Whole grain food intake elevates serum enterolactone

David R Jacobs Jr, Mark A Pereira, Katariina Stumpf, Joel J. Pins, Herman Adlercreutz

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65 Scopus citations


Both intake of whole grain and higher levels of serum enterolactone have been related to reduced risk for CHD and some cancers. Because lignans are prevalent in the outer layers of grains, these findings may be related. We carried out a crossover feeding study in which overweight, hyperinsulinaemic, non-diabetic men (n 5) and women (n 6) ate, in random order, wholegrain foods or refined-grain foods in a diet with 30 % energy from fat. The dominant whole grain was wheat, followed by oats and rice. All food was supplied by the investigators and each diet lasted for 6 weeks, with an intervening washout period of 6-9 weeks. Serum enterolactone concentrations were higher when eating the wholegrain than the refined-grain diet by 6.2 (within person SE 1.7) nmol/l (P=0.0008). Most of the increase in serum enterolactone when eating the wholegrain diet occurred within 2 weeks, though the serum enterolactone difference between wholegrain and refined-grain diets continued to increase through 6 weeks. Serum enterolactone concentrations can be raised by eating a diet rich in whole grains.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)111-116
Number of pages6
JournalBritish Journal of Nutrition
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2002

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported in part by MO1-RR00400 from the National Center for Research Resources and by T32 HL07779 from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. General Mills, Inc. (Golden Valley, MN, USA) supplied some of the breakfast cereals and the flour for muffins and cookies for both the wholegrain and refined-grain diets and provided partial funding for laboratory analyses. H.A. gratefully acknowledges support from the Sigrid Juselius Foundation, Helsinki, Finland.


  • Feeding study
  • Phyto-oestrogens
  • Wholegrain food


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