Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


School of Medicine


Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is a major health burden globally, and is the single leading cause of death within Australia. It is well-recognised that a diet high in whole grains is protective against CVD. Whole grains are rich in many vitamins, minerals and bioactive constituents, all of which may contribute in part to these effects. However, it is the dietary fibre of the whole grains (cereal fibre), located primarily within the bran component, which has been hypothesised to contribute most significantly to cardiovascular health through improvement of CVD risk factors. To date, it is not entirely clear to what extent cereal fibre alone would provide the cardiovascular benefits of whole grains A considerable issue in forming conclusions is the inconsistency in which whole grain intakes have been defined and estimated in the existing literature, which also captured intakes of brans and other potentially high-cereal fibre mixed grain foods. Therefore while it is probable that whole grains are indeed protective against CVD, it is not clear if diets high in cereal fibre and brans are not similarly protective, having likely contributed to the whole grain evidence base. This thesis hypothesises that high cereal fibre intake and high whole grain intake are both independently associated with similar favourable cardiovascular health outcomes, but research clearly separating the two is necessary to understand this fully.

FoR codes (2008)




Unless otherwise indicated, the views expressed in this thesis are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the University of Wollongong.