A Big Reason to Eat Whole Grains

Whole grain intake linked to lower mortality rates

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Anyssa Garza, PharmD

(RxWiki News) Eating more whole grains could help reduce your risk of dying prematurely, a new study found.

This new study, conducted by Harvard researchers and published in the journal Circulation, analyzed data from 14 studies which included nearly 800,000 people. These studies were conducted between 1970 and 2010. Those who ate the most whole grains (around four servings, or 70 grams, per day) were 22 percent less likely than those who ate few or no whole grains to die of any cause during the study period.

Those who ate the most whole grains were 23 percent less likely to die of heart disease and 20 percent less likely to die of cancer, too, these researchers found.

Foods high in whole grain ingredients include oatmeal, quinoa and bran. The study authors noted that high fiber intake may reduce cholesterol production and glucose response — two factors that can affect health.

One limitation of the study was the list of whole grain foods varied from study to study. In addition, these studies were conducted in the United States and Scandinavian countries. As a result, these findings may be limited to certain populations. 

Grants from the National Institutes of Health funded this research. Information on potential conflicts of interest was not available at the time of publication.

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Review Date: 
June 16, 2016
Last Updated:
July 1, 2016