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Observational data show an inverse association between the consumption of whole-grain foods, and inflammation and related diseases. Although the underlying mechanisms are unclear, whole grains, and in particular the aleurone layer, contain a wide range of components with putative antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. We evaluated the effects of a diet high in wheat aleurone on plasma antioxidants status, markers of inflammation and endothelial function. In this parallel, participant-blinded intervention, seventy-nine healthy, older, overweight participants (45-65 years, BMI>25 kg/m²) incorporated either aleurone-rich cereal products (27 g aleurone/d), or control products balanced for fibre and macronutrients, into their habitual diets for 4 weeks. Fasting blood samples were taken at baseline and on day 29. Results showed that, compared to control, consumption of aleurone-rich products provided substantial amounts of micronutrients and phytochemicals which may function as antioxidants. Additionally, incorporating these products into a habitual diet resulted in significantly lower plasma concentrations of the inflammatory marker, C-reactive protein (P = 0·035), which is an independent risk factor for CVD. However, no changes were observed in other markers of inflammation, antioxidant status or endothelial function. These results provide a possible mechanism underlying the beneficial effects of longer-term whole-grain intake. However, it is unclear whether this effect is owing to a specific component, or a combination of components in wheat aleurone.

Original publication




Journal article


Br J Nutr

Publication Date





1644 - 1651


Aged, Aging, Antioxidants, Biomarkers, Body Mass Index, C-Reactive Protein, Dietary Fiber, Dietary Proteins, Endosperm, Endothelium, Vascular, Female, Food, Fortified, Humans, Male, Micronutrients, Middle Aged, Overweight, Seed Storage Proteins, Single-Blind Method, Triticum