Metabolic effects of whole grain wheat and whole grain rye in the C57BL/6J mouse

Nutrition. 2010 Feb;26(2):230-9. doi: 10.1016/j.nut.2009.06.007. Epub 2009 Jul 31.


Objective: A diet rich in whole grain cereals is suggested to protect against type 2 diabetes and facilitate body weight regulation. However, little is known about the impact of different cereals and the underlying mechanisms. The objective of this study was to compare the long-term metabolic effects of diets supplemented with whole grain wheat or whole grain rye in the C57BL/6J mouse.

Methods: Mice were fed the whole grain supplements in a low-fat background diet for 22 wk. Oral and intravenous glucose tolerance tests were performed during the study and in vitro insulin secretion assays were performed at the end of the study. Body weight, energy intake, body fat content, and plasma parameters were measured during the study.

Results: A dietary supplement of whole grain rye suppressed body weight gain and resulted in significantly decreased adiposity, plasma leptin, total plasma cholesterol, and triacylglycerols compared with a supplement of whole grain wheat. Also, a slight improvement in insulin sensitivity was observed in the rye group compared with the wheat group. The decreases in body weight and adiposity were observed in the absence of differences in energy intake.

Conclusion: Long-term administration of whole grain rye evokes a different metabolic profile compared with whole grain wheat in the C57BL/6J mouse, the primary difference being that whole grain rye reduces body weight and adiposity compared with whole grain wheat. In addition, whole grain rye slightly improves insulin sensitivity and lowers total plasma cholesterol.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adiposity*
  • Animals
  • Body Weight*
  • Cholesterol / blood
  • Dietary Carbohydrates / administration & dosage
  • Dietary Carbohydrates / pharmacology
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Edible Grain*
  • Female
  • Insulin Resistance*
  • Leptin / blood
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Obesity / blood
  • Obesity / prevention & control*
  • Secale*
  • Triglycerides / blood
  • Triticum*
  • Weight Gain


  • Dietary Carbohydrates
  • Leptin
  • Triglycerides
  • Cholesterol