Whole grains are good for us. They reduce the risk of heart disease, among other chronic diseases. They are even known to reduce the risk of mortality from all causes. But why? What is it about whole grains that make them so healthy?
A new study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition answers this question on the molecular level.
Researchers put half of the study participants on a high whole-grain diet for twelve weeks, with half keeping their regular diet. They then studied the metabolites, the molecules formed during digestion, in both groups. Analysis found an increase in betaine compounds in the whole-grain group. Betaine compounds are known to protect cells against a range of environmental stressors, and researchers found that the higher betaine levels were associated with a number of positive outcomes.
While the betaine compound pipecolic acid was associated with lowered glucose levels after meals, the compound 5-aminovaleric acid betaine (5-AVAB) is associated with cardiovascular health. Certain cardiac drugs have a similar effect on the body as 5-AVAB.
But don’t throw out your heart meds yet. While the findings improve our understanding
of the benefits of whole grains, there is still much work to do before these results can translate into a clear understanding of the mechanisms of whole-grain metabolism.
In the meantime? By all means, enjoy a bowl of oatmeal! We’ve always known whole grains are good for you, and now we even know a bit about why that is so.
At Atlantic Coast Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center, in Lakewood, NJ, we know that one of the many ways to our residents’ hearts is through their stomachs. Our staff includes a master chef and a group of culinary experts who work with registered dietitians to prepare healthful, delicious meals. We even take care to serve our residents on fine china to ensure that our meals are as pleasing to the eye as they are tempting to the palate.
Or better yet, come see for yourself: Contact us to schedule a tour by calling 732-364-7100, or by clicking here.
Contact us at 732-364-7100, or by clicking here.