Researchers at the University of Florence, working in collaboration with the Careggi University Hospital of Florence, found that Kamut-brand khorasan wheat could positively impact blood insulin and glucose. The research was part-funded by a grant from Kamut Enterprises of Europe, a subsidiary of Kamut trademark holder Kamut International.
Published this month in The European Journal of Nutrition, the study was a randomized, double-blind crossover trial with two intervention phases. A range of products - pasta, bread, crackers and biscuits - were supplied to 21 volunteers with type 2 diabetes. One batch of products was made from organic Kamut wheat and another from modern organic wheat.
Participants, who were told not to alter their dietary or lifestyle habits, ate both the ancient and modern wheat, but in two different time periods of eight weeks separated by a ‘washout period’ of eight weeks. The participants and doctors did not know what kind of wheat was eaten during each time period.
Higher mineral levels
Nutritional analysis found higher antioxidant content (polyphenols and selenium) in Kamut flour compared with modern wheat flour, as well as higher levels of minerals including magnesium, phosphorus, potassium and zinc.
Blood analysis performed at the beginning and end of the study showed consumption of products made from Kamut-brand wheat produced improvement in key markers in the blood, such as total cholesterol (-3.7%), LDL-cholesterol (-3.4%), glucose (-9.1%) and insulin (-16.3%). No significant effect was noted after consumption of the modern wheat diet, said researchers.
The study found participants had better antioxidant status after eating Kamut wheat products compared to a decrease after consumption of modern wheat products. It also showed a decrease in inflammatory markers, which could lead to the reduction of further vascular complications.
Reduction in total and LDL cholesterol
In conclusion, researchers found: “A replacement diet with ancient khorasan wheat consumption provided additive protection in reducing total and LDL cholesterol, insulin, blood glucose, reactive oxygen species production, and some inflammatory risk factors, which are all key factors warranting of control in secondary prevention of T2DM [type 2 diabetes mellitus] compared to a diet with products made with modern wheat.”
Kamut International founder Bob Quinn said the benefits to type-2 diabetes patients of nutrient-dense carbohydrates, such as those found in cereals, was beginning to be appreciated.
“There are long-term risks of low carbohydrate diets, which include mineral, vitamin and fiber deficiencies,” he added. “Although evidence is inconclusive for an ideal amount of carbohydrates in the diet of diabetics, as this study proves, the beneficial effects attributable to carbohydrates are dependent on the quality of the source.”
Source: European Journal of Nutrition
Published online: http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00394-016-1168-2/fulltext.html
“A khorasan wheat-based replacement diet improves risk profile of patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM): a randomized crossover trial”
Authors: Anne Whittaker, Monica Dinu, Francesca Cesari, Anna Maria Gori, Claudia Fiorillo, Matteo Becatti, Alessandro Casini, Rossella Marcucci, Stefano Benedettelli, Francesco Sofi