Rat Study: Whole Wheat Versus Refined Wheat
July 1/Food & Farm Week -- According to a study from Viterbo, Italy, "Whole wheat and refined wheat differ substantially for dietary fiber and polyphenol contents; however, the exact relationship between the in vitro contents and in vivo functions have not been well established. Two groups of growing rats were fed for 6 weeks with diets containing 53% of whole durum and refined durum wheat flours."

"In plasma and in mesenteric lymphocytes parameters of redox status and in lymphocytes the rate of cell proliferation and the type of immune response were measured. Plasma antioxidant activity showed that whole wheat was able to increase antioxidative status with respect to refined wheat and to reduce the carbonyl content. The diets rich in whole wheat can improve proliferative responses with respect to refined wheat," wrote R. Molinari and colleagues, University of Tuscia.

The researchers concluded, "The results indicated that a constant intake of whole wheat may have important implications for health, by acting as modulator of immune function and redox status."

Molinari and colleagues published their study in Food and Agricultural Immunology ("Diets Rich in Whole Wheat Improve Redox Status and Enhance Immune Responses in Rats." Food and Agricultural Immunology, 2009;20(2):95-104).

For more information, contact N. Merendino, University of Tuscia, Dept. of Ecology & Sustainable Economics Development, I-01100 Viterbo, Italy.

From the July 6, 2009, Prepared Foods E-dition