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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Blood Pressure Reduced by Whole Grain Diet Containing Barley Or Whole Wheat and Brown Rice in Moderately Hypercholesterolemic Men.

Authors
item Hallfrisch, Judith
item Scholfield, Daniel
item Behall, Kay

Submitted to: Nutrition Research
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: August 22, 2003
Publication Date: December 22, 2003
Citation: Hallfrisch, J.G., Scholfield, D.J., Behall, K.M. 2003. Blood pressure reduced by whole grain diet containing barley or whole wheat and brown rice in moderately hypercholesterolemic men. Nutrition Research. 23:1631-1642.

Interpretive Summary: Hypertension is one of the most prevalent risk factors for cardiovascular disease and stroke in the United States. Pharmacological treatment is expensive and has unwanted side effects. Whole grain foods have been reported to lower blood pressure, but results have been mixed. It has not been determined whether fiber content or type of fiber of the grains is responsible for this beneficial effect. The objective of this study was to compare the effects of predominantly insoluble fiber grains (whole wheat/brown rice) & soluble fiber grain (barley) on cardiovascular risk factors in a whole grain diet in a group of high risk men. Men consumed a healthy diet 2 wk. After the initial period, men consumed diets in which about 20% of energy was replaced with brown rice/whole wheat, barley, or ½ barley & ½ brown rice/whole wheat for 5 wk each. Systolic, diastolic, and mean arterial pressure were significantly reduced by whole grain diets whether the fiber source was predominantly soluble (barley) or insoluble (brown rice & whole wheat). Increasing whole grain foods in a healthy diet can reduce cardiovascular risk. Health professionals and Americans at risk of hypertension will benefit from these results.

Technical Abstract: Whole grain foods have been reported to lower blood pressure, but results have been mixed. It has not been determined whether fiber content or type of fiber of the grains is responsible for this beneficial effect. The objective of this study is to compare the effects of predominantly insoluble fiber grains (whole wheat/brown rice) & soluble fiber grain (barley) on cardiovascular risk factors in a whole grain diet. Eighteen non-hypertensive men (28-62 yr) with moderately elevated total plasma cholesterol levels were selected for the study after an initial clinical screening & medical evaluation. The study was approved by the Institutional Review Board of the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health. Men consumed a controlled step 1 diet (30% fat, 55% carbohydrate, 15% protein, < 300 mg cholesterol) for 2 wk. After the initial period, men consumed diets in which about 20% of energy was replaced with brown rice/whole wheat, barley, or ½ barley & ½ brown rice/whole wheat for 5 wk each in a Latin square design. Blood pressure was determined weekly before breakfast. Urinary excretion of Na, K, P, Ca, Mg, uric acid, creatinine, urea nitrogen, and glucose were determined from 72-hr urines collected at the end of each diet period. Systolic, diastolic, and mean arterial pressure did not change during the step 1 diet, but were significantly reduced by whole grain diets whether the fiber source was predominantly soluble (barley) or insoluble (brown rice & whole wheat). Urinary excretion of potassium, phosphorus, and urea nitrogen were lower after consumption of the high barley diet. Increasing whole grain foods in a healthy diet can reduce cardiovascular risk.

Last Modified: 7/28/2014
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