My suggestion for why the studies appeared to show some benefit (although not enough to convince this review) might be to consider what the whole grains replaced in the participants diet. In other words, whole grains might be better than donuts... but that does not necessarily make them healthyMain results
One randomised controlled trial and eleven prospective cohort studies were identified. The randomised controlled trial, which was of low methodological quality, reported the change in insulin sensitivity in 12 obese hyperinsulinemic participants after six-week long interventions. Intake of whole grain foods resulted in a slight improvement of insulin sensitivity and no adverse effects. Patient satisfaction, health related quality of life, total mortality and morbidity was not reported. Four of the eleven cohort studies measured cereal fibre intake, three studies whole grain intake and two studies both. Two studies measured the change in whole grain food intake and one of them also change in cereal fibre intake. The incidence of T2DM was assessed in nine studies and changes in weight gain in two studies. The prospective studies consistently showed a reduced risk for high intake of whole grain foods (27% to 30%) or cereal fibre (28% to 37%) on the development of T2DM.
The evidence from only prospective cohort trials is considered to be too weak to be able to draw a definite conclusion about the preventive effect of whole grain foods on the development of T2DM. Properly designed long-term randomised controlled trials are needed. To facilitate this, further mechanistic research should focus on finding a set of relevant intermediate endpoints for T2DM and on identifying genetic subgroups of the population at risk that are most susceptible to dietary intervention.
Sounds like a failing grade all round for these trials "must do better!" :nono:AUTHORS' CONCLUSIONS:
Despite the consistency of effects seen in trials of wholegrain oats, the positive findings should be interpreted cautiously. Many of the trials identified were short term, of poor quality and had insufficient power. Most of the trials were funded by companies with commercial interests in wholegrains. There is a need for well-designed, adequately powered, longer term randomised controlled studies in this area. In particular there is a need for randomised controlled trials on wholegrain foods and diets other than oats.