Khorasan wheat is an ancient grain that’s received some attention for varied health benefits. A new study, however, looked at whether a replacement diet—substituting all other cereal grains with products made with organic khorasan wheat—could provide additive protective effects in reducing lipid, oxidative and inflammatory risk factors in patients with acute coronary syndromes (ACS) in comparison to a similar replacement diet using products made from organic modern wheat (Nutrients. 2015;7(5):3401-15).
The randomized double-blind crossover trial was conducted with two intervention phases on 22 ACS patients. The patients were assigned to consume products (bread, pasta, biscuits and crackers) made either from organic semi-whole khorasan wheat or organic semi-whole control wheat for eight weeks in a random order.
The subjects who consumption the Khorasan-wheat products had a significant amelioration in total cholesterol (- 6.8 percent), low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL; - 8.1 percent) glucose (- 8 percent) and insulin (- 24.6 percent) from baseline levels, independently of age, sex, traditional risk factors, medication and diet quality. Moreover, there was a significant reduction in reactive oxygen species, lipoperoxidation of circulating monocytes and lymphocytes, as well as in the levels of Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha. No significant differences from baseline in the same patients were observed after the conventional control wheat intervention phase.
These results show a lot of promise and they suggest that a replacement diet with cereal products made from organic khorasan wheat provides additional protection in patients with ACS. Circulating cardiovascular risk factors, including lipid parameters, and markers of both oxidative stress and inflammatory status, were reduced, irrespective of the number and combination of medicinal therapies with proven efficacy in secondary prevention.