Characterization of Khorasan wheat (Kamut) and impact of a replacement diet on cardiovascular risk factors: cross-over dietary intervention study

Eur J Clin Nutr. 2013 Feb;67(2):190-5. doi: 10.1038/ejcn.2012.206. Epub 2013 Jan 9.


Background/objectives: Khorasan wheat (Kamut) is an ancient grain with widely acclaimed beneficial effects on human health. The objective was to characterise Kamut and to examine the effect of a replacement diet with their products on cardiovascular risk parameters.

Subjects/methods: We conducted a randomized, single-blinded cross-over trial with two intervention phases on 22 healthy subjects (14 females; 8 males). The participants were assigned to consume products (bread, pasta and crackers) made either from Kamut or control semi-whole-grain wheat for 8 weeks in a random order. An 8-week washout period was implemented between the interventions. Laboratory analyses were performed both at the beginning and at the end of each intervention phase.

Results: At a general linear model for repeated measurements adjusted for several confounders, consumption of Kamut products showed a significant reduction of metabolic risk factors such as total cholesterol (mean reduction: -8.46 mg/dl; -4%), low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (-9.82 mg/dl; -7.8%) and blood glucose. Similarly, redox status was significantly improved only after the Kamut intervention phase, as measured by a reduction in both thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (-0.17 nmol/ml; -21.5%;) and carbonyl levels (-0.16 nmol/ml; -17.6%). The replacement diet with Kamut products also resulted in a significant increase of serum potassium and magnesium. Circulating levels of key pro-inflammatory cytokines (interleukin (IL)-6, IL-12, tumour necrosis factor-α and vascular endothelial growth factor) were significantly reduced after the consumption of Kamut products.

Conclusions: The present results suggest that a replacement diet with Kamut products could be effective in reducing metabolic risk factors, markers of both oxidative stress and inflammatory status.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / blood
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / etiology
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / prevention & control*
  • Cholesterol / blood
  • Cholesterol, LDL / blood
  • Cross-Over Studies
  • Cytokines / blood
  • Diet*
  • Feeding Behavior*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / blood
  • Inflammation / complications
  • Inflammation / prevention & control*
  • Inflammation Mediators / blood
  • Magnesium / blood
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Oxidation-Reduction
  • Oxidative Stress*
  • Potassium / blood
  • Protein Carbonylation
  • Risk Factors
  • Single-Blind Method
  • Species Specificity
  • Triticum* / classification


  • Blood Glucose
  • Cholesterol, LDL
  • Cytokines
  • Inflammation Mediators
  • Cholesterol
  • Magnesium
  • Potassium