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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Davis, California » Western Human Nutrition Research Center » Obesity and Metabolism Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #316990

Research Project: Improving Public Health by Understanding Diversity in Diet, Body, and Brain Interactions

Location: Obesity and Metabolism Research

Title: Does whole grain consumption alter gut microbiota and satiety?

item COOPER, DANIELLE - University Of California
item MARTIN, ROY - University Of California
item Keim, Nancy

Submitted to: Healthcare
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/22/2015
Publication Date: 5/29/2015
Citation: Cooper, D.N., Martin, R.J., Keim, N.L. 2015. Does whole grain consumption alter gut microbiota and satiety? Healthcare. 3(2)364-392. doi: 10.3390/healthcare3020364.

Interpretive Summary: A review of the scientific literature was conducted to evaluate the evidence on how the inclusion of whole grain products in the diet might affect satiety (hunger and fullness) in humans and, if possible, to link any satiety effects to the microbes living in the lower intestines (the gut microbiome). Consumption of whole wheat, corn and barley do alter the gut microbiome. Consumption of oats, barley and rye are associated with increased satiety. To date, no one clinical trial has examined the effects of whole grains on satiety and gut microbiome together. It is recommended that appropriately designed studies be conducted to fill this gap in the scientific literature.

Technical Abstract: This review summarizes recent studies examining whole grain consumption and its effect on gut microbiota and satiety in healthy humans. Both individual whole grain cereals and interventions with combined whole grain cereals were considered. Possible links between the fermentation of non-digestible carbohydrates and satiety are described. Clinical trials show that whole grain wheat, maize, and barley are linked to changes in the human gut microbiota; however these findings are based on single studies that do not include satiety components so no functional claims can be made. Eleven clinical trials were evaluated that assessed the impact of whole grains on satiety. Whole oats, barley,and rye were associated with increases in satiety. Whole wheat and maize may impact satiety, although results were mixed. Whole grain rice increased physical parameters associated with satiety in pigs. There are many gaps in the literature; no one clinical trial has examined the effects of whole grains on satiety and gut microbiota. Once understanding of whole grains’ impact on satiety and microbiota is more detailed, then particular grains might be used for better appetite control. With this information at hand, healthcare professions could make individual dietary recommendations that promote satiety and contribute to weight control.