Intended for healthcare professionals

Minerva Minerva


BMJ 2003; 326 doi: (Published 08 March 2003) Cite this as: BMJ 2003;326:558

Yet more evidence linking whole grain cereals to a longer healthier life appeared in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition this month (2003;77:594-9). The data show that male doctors who eat whole grain cereals for breakfast are less likely to die from cardiovascular disease, in fact less likely to die from anything, than colleagues who eat refined cereals instead. The effect is moderate, but probably real. The researchers accounted for all the usual confounders.

The same journal reports that eating whole grains also protects against type 2 diabetes, this time in Finns (American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2003;77:622-9). An accompanying editorial (527–9) says we should all be eating more grains, but admits that most people already know that whole grains are healthy. They just can't resist refined foods, which are so much more appealing.

The association between cardiovascular disease and bearing children looks a lot like the association between cardiovascular disease and alcoholic drinks: people who have just a few are at the lowest risk. Two children is the optimum number, according to a recent population study (Circulation ( advance online publication 17 Feb 2003). Any more and your risk of coronary heart disease starts to rise—by 30% for …

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