Research suggests grains support beneficial gut microbiota
Research suggests benefit from grains comes from changes in gut microbiota, specifically:
"Therefore, the study provided evidence that a short-term increased intake of whole grains led to compositional alterations of the gut microbiota that coincided with improvements in systemic inflammation." Holobiont nutrition: considering the role of the gastrointestinal m... - PubMed - NCBI
"The trial revealed that whole grains led to measurable benefits. A significant decrease in plasma IL-6 levels for the WGB+BR treatment vs. baseline values was detected. Quantitatively, this reduction was highest in overweight subjects and in females. Despite not achieving statistical significance due to high inter-individual variation, hs-CRP plasma levels halved during the WGB+BR period when compared with the baseline. Whole grain consumption also improved glucose and lipid metabolism. Postprandial peak glucose levels were significantly lowered in overweight subjects during the WGB+BR period, fasting glucose levels were significantly decreased in women and overweight subjects, and total cholesterol was significantly reduced in females. Interestingly, although all treatments led to immunological and metabolic improvements (especially in females), it was the combination of whole grains that generated the most significant benefits, suggesting a synergistic role between WGB and BR. . . . It is striking that whole-grains and resistant starches, both which provide substrates for the bacteria in the colon, show metabolic and immunological benefits related to the chronic diseases linked to the microbiome. The field of Nutrigenomics, which aims to use an individualís genetic makeup to optimize nutrition, should therefore be extended to include the metagenome as well. " Holobiont nutrition
You think a research group from the University of Nebraska is going to say anything negative about grains? I've had a look at the figures, and the actual changes look negligible and the data is hugely variable between subjects. All over the place.
Also, it's a small sample size and a short trial. I think most of us realize that the problems with consuming grains can take years to manifest themselves.
The WGB & BR may indeed have been beneficial but this could be attrbuted to more fibre or the fact this replaced something more harmfull in the diet rather than something actually beneficial in the barley and rice.
So what did the barley and rice replace in the diet. Would adding more veggies instead of the barley and rice lead to the same or better results.
What was the control group.
Was the study sort of like giving a group of unfiltered cigarette smokers, filtered cigarettes and seeing improvements?
Beta-glucans and resistant starches => improved gut flora => reduced inflammation.
Grains are not "evil" when they aren't super refined and mixed with other weirdo ingredients or calorie dense but nutrient depleted ingredients (refined fats and sugars).
Before condemning grains (Pavlov reflex in the paleo community), try to eat some (obviously not cookies, cakes and other pseudo-foods) and see how you fare. it takes some home processing though (soaking, fermenting, etc). But if you enjoy cooking, I see no reason to avoid them at all cost, unless you have gluten intolerance and the grains you are considering are gluten bearing.
The study may have flaws for sure but the takeaway message is this:
adding brown rice and barley did not make these people worse. At best, it improved their gut flora and had positive downstream effects. In the case they displaced some other problematic foods (confounders) you can see that the grains did not worsen their condition.
I am not promoting grains as a daily staple, there are other more interesting foods to eat for sure. But one should not be paranoid about eating some of these whole grains (as long as they are organic) occasionally.
think so,most of us realize that the problems with consuming grains can take years to manifest themselves.