Reference Number: 648
Nutrition: Whole grain
Ancient grain varieties have been shown to have some beneficial effects on health. Forty-five clinically healthy subjects were included in a randomized, double-blinded crossover trial aimed at evaluating the effect of a replacement diet with bread derived from ancient grain varieties versus modern grain variety on cardiovascular risk profile. After 8 weeks of intervention, consumption of bread obtained by the ancient varieties showed a significant amelioration of various cardiovascular parameters. Indeed, the ancient varieties were shown to result in a significant reduction of total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein (LDL)-cholesterol and blood glucose, whereas no significant differences during the phase with the modern variety were reported. Moreover, a significant increase in circulating endothelial progenitor cells were reported after the consumption of products made from the ancient “Verna” variety.
Significance to the baker:
In the past decades, breeding strategies have been predominantly aimed at improving the yield production of wheat, at the expense of the nutritional profile. This led to the progressive abandonment of the ancient varieties, which are not suitable for the high-input conventional cultivation system. The present findings highlight that ancient grain varieties could be useful in ameliorating the profile of important biomarkers in consumers, potentially protecting against cardiovascular disease.