Whole-grain wheat intervention protects against hepatic fat
A 12-week whole-grain wheat (WGW) intervention prevents a substantial increase in liver fat, while a 12-week refined wheat (RW) intervention leads to higher liver fat, which may result in nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, a recent study has shown.
Both RW and WGW interventions did not affect fasting plasma cholesterol, triglycerides, nonesterified fatty acids and insulin.
There was a significant increase of 49.1 percent in intrahepatic triglycerides (IHTGs) in the RW vs the WGW group (p=0.033). Increase in IHTGs after RW could not be predicted by baseline microbiota composition. However, gut microbiota diversity decreased in the RW vs the WGW group (p=0.010).
Furthermore, postprandial triglyceride levels increased in the WGW vs the RW group (p=0.020). The WGW intervention also led to lower fasting levels of the liver acute-phase proteins serum amyloid A (p=0.057) and C-reactive protein (p=0.064) when compared to the RW intervention.
“Our results show that incorporating feasible doses of WGW in the diet at the expense of RW maintains liver health,” the authors said.
In a double-blind, parallel trial, 50 overweight men and postmenopausal women aged 45–70 years were randomized to a 12-week intervention with either WGW (98 g/d) or RW (98 g/d) products. The authors evaluated IHTGs and fat distribution before and after the intervention using proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy/imaging, faecal microbiota composition, adipose tissue gene expression and several fasting plasma parameters, as well as postprandial plasma lipids after a mixed meal.
“WGW is described as nutritionally superior to RW and thus advocated as the healthy choice, although evidence from intervention studies is often inconsistent,” the authors noted. “The liver, as the central organ in energy metabolism, might be an important target organ for WGW interventions.”