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Nutritional Value of Pulses and Whole Grains

A special issue of Nutrients (ISSN 2072-6643). This special issue belongs to the section "Nutrition and Public Health".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 December 2021) | Viewed by 46702

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Special Issue Editor


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Guest Editor
Nutrition Science and Regulatory, Pulse Canada, Winnipeg, MB, Canada
Interests: pulses; cereals; chronic diseases; obesity; diabetes; healthy dietary patterns; food labeling
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Pulses and whole cereal grains are well known components of healthy dietary patterns. As plant-based diets are increasingly emphasized in dietary guidelines, there remains an opportunity to further develop evidence around the nutritive value of pulses and whole grains. Given their nutritional composition and commonality in diets around the world, the themes explored by this Special Issue are broad in scope. Studies that investigate the effects of pulses and whole grains, together or individually, on the various facets of the nutrient density (including protein quality) of dietary patterns, reduced risk of chronic disease, risk factor modulation with mechanisms of action, and the interplay between nutrition and environmental sustainability are welcome. Investigation of labeling schemes and regulatory frameworks that encourage consumption of pulses and whole grains will also be considered. These topics can be explored by reviews, commentaries, human clinical trials, prospective and retrospective cohort analysis, and modeling analysis.

Dr. Christopher P. F. Marinangeli
Guest Editor

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Keywords


  • Legumes
  • Plant protein
  • Fibre
  • Healthy and nutrient dense dietary patterns
  • Protein complementarity
  • Risk factor reduction
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Cancer
  • Glycemia
  • Microbiome
  • Nutritious and sustainable dietary patterns.
  • Food labelling

Published Papers (12 papers)

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Editorial

Jump to: Research, Review

6 pages, 247 KiB  
Editorial
The Special Issue on “The Nutritional Value of Pulses and Whole Grains”: A Continued Endeavor to Delineate Their Benefits for Today and Addressing the Challenges of the Future
by Christopher P. F. Marinangeli
Nutrients 2022, 14(16), 3381; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu14163381 - 17 Aug 2022
Viewed by 1348
Abstract
Dietary patterns are increasingly focusing on the interplay between nutritional adequacy, reduction of chronic disease, and environmental sustainability [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutritional Value of Pulses and Whole Grains)

