A new study spanning a period of over 25 years found that whole grain such as oats, popcorn, and quinoa; is associated with longevity of life and reduces the mortality rate of cardiovascular diseases; but not of cancer.
In this survey, the researchers observed two large studies were observed. One was a study with 74,000 women who participated in the Nurses’ Health Study and another was a health professional follow-up study with 44,000 male participants . These participants recorded their whole grain consumption on food surveys given every two to four years.
Over the study period of 24-26 years, the researchers found that 26,920 people had died. Additionally, it was discovered that participants who ate 28 grams of whole grain every day, had 5 percent lower risk of dying; and 9 percent lower risk of dying from cardiovascular disease causes than participants who did not consume or consumed a little amount of whole grain over the period of 25 years.
The most significant effect on decreasing the mortality rate of cardiovascular diseases was in people who ate the part of the whole grain called bran—bran is the tough skin that covers the kernel of a whole grain and contains vitamin B, anti-oxidants and fiber.
Researchers also found there to be 8 percent lower risk of mortality in people who replaced one serving of a refined grain with whole grains, and 20 percent lower risk of dying in people who replaced one serving of red meat with whole grains.
Focusing on the death rate, the researchers identified the factors that could have influenced the risk of dying over the research period such as age, exercise, smoking, diet, and body mass index. Furthermore, people who ate more whole grain were more likely than people who ate less whole grain, to get more exercise, maintain a healthy diet plan, drink less alcohol and smoke less.
According to Dr. Qi Sun, the senior researcher of the study, the study did not find any evidence to conclude that consuming whole grains reduced the risk of death from cancer. Nevertheless, he pointed out the importance of whole grain diet in reducing mortality rate of other diseases and increasing longevity of life. He went on to say that, whole grain consumption is consistently linked with reducing the deaths from diseases like heart diseases, stroke and colorectal cancer.
The study was published in the Journal JAMA Internal Medicine.