The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition earlier this month published a research report on whole grain consumption and various cardiovascular disease risk factors. U.K. investigators compared the effects of refined grains versus whole grains in healthy middle-aged adults. The strongest finding was that three servings a day of whole grains—wheat and oats in this instance—reduced systolic blood pressure by 5 mmHg.
The investigators suggest this BP lowering may be responsible for the reduced risk of heart attack and stroke associated with whole grain consumption in observational studies.
Additional details are at my Self/NutritionData Heart Health Blog post of August 17, 2010. The researchers noted a three or four percent reduction in LDL cholesterol (“bad cholesterol”) in study participants eating refined grains, yet , mysteriously, had nothing to say about that.