Can Millet Consumption Help Manage Hyperlipidemia and Obesity?: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Front Nutr. 2021 Aug 17:8:700778. doi: 10.3389/fnut.2021.700778. eCollection 2021.


Many health benefits of millets (defined broadly to also include sorghum) have been advocated, including their roles in managing and preventing diabetes; however, the effects of millets on hyperlipidemia (high lipid levels) have been underrecognized. A systematic review and meta-analysis were conducted to collate available evidence of the impacts of millets consumption on lipid profile, namely total cholesterol (TC), triacylglycerol, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C), low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), and very-low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (VLDL-C). The results from 19 studies showed that the consumption of millets for periods as short as 21 days to 4 months reduced levels of TC, triacylglycerol, LDL-C, and VLDL-C (p<0.01) by 8.0, 9.5, 10 and 9.0%, respectively. Four studies demonstrated that millets consumption brought TC and triacylglycerol levels to the normal levels (<200 and <150 mg/dl, respectively). Furthermore, upon consumption of millet-based meals, there was a 6.0% increase in the HDL-C 4.0 and 5.0% reduction in systolic and diastolic blood pressure, and 7.0% reduction in body mass index (BMI). This evidence, leads us to conclude that consumption of millets reduces hyperlipidemia and hence hypertension, and raises the levels of HDL-C (good cholesterol), which can be beneficial for managing the associated risk of developing hypertension and atherosclerotic cardiovascular diseases in future. Systematic Review Registration: The protocol of this systematic review has been registered in the online registration platform called "research registry" with the unique identification number "reviewregistry1123."

Keywords: cholesterol; hyperlipidemia; lipid profile; millets; triacylglycerol.

Publication types

  • Systematic Review