Research

Jump to: Editorial, Review

12 pages, 821 KiB  
Article
Nutritional Quality of Wholegrain Cereal-Based Products Sold on the Italian Market: Data from the FLIP Study
by Margherita Dall’Asta, Donato Angelino, Gaetana Paolella, Rossella Dodi, Nicoletta Pellegrini and Daniela Martini
Nutrients 2022, 14(4), 798; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu14040798 - 14 Feb 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2672
Abstract
The consumption of wholegrains (WG) is encouraged worldwide, but the lack of a common legal definition of such products leads to an unclear classification and identification on the grocery store shelf. In Italy, several products are generally sold as WG, but it cannot [...] Read more.
The consumption of wholegrains (WG) is encouraged worldwide, but the lack of a common legal definition of such products leads to an unclear classification and identification on the grocery store shelf. In Italy, several products are generally sold as WG, but it cannot be determined if they are made entirely with all WG cereal(s) or if they are partially produced with WG ingredients (PWG). The aims of this study were to (a) survey the number of cereal-based food items formulated with WG, PWG, or refined (RG) present on the Italian market; and (b) analyse the nutritional quality, intended as nutrition facts, of WG products in comparison to PWG and RG. Nutritional information and declarations were retrieved from packs of 3040 products belonging to five different categories: breakfast cereals, biscuits, sweet snacks, bread, and bread substitutes. A descriptive analysis of the products and comparison of energy, macronutrients, fibre and salt among RG, PWG and WG products within each category was performed. In all categories, a major portion of the products did not contain WG ingredients. Results showed that the nutritional quality of RG, PWG, and WG products varied in relation to the product category and that WG inclusion cannot be always considered a marker of the overall nutritional quality of foods. Instead, it is necessary to evaluate the global product characteristics, and it is important to pay attention to differences between WG and PWG products that can be perceived by consumers as equivalent. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutritional Value of Pulses and Whole Grains)
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7 pages, 220 KiB  
Communication
Terminology Matters: Advancing Science to Define an Optimal Pulse Intake
by Diane C. Mitchell, Alison Webster and Becky Garrison
Nutrients 2022, 14(3), 655; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu14030655 - 3 Feb 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1541
Abstract
Confusion around the terms “legumes” and “pulses” has been a long-standing problem among consumers, health professionals, and researchers in the United States. The Food and Agricultural Organization defines pulses as legumes that are harvested solely as dry grain and include beans, peas, chickpeas, [...] Read more.
Confusion around the terms “legumes” and “pulses” has been a long-standing problem among consumers, health professionals, and researchers in the United States. The Food and Agricultural Organization defines pulses as legumes that are harvested solely as dry grain and include beans, peas, chickpeas, and lentils. For the first time ever, the 2020–2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recognized and used the terminology “pulses.” Correct terminology usage is important to build a solid research foundation that is specific to pulses, primarily because of their unique nutritional attributes that impact health differently than other legumes. Future widespread conformity and standardized use of a definition and categorization system around pulses versus legumes in research would allow for an improved interpretation of science and a better understanding of current research gaps. Clarity around these gaps could enhance and improve dietary recommendations, including the ability to refine our current understanding of the optimal daily or weekly intake of pulses at which health benefits are maximized. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutritional Value of Pulses and Whole Grains)
10 pages, 267 KiB  
Communication
Consensus, Global Definitions of Whole Grain as a Food Ingredient and of Whole-Grain Foods Presented on Behalf of the Whole Grain Initiative
by Jan-Willem van der Kamp, Julie Miller Jones, Kevin B. Miller, Alastair B. Ross, Chris J. Seal, Bin Tan and Eleanor J. Beck
Nutrients 2022, 14(1), 138; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu14010138 - 29 Dec 2021
Cited by 37 | Viewed by 5031
Abstract
Proposed global definitions of whole grain as an ingredient and whole grain food are presented by the authors on behalf of the Whole Grain Initiative. Whole grains are an important pillar of healthy and sustainable diets. Internationally accepted credible definitions of whole grains [...] Read more.
