Whole-grain intake favorably affects markers of systemic inflammation in obese children: A randomized controlled crossover clinical trial
Whole-grain foods have been reported to affect serum levels of inflammatory cytokines. However, we are aware of no study examining the effect of whole-grain intake on inflammatory biomarkers among children. The present study aimed to determine the effect of whole-grain intake on serum levels of inflammatory biomarkers in overweight or obese children.
Methods and results
In this randomized crossover clinical trial, 44 overweight or obese girls aged 8–15 years participated. After a 2-week run-in period, subjects were randomly assigned to either whole-grain or control groups. Subjects in the whole-grain group were given a list of whole-grain foods and were asked to obtain half of their needed servings of grains from whole-grain foods each day for 6 weeks. Individuals in the control group were also given a list of whole-grain foods and were asked not to consume any of these foods during the intervention phase of the study. A 4-week washout period was applied following which subjects were crossed over to the alternate arm for an additional 6 weeks. Fasting blood samples were taken before and after each phase of the study to quantify markers of systemic inflammation. Mean age, weight, and BMI of study participants were 11.2 ± 1.49 years, 51.2 ± 10.2 kg, and 23.5 ± 2.5 kg/m2, respectively. No significant effect of whole-grain intake on weight and BMI was seen compared with the control group. We found a significant effect of whole-grain intake on serum levels of high-sensitive C-reactive protein (−21.8 versus +12.1%, p = 0.03), soluble intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (−28.4 versus +6.3%, p = 0.02), serum amyloid A (−17.4 versus +9.9%, p = 0.02), and leptin (−9.7 versus +39.2%, p = 0.02) after 6 weeks. A trend toward the significant effect of whole-grain intake on serum levels of soluble vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 (−36.2% versus −7.8%, p = 0.07) was also observed.
This study provides evidence supporting the beneficial effects of whole-grain foods on biomarkers of systemic inflammation in obese children.