Metabolic syndrome is a risk factor for cardiovascular diseases and has become increasingly common in Japan. Epidemiological studies show inverse associations between intake of whole wheat grains and metabolic syndrome, but few dietary intervention trials have investigated the effect of whole wheat grain consumption. It was investigated whether a diet in which refined wheat bread (RW diet) was substituted by whole grain wheat bread (WW diet) would reduce visceral fat obesity in Japanese subjects. A randomized double-blind placebo-controlled intervention study was conducted in 50 Japanese subjects with body mass index (BMI) ≥ 23 kg/m2. Subjects were randomly assigned WW (WW group) or RW diets (RW group) for 12 weeks. Blood samples and computed tomography scans were obtained every 6th week. The WW group showed decrease (-4 cm2) in visceral fat area (VFA) (p < 0.05), whereas the RW group showed no significant changes. These time-dependent changes were significantly different between the groups. WW diet led to significant and safe reductions in VFA in subjects with BMI ≥ 23 kg/m2. WW diet may contribute to preventing visceral fat obesity.
Keywords: Dietary fiber; Metabolic syndrome; Visceral fat; Whole grain wheat.