Proposed global definitions of whole grain as an ingredient and whole grain food are presented by the authors on behalf of the Whole Grain Initiative. Whole grains are an important pillar of healthy and sustainable diets. Internationally accepted credible definitions of whole grains as food ingredients and whole-grain foods are necessary to ensure that all global stakeholders have shared standards, and that consumers find them clear, credible, and useful. Based on widely accepted, existing definitions and new developments, the Definitions Working Group of the global Whole Grain Initiative, with experts from academia, government agencies and industry, developed definitions for global application. The key statements of the definition documents are as follows: “Whole grains shall consist of the intact, ground, cracked, flaked or otherwise processed kernel after the removal of inedible parts such as the hull and husk; all anatomical components, including the endosperm, germ, and bran must be present in the same relative proportions as in the intact kernel” and “A whole-grain food shall contain at least 50% whole-grain ingredients based on dry weight. Foods containing 25–50% whole-grain ingredients based on dry weight, may make a front-of-pack claim on the presence of whole grain but cannot be designated ‘whole grain’ in the product name”. The definition documents have been ratified by the leading international scientific associations in this area. We urge that these consensus Whole Grain Initiative definitions be adopted as the basis for definitions used by national regulatory authorities and for health promotion organisations worldwide to use in nutrition education and food labelling. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutritional Value of Pulses and Whole Grains)
13 pages, 1429 KiB  
Article
Type 2 Diabetes-Related Health Economic Impact Associated with Increased Whole Grains Consumption among Adults in Finland
by Janne Martikainen, Kari Jalkanen, Jari Heiskanen, Piia Lavikainen, Markku Peltonen, Tiina Laatikainen and Jaana Lindström
Nutrients 2021, 13(10), 3583; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13103583 - 13 Oct 2021
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 7897
Abstract
The prevalence of type 2 diabetes (T2D) is increasing rapidly worldwide. A healthy diet supporting the control of energy intake and body weight has major importance in the prevention of T2D. For example, a high intake of whole grain foods (WGF) has been [...] Read more.
The prevalence of type 2 diabetes (T2D) is increasing rapidly worldwide. A healthy diet supporting the control of energy intake and body weight has major importance in the prevention of T2D. For example, a high intake of whole grain foods (WGF) has been shown to be inversely associated with risk for T2D. The objective of the study was to estimate the expected health economic impacts of increased WGF consumption to decrease the incidence of T2D in the Finnish adult population. A health economic model utilizing data from multiple national databases and published scientific literature was constructed to estimate these population-level health economic consequences. Among the adult Finnish population, increased WGF consumption could reduce T2D-related costs between 286€ and 989€ million during the next 10-year time horizon depending on the applied scenario (i.e., a 10%-unit increase in a proportion of daily WGF users, an increased number (i.e., two or more) of WGF servings a day, or alternatively a combination of these scenarios). Over the next 20–30 years, a population-wide increase in WGF consumption could lead to much higher benefits. Furthermore, depending on the applied scenario, between 1323 and 154,094 quality-adjusted life years (QALYs) could be gained at the population level due to decreased T2D-related morbidity and mortality during the next 10 to 30 years. The results indicate that even when the current level of daily WGF consumption is already at a relatively high-level in a global context, increased WGF consumption could lead to important health gains and savings in the Finnish adult population. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutritional Value of Pulses and Whole Grains)
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10 pages, 246 KiB  
Article
The Changing Landscape of Legume Products Available in Australian Supermarkets
by Dale Bielefeld, Jaimee Hughes and Sara Grafenauer
Nutrients 2021, 13(9), 3226; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13093226 - 16 Sep 2021
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 3460
Abstract
Evidence supports regular dietary inclusion of legumes due to their positive effects on both human and planetary health. Intake within Australia is suboptimal, with consumer data suggesting that an inability to integrate legumes into usual dietary patterns is a barrier to consumption. This [...] Read more.
Evidence supports regular dietary inclusion of legumes due to their positive effects on both human and planetary health. Intake within Australia is suboptimal, with consumer data suggesting that an inability to integrate legumes into usual dietary patterns is a barrier to consumption. This places the food industry in a unique position to offer Australians the ability to incorporate legumes into usual dietary patterns via innovative new products. The aim of this study was to explore the legume category and compare nutrition product data and the use of nutrition and health claims between 2019 and 2021. An audit of legume products from four major metropolitan Sydney supermarkets (Aldi, Coles, IGA, Woolworths) collected ingredient lists, nutrition information and on-pack claims for baked beans, legume dips, legume flours, legume snacks (including subcategories