Health benefits of whole grain phytochemicals

Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2010 Mar;50(3):193-208. doi: 10.1080/10408390802248734.


A whole grain consists of the intact, ground, cracked, or flaked caryopsis, whose principal anatomical components--the starchy endosperm, germ, and bran--are present in the same relative proportions as they exist in the intact caryopsis. Whole grain food products can be intact, consisting of the original composition of bran, germ, and endosperm, throughout the entire lifetime of the product, or reconstituted, in which one or more of the original components of a whole grain is recombined to the relative proportion naturally occurring in the grain kernel. Increased consumption of whole grains has been associated with reduced risk of major chronic diseases including cardiovascular disease, type II diabetes, and some cancers. Whole grain foods offer a wide range of phytochemicals with health benefits that are only recently becoming recognized. The unique phytochemicals in whole grains are proposed to be responsible for the health benefits of whole grain consumption. In this paper, whole grain phytochemicals and the health benefits associated with their consumption are reviewed.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cardiovascular Diseases / epidemiology
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / prevention & control*
  • Chronic Disease
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / epidemiology
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / prevention & control*
  • Edible Grain*
  • Feeding Behavior
  • Food, Organic*
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Neoplasms / prevention & control*
  • Risk Factors