Cereal foods constitute a backbone of human diet all over the world and are typically the most important sources of energy and dietary fibre intake. Cereals typically contribute about 50% of dietary fibre intake in western countries. A high whole grain intake has been consistently associated with reduced risk of developing type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and colorectal cancer, mainly based on evidence from observational studies.
A major challenge in this area of research is that the active components and the underlying mechanism have not been fully explored. Dietary fibre has been reported to be responsible for the health effects of whole grain consumption. Evidence from in vitro and rodent studies is emerging that, in addition to dietary fibre, the unique phytochemicals in whole grains may in part contribute to these health-promoting effects.
Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden
North Carolina A&T State University, USA