of legume chips and whole legume snacks), canned legumes, dried legumes, frozen legumes, and pulse pasta. The total number of legume products available on the market nearly doubled from 2019 (n = 312) to 2021 (n = 610); this was driven by traditional plain canned and dried legumes and some new and convenient options, particularly snacks (legume chips) where the largest growth occurred. Of all legume products (n = 610), 82% met the Nutrient Profiling Scoring Criteria, 86.8% were at least a source of dietary fibre, and 55.9% were at least a source of protein. Nutrition content claims relating to dietary fibre, gluten free and protein more than doubled since 2019, with each featuring on over one third of the products identified in 2021. Vegan/vegetarian on-pack claims more than doubled since 2019, and claims related to the term plant-based/plant protein and environmental sustainability emerged on packs in 2021. By addressing barriers to consumption, such as lack of time and knowledge on how to prepare legumes, innovative legume products may help influence future consumption patterns. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutritional Value of Pulses and Whole Grains)
11 pages, 265 KiB  
Article
Whole Grain Intakes Are Associated with Healthcare Cost Savings Following Reductions in Risk of Colorectal Cancer and Total Cancer Mortality in Australia: A Cost-of-Illness Model
by Mohammad M. H. Abdullah, Jaimee Hughes and Sara Grafenauer
Nutrients 2021, 13(9), 2982; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13092982 - 27 Aug 2021
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 3658
Abstract
Whole grain consumption has been associated with the reduced risk of several chronic diseases with significant healthcare monetary burden, including cancer. Colorectal cancer (CRC) is one of the most common cancers globally, with the highest rates reported in Australia. Three servings of whole [...] Read more.
Whole grain consumption has been associated with the reduced risk of several chronic diseases with significant healthcare monetary burden, including cancer. Colorectal cancer (CRC) is one of the most common cancers globally, with the highest rates reported in Australia. Three servings of whole grains provide a 15% reduction in total cancer and 17% reduction in CRC risk; however, 70% of Australians fall short of this level of intake. The aim of this study was to assess the potential savings in healthcare costs associated with reductions in the relative risk of CRC and total cancer mortality following the whole grain Daily Target Intake (DTI) of 48 g in Australia. A three-step cost-of-illness analysis was conducted using input parameters from: (1) estimates of current and targeted whole grain intakes among proportions (5%, 15%, 50%, and 100%) of the Australian adult (≥20 years) population; (2) estimates of reductions in relative risk (with 95% confidence intervals) of CRC and total cancer mortality associated with specific whole grain intake from meta-analysis studies; and (3) estimates of annual healthcare costs of CRC and all cancers from disease expenditure national databases. A very pessimistic (5% of population) through to universal (100% of population) adoption of the recommended DTI in Australia were shown to potentially yield savings in annual healthcare costs equal to AUD 1.9 (95% CI 1.2–2.4) to AUD 37.2 (95% CI 24.1–48.1) million for CRC and AUD 20.3 (95% CI 12.2–27.0) to AUD 405.1 (95% CI 243.1–540.1) million for total cancers. As treatment costs for CRC and other cancers are increasing, and dietary measures exchanging whole grains for refined grains are not cost preclusive nor does the approach increase energy intake, there is an opportunity to facilitate cost-savings along with reductions in disease for Australia. These results suggest specific benefits of encouraging Australians to swap refined grains for whole grains, with greater overall adherence to suggestions in dietary guidelines. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutritional Value of Pulses and Whole Grains)
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15 pages, 302 KiB  
Article
Consumer Choices in the Pasta Market: The Importance of Fiber in Consumer Decisions
by Marta Sajdakowska, Jerzy Gębski, Marzena Jeżewska-Zychowicz, Maria Jeznach and Małgorzata Kosicka-Gębska
Nutrients 2021, 13(9), 2931; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13092931 - 24 Aug 2021
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2684
Abstract
The aim of the current study was two-fold: (1) to identify consumer segments based on pasta selection motives and (2) to examine the differences between the identified segments in terms of perception of pasta and pasta with added fiber and information on the [...] Read more.
