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Topic summary contributed by volunteer(s): Paul

Milling whole wheat into white flour may cause as much as a 300-fold decrease in phytonutrient content and white bread may be associated with increased cancer risk, especially prostate cancer. There are few antioxidants in white bread.  Eating white bread also seems to have a negative effect on cognitive function and it appears to increase our insulin level.

On the other hand, unrefined, whole grains have been associated with lower risk of diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. Rye intake may be associated with lower breast and prostate cancer risk. What about gluten? While there are few studies on gluten, it appears that non-celiac gluten sensitivity may indeed be linked with irritable bowel syndrome, although it does not seem to be common. After ruling out celiac disease, those who feel they are gluten sensitive should first try improving other aspects of their diet since as many as one in three people who avoid gluten due to symptoms actually have a different disease altogether.


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