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No effect of 14 day consumption of whole grain diet compared to refined grain diet on antioxidant measures in healthy, young subjects: a pilot study

Lynda Enright and Joanne Slavin*

Author Affiliations

Department of Food Science and Nutrition, University of Minnesota, 1334 Eckles Avenue, St Paul, MN 55108, USA

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Nutrition Journal 2010, 9:12  doi:10.1186/1475-2891-9-12

Published: 19 March 2010



Epidemiological evidence supports that a diet high in whole grains is associated with lowered risk of chronic diseases included coronary heart disease, obesity, type 2 diabetes, and some types of cancer. One potential mechanism for the protective properties of whole grains is their antioxidant content. The aim of this study was to compare differences in antioxidant measures when subjects consumed either refined or whole grain diets.


Twenty healthy subjects took part in a randomized, crossover dietary intervention study. Subjects consumed either a refined grain or whole grain diet for 14 days and then the other diet for the next 14 days. Male subjects consumed 8 servings of grains per day and female subjects consumed 6 servings of grains per day. Blood and urine samples were collected at the end of each diet. Antioxidant measures included oxygen radical absorbance capacity (ORAC) in blood, and isoprostanes and thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS) in urine.


The whole grain diet was significantly higher in dietary fiber, vitamin B6, folate, selenium, copper, zinc, iron, magnesium and cystine compared to the refined grain diet. Despite high intakes of whole grains, no significant differences were seen in any of the antioxidant measures between the refined and whole grain diets.


No differences in antioxidant measures were found when subjects consumed whole grain diets compared to refined grain diets.