The aim of the current study was two-fold: (1) to identify consumer segments based on pasta selection motives and (2) to examine the differences between the identified segments in terms of perception of pasta and pasta with added fiber and information on the food label. The data were collected using a CAPI (computer-assisted personal interview) survey on a sample of 1013 consumers. The k-means clustering method was used to identify four clusters of consumers, namely, quality-oriented, sensory-oriented, convenience-oriented, and neutral consumers. The quality-oriented group was the group that expressed the most positive opinions about the pasta and about the addition of fiber to pasta. Moreover, they appreciated the information placed on the pasta label the most. Consumers in the sensory-oriented segment were the least likely to agree that the addition of fiber to pasta deteriorated its taste and to agree that it looked worse compared to pasta without fiber. These findings are of significance for those involved in the public nutrition sector as well as for those responsible for preparing well-targeted marketing messages. The conclusions may constitute invaluable insights for those devising educational initiatives and campaigns. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutritional Value of Pulses and Whole Grains)
9 pages, 372 KiB  
Article
Pulse Intake Improves Nutrient Density among US Adult Consumers
by Diane C. Mitchell, Christopher P. F. Marinangeli, Sandrine Pigat, Foteini Bompola, Jessie Campbell, Yang Pan, Julianne M. Curran, David J. Cai, Susan Y. Jaconis and Jeff Rumney
Nutrients 2021, 13(8), 2668; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13082668 - 31 Jul 2021
Cited by 26 | Viewed by 2896
Abstract
The objective was to examine trends in pulse (dry beans, dry peas, chickpeas and lentils) intake over a 10-year period and to compare nutrient intakes of pulse consumers and non-consumers to better understand the impact of pulse consumption on diet quality in the [...] Read more.
The objective was to examine trends in pulse (dry beans, dry peas, chickpeas and lentils) intake over a 10-year period and to compare nutrient intakes of pulse consumers and non-consumers to better understand the impact of pulse consumption on diet quality in the US population. NHANES 2003–2014 data for respondents (≥19 years) with 2 days of intake was used to evaluate trends in pulse intake. Pulse consumers were identified as those NHANES respondents who consumed pulses on one or both days. Differences in energy adjusted nutrient intakes between non-consumers and consumers were assessed. There were no significant trends in pulse intakes for the total population or for pulse consumers over the 10-year period. In 2013–2014, approximately 27% of adults consumed pulses with an intake of 70.9 ± 2.5 g/day over 2 days, just slightly <0.5 cup equivalents/day. At all levels of consumption, consumers had higher (p < 0.01) energy adjusted intakes of fiber, folate, magnesium. Higher energy adjusted intakes for potassium, zinc, iron and choline and lower intakes of fat were observed for consumers than for non-consumers at intakes ≥69.4 ± 1.01 g/day. These data suggest that pulse consumption in the US population may result in better diet quality with diets that are more nutrient dense than those without pulses. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutritional Value of Pulses and Whole Grains)
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16 pages, 3914 KiB  
Article
Foxtail Millet Improves Blood Glucose Metabolism in Diabetic Rats through PI3K/AKT and NF-κB Signaling Pathways Mediated by Gut Microbiota
by Xin Ren, Linxuan Wang, Zenglong Chen, Dianzhi Hou, Yong Xue, Xianmin Diao and Qun Shen
Nutrients 2021, 13(6), 1837; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13061837 - 27 May 2021
Cited by 31 | Viewed by 3723
Abstract
Foxtail millet (FM) is receiving ongoing increased attention due to its beneficial health effects, including the hypoglycemic effect. However, the underlying mechanisms of the hypoglycemic effect have been underexplored. In the present study, the hypoglycemic effect of FM supplementation was confirmed again in [...] Read more.
Foxtail millet (FM) is receiving ongoing increased attention due to its beneficial health effects, including the hypoglycemic effect. However, the underlying mechanisms of the hypoglycemic effect have been underexplored. In the present study, the hypoglycemic effect of FM supplementation was confirmed again in high-fat diet and streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats with significantly decreased fasting glucose (FG), glycated serum protein, and areas under the glucose tolerance test (p < 0.05). We employed 16S rRNA and liver RNA sequencing technologies to identify the target gut microbes and signaling pathways involved in the hypoglycemic effect of FM supplementation. The results showed that FM supplementation significantly increased the relative abundance of Lactobacillus and Ruminococcus_2, which were significantly negatively correlated with FG and 2-h glucose. FM supplementation significantly reversed the trends of gene expression in diabetic rats. Specifically, FM supplementation inhibited gluconeogenesis, stimulated glycolysis, and restored fatty acid synthesis through activation of the PI3K/AKT signaling pathway. FM also reduced inflammation through inhibition of the NF-κB signaling pathway. Spearman’s correlation analysis indicated a complicated set of interdependencies among the gut microbiota, signaling pathways, and metabolic parameters. Collectively, the above results suggest that the hypoglycemic effect of FM was at least partially mediated by the increased relative abundance of Lactobacillus, activation of the PI3K/AKT signaling pathway, and inhibition of the NF-κB signaling pathway. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutritional Value of Pulses and Whole Grains)
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Review

