The Relationship Between Corn Flour and Cardiometabolic and Inflammatory Disease Markers in Adults with Hyperlipidemia
Since 1975, the prevalence of obesity has nearly tripled around the world. In 2016, 39% of adults, or 1.9 billion people, were considered overweight, and 13% of adults, or 650 million people, were considered obese. Furthermore, Cardiovascular disease remains to be the leading cause of death for adults in the United States, with 655,000 people dying from related conditions and consequences each year. Including fiber in one’s dietary regimen has been shown to greatly improve health outcomes in regards to these two areas of health. However, not much literature is available on the effects of corn-based fiber, especially detailing the individual components of the grain itself. The purpose of this preliminary study was to test the differences in influence on both LDL-cholesterol and triglycerides between treatments based on whole-grain corn flour, refined corn flour, and 50% refined corn flour + 50% corn bran derived from whole grain cornmeal (excellent fiber) in healthy overweight (BMI ≥ 25.0 kg/m2) adults (ages 18 - 70) with high LDL cholesterol (LDL ≥ 120mg/dL). 20 participants, ages 18 - 64 (10 males, 10 females) were involved. Data was derived from blood draws taken before and after each of the three treatments as well as before and after each treatment’s wash out periods. A general linear model was used to assess the effect of corn products on circulating concentrations of LDL-cholesterol and triglycerides. From the model, it was found that the whole-grain corn flour and the 50% refined corn flour + 50% corn bran drive from whole grain cornmeal treatments produced a higher, similar benefit in reductions in LDL-cholesterol. However, the whole grain flour, refined flour, and bran-based fiber treatments did not influence the triglyceride levels of the participants throughout this study. Further research is needed to elucidate the effects of these fiber items on cardiometabolic disease markers in the long-term as well as with a larger sample size.