Florence, Italy—Results of a new clinical trial will have fans of ancient grains asking for seconds. Organic khorasan wheat was found to benefit those with acute coronary syndrome (ACS), an umbrella term for when the heart is cut-off from the blood supply such as during heart attacks and unstable angina.

Twenty-two ACS patients (nine females and 13 males) took part in the randomized double-blinded crossover trial. Individuals either consumed foods made from organic semi-whole khorasan wheat (as branded Kamut) for eight weeks or products made from organic semi-whole control wheat for eight weeks. Such items included bread, pasta, biscuits and crackers. After an eight-week washout period, the groups switched diets.

Blood tests were performed on all patients at the start of the study and after each arm of the study. The researcher found that the khorasan wheat improved the patients’ total cholesterol (–6.8%), low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (–8.1%), glucose (–8%) and insulin (–24.6%), regardless of age, sex, risk factors, medication or diet quality. Additionally, the khorasan wheat aided in reducing various markers of inflammation including reactive oxygen species, lipoperoxidation of circulating moncytes and lymphocytes and levels of tumor necrosis factor-alpha.

There were no significant differences between the baseline numbers and those taken after eating the organic semi-whole wheat.  

This study was published in May 2015 edition of the academic journal Nutrients by a team from the University of Florence, Careggi University Hospital in Florence and the Don Carlo Gnocchi Foundation Florence.

Published in WholeFoods Magazine, August 2015, (online 6/4/2015).