Jump to: Editorial, Research

19 pages, 3645 KiB  
Review
A Review of the Relationship between Lentil Serving and Acute Postprandial Blood Glucose Response: Effects of Dietary Fibre, Protein and Carbohydrates
by Sandra T. Clarke, Sidra Sarfaraz, Xinye Qi, Davin G. Ramdath, Gregory C. Fougere and D. Dan Ramdath
Nutrients 2022, 14(4), 849; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu14040849 - 18 Feb 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2714
Abstract
Pulse consumption has been shown to confer beneficial effects on blood glucose and insulin levels. Lentil consumption, in particular, consistently lowers acute blood glucose and insulin response when compared to starchy control foods. The mechanism by which lentils lower postprandial blood glucose response [...] Read more.
Pulse consumption has been shown to confer beneficial effects on blood glucose and insulin levels. Lentil consumption, in particular, consistently lowers acute blood glucose and insulin response when compared to starchy control foods. The mechanism by which lentils lower postprandial blood glucose response (PBGR) and insulin levels is unclear; however, evidence suggests that this effect may be linked to macronutrients and/or the amount of lentils consumed. This review attempts to consolidate existing studies that examined lentil consumption and glycemic and/or insulinemic responses and declared information on macronutrient composition and dietary fibre content of the foods tested. Collectively, these studies suggest that consumption of lentils reduces PBGR, with the minimum effective serving being ~110g cooked to reduce PBGR by 20%. Reductions in PBGR show modest-to-strong correlations with protein (45–57 g) and dietary fibre (22–30 g) content, but has weaker correlations with available carbohydrates. Increased lentil serving sizes were found to moderately influence relative reductions in peak blood glucose concentrations and lower the area under the blood glucose curve (BG AUC). However, no clear relationship was identified between serving and relative reductions in the BG AUC, making it challenging to characterize consistent serving–response effects. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutritional Value of Pulses and Whole Grains)
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17 pages, 982 KiB  
Review
Whole Grain Consumption and Inflammatory Markers: A Systematic Literature Review of Randomized Control Trials
by Genevieve Milesi, Anna Rangan and Sara Grafenauer
Nutrients 2022, 14(2), 374; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu14020374 - 16 Jan 2022
Cited by 18 | Viewed by 6685
Abstract
Whole grain foods are rich in nutrients, dietary fibre, a range of antioxidants, and phytochemicals, and may have potential to act in an anti-inflammatory manner, which could help impact chronic disease risk. This systematic literature review aimed to examine the specific effects of [...] Read more.
Whole grain foods are rich in nutrients, dietary fibre, a range of antioxidants, and phytochemicals, and may have potential to act in an anti-inflammatory manner, which could help impact chronic disease risk. This systematic literature review aimed to examine the specific effects of whole grains on selected inflammatory markers from human clinical trials in adults. As per the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews (PRISMA) protocol, the online databases MEDLINE, Embase, Cochrane, CINAHL, and Scopus were searched from inception through to 31 August 2021. Randomized control trials (RCTs) ≥ 4 weeks in duration, reporting ≥1 of the following: C-reactive protein (CRP), interleukin-6 (IL-6), and tumor necrosis factor (TNF), were included. A total of 31 RCTs were included, of which 16 studies recruited overweight/obese individuals, 12 had pre-existing conditions, two were in a healthy population, and one study included participants with prostate cancer. Of these 31 RCTs, three included studies with two intervention arms. A total of 32 individual studies measured CRP (10/32 were significant), 18 individual studies measured IL-6 (2/18 were significant), and 13 individual studies measured TNF (5/13 were significant). Most often, the overweight/obese population and those with pre-existing conditions showed significant reductions in inflammatory markers, mainly CRP (34% of studies). Overall, consumption of whole grain foods had a significant effect in reducing at least one inflammatory marker as demonstrated in 12/31 RCTs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutritional Value of Pulses and Whole Grains)
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