Cardiovascular benefits from ancient grain bread consumption: findings from a double-blinded randomized crossover intervention trial
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. The present results suggest that a dietary consumption of bread obtained from ancient grain varieties was effective in reducing cardiovascular risk factors.