Reference Number: 141
Health: Heart Disease
BACKGROUND: Khorasan wheat (Kamut) is an ancient grain with widely acclaimed beneficial effects on human health. The objective was to characterise Kamut and to examine the effect of a replacement diet with their products on cardiovascular risk parameters.
SUBJECTS/METHODS:We conducted a randomized, single-blinded cross-over trial with two intervention phases on 22 healthy subjects (14 females; 8 males). The participants were assigned to consume products (bread, pasta and crackers) made either from Kamut or control (semi-whole-grain) wheat for 8 weeks in a random order. An 8-week washout period was implemented between the interventions. Laboratory analyses were performed both at the beginning and at the end of each intervention phase.
RESULTS: At a general linear model for repeated measurements adjusted for several confounders, consumption of Kamut products showed a significant reduction of metabolic risk factors such as total cholesterol (mean reduction: 4%), low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (7.8%) and blood glucose. Similarly, redox status was significantly improved only after the Kamut intervention phase, as measured by a reduction in both thiobarbituric acid reactive substances ( 21.5%;) and carbonyl levels (17.6%). The replacement diet with Kamut products also resulted in a significant increase of serum potassium and magnesium. Circulating levels of key pro-inflammatory cytokines (interleukin (IL)-6, IL-12, tumour necrosis factor-a and vascular endothelial growth factor) were significantly reduced after the consumption of Kamut products.
CONCLUSIONS: The present results suggest that a replacement diet with Kamut products could be effective in reducing metabolic risk factors, markers of both oxidative stress and inflammatory status.
SIGNIFICANCE OF THIS STUDY
The current study is the first human trial currently being performed to test the possible efficacy of Kamut products on cardiovascular biomarkers. Various biochem- ical, lipid, antioxidant and inflammatory parameters related to cardiovascular disease risk in adult humans were investigated following the adoption of a diet of organic, semi-whole- wheat Kamut products. The study was a randomized, single-blinded, cross-over trial designed to test whether a replacement diet with grain products made from Kamut would benefit the cardiovascular risk profile of the participants, compared with a similar replacement diet using grain products made from organic, semi- whole-grain wheat durum and soft wheat varieties. nutritional analysis showed significantly higher levels of amylose/amylopectin ratio, protein content, antioxidant activity (polyphenols, flavonoids and carotenoids) were apparent in the Kamut flour with respect to the control flour (semi-whole-grain). Both Kamut semolina and flour contained significantly higher content of minerals such as potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, iron and vanadium with respect to control semolina and flour. Although the results of this small scale study suggest that Kamut could afford health benefits by improving metabolic, lipid, antioxidant, inflammatory blood profiles as well as supporting cardiovascular health, further studies are needed to draw conclusive findings.