-h AMBP or PWV after the intervention periods and no changes compared to baseline. There was no significant difference between OGTT glucose and insulin time profiles; however, there was a significant difference in area under the curves between the wheat fibre and control interventions when comparing change from baseline (control +10.2%, inulin +4.3%, wheat fibre −2.5%; P = 0.03).


Only limited differences between the interventions were identified, perhaps as a consequence of the amount of fibre used and intervention length. The wheat germ intervention resulted in a significant reduction in glucose area under the curve, suggesting that this fibre may aid glucose control.

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