X-Message-Number: 10966
Date: Wed, 23 Dec 1998 15:32:07 -0800 (PST)
From: Doug Skrecky <>
Subject: wheat germ versus cholesterol

Something useful to know during the christmas holidays, as follows:
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Citations: 1-2

  Cara L.  Borel P.  Armand M.  Senft M.  Lafont H.  Portugal H.  Pauli AM. 
  Boulze D.  Lacombe C.  Lairon D.
  Unite 130-INSERM (Institut National de la Sante et de la Recherche Medicale),
  Marseille, France.
  Plasma lipid lowering effects of wheat germ
  in hypercholesterolemic subjects.
  Plant Foods for Human Nutrition.  41(2):135-50, 1991 Apr.
  The present study was performed to investigate the possible effects of
  wheat germ supplementation on lipid
  metabolism in humans. Ten free-living adult subjects participated in the
  study. None was obese or diabetic. They all presented an
  hypercholesterolemia (from 6.58 to 9.50 mM), associated in 6
  over 10 cases to an hypertriglyceridemia (from 1.70 to 5.00 mM). The subjects
  were studied in three consecutive periods, during which they first were on
  their usual diet (first week), they then ingested a daily supplement of 30 g
  wheat germ (4 weeks) and then they returned
  to their usual basal diet (4 weeks follow-up). Dietary records were obtained
  for 7 and 3 consecutive days before and during wheat
  germ supplementation, respectively. Fasting blood samples
  were taken at the end of each period. After 4 weeks of wheat
  germ intake, glycemia did not change while total plasma
  cholesterol significantly decreased (paired Student's t
  test, p less than or equal to 0.05) from 7.80 to 7.15 mM. LDL and HDL
  cholesterol values did not show marked changes, but VLDL
  cholesterol significantly dropped by 40.6%. Thus, the
  plasma/HDL total cholesterol ratio was significantly lower.
  Apoprotein B and A1 decreased. In the hypertriglyceridemic subjects, this was
  accompanied by a significant reduction of plasma triglycerides (1.64 vs. 2.68
  mM) and a marked drop of VLDL triglycerides (-51%). Taken as a whole, the
  present results obtained in humans are very close to those previously
  obtained in the rat and point out that wheat
  germ may play a beneficial role in the dietary management of

  Lairon D.  Lacombe C.  Borel P.  Corraze G.  Nibbelink M.  Chautan M. 
  Chanussot F.  Lafont H.
  Beneficial effect of wheat germ on
  circulating lipoproteins and tissue lipids in rats fed a high fat,
  cholesterol-containing diet.
  Journal of Nutrition.  117(5):838-45, 1987 May.
  Adult male rats were fed for 7 wk either a low fat diet (3% fat) or a high
  fat-cholesterol diet (20% fat, 0.5%
  cholesterol) containing 7% wheat
  germ or not. Body weights and food intakes were unchanged by
  adding wheat germ to the control low fat or
  high fat diets. Adding wheat germ to the
  high fat-cholesterol diet significantly increased high
  density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol and the HDL-serum
  cholesterol ratio and lowered the very low density
  lipoprotein (VLDL) triglycerides. Thus the lipoprotein pattern was comparable
  to that obtained with the low fat diet, but the VLDL lipid composition
  remained altered. At the same time, triglyceride and
  cholesterol accumulation in the liver and the triglyceride
  content in skin were significantly decreased. When wheat
  germ was added to the low fat diet,
  cholesterol and triglycerides were not significantly
  modified. No adaptative change in lipase and colipase contents was observed
  in the pancreas of rats fed the wheat
  germ-supplemented diets, whereas the high fat diet increased
  these values. The results show a beneficial effect of wheat
  germ added to a high fat-cholesterol diet
  on the lipid status of rats; the implicated mechanisms are yet to be

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