Yingdong Zhu, Shengmin Sang (2017). Phytochemicals in whole grain wheat and their health-promoting effects. Molecular Nutrition & Food Research. Accepted Author Manuscript.
Laboratory for Functional Foods and Human Health, Center for Excellence in Post-Harvest Technologies, North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, Kannapolis, NC, United States
Accumulated evidence in epidemiological studies has consistently shown that consumption of whole grains is inversely associated with risk of major chronic diseases such as certain types of cancer, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases. Dietary fiber has been reported to be responsible for the health effects of whole grain consumption. Evidence from in vitro and in vivo studies is emerging that, in addition to dietary fiber and minerals, the unique phytochemicals in whole grains may in part contribute to these health-promoting effects. Whole grains are rich sources of various phytochemicals. However, phytochemical contents and profiles in whole grain wheat are not systematically summarized yet, and the rapid rate of discovery of wheat phytochemicals necessitates an update on the current state of this field. Furthermore, the biological roles of phytochemicals in protective effects of whole grains are also relatively underestimated, compared to dietary fibers. This manuscript summarized current research literature regarding phytochemicals that have been identified and characterized from wheat grains and wheat bran, and their corresponding contributions to the major health benefits of whole grain wheat consumption.