World Health Day: The Beneficial Effects of Ancient Grains

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Kamut International Announces the First International Conference of Wheat Landraces for Healthy Food Systems

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Bob Quinn, PhD, founder of Kamut International and a driving force behind furthering education on the beneficial effects of ancient grains, announces on “World Health Day” the launch of the 1st International Conference of Wheat Landraces for Healthy Food Systems. “This global symposium will bring together leading scientists to discuss the topics of landraces, including modern populations, ancient and heritage wheat with a focus on health and nutrition,” commented Quinn.

The event will take place on June 13-15, 2018 in Bologna, Italy. The conference is organized by IFOAM - Organics International, Kamut International, ltd. and Kamut Enterprises of Europe bvba, and Alma Mater Studiorum – University of Bologna. 

Traditionally, wheat-breeding programs aimed to improve grain yield and protein content, as well as baking quality, but neglected nutritional and phytochemical characteristics. Little attention was paid to the potential impacts this would have on human health. “Today, we are learning more about ancient wheat varieties and the role they play in improving health and nutrition. It was the right time to gather together the leading minds on the topic to gain a global perspective on how we can work together to use science to advance human health,” said Quinn.

The health benefits of ancient wheat

Scientific studies have demonstrated ancient wheat varieties exhibit a higher nutraceutical value than modern varieties. This provides higher health benefits, including the prevention of chronic-degenerative diseases. 

Furthermore, in several human clinical studies the substitution of modern wheat products with ancient wheat products improved metabolic, oxidative and inflammatory profiles of both healthy volunteers and patients suffering from non-infectious chronic diseases like Irritable Bowel Syndrome, cardiovascular disease, type-2 diabetes and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (Sofi, 2010; Sofi, 2013; Sofi 2014; Whittaker, 2015; Whittaker, 2017; Dinu, 2018 in press).

Increasing gluten sensitivity: a consequence of modern wheat?

Between 12% and 20% of people in the industrialized world can no longer eat modern wheat products without health or digestive problems. Modern wheat varieties show higher levels of gluten allergenic epitopes and other kinds of toxic proteins (van den Broeck HC, 2010; Zevallos, 2017), and some experts assert that the recent rise of gluten and wheat hypersensitivity syndromes is a consequences of modern wheat types (De Lorgeril, 2014). 

In summary, the available scientific information raises interesting considerations on ancient wheat that needs further studies to better understand the mechanisms responsible for these beneficial effects (Dinu, 2017). 

For more information, to attend as media or to interview Bob Quinn contact Laura Meditz, 212 693 2150 Ex 311

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About Bob Quinn

Bob Quinn passionately promotes organic and sustainable agriculture, locally produced food and fuel as well as promoting the idea that food should be our medicine and medicine should be our food. He also promotes food production systems based on producing high nutrition and quality rather than high yields. For Bob Quinn, experimenting with crops has always been the most enjoyable part of farming. He earned a PhD from the University of California in 1976 and studied to be a plant scientist. Academically, his first love is growing plants and his whole farm is his laboratory. His love of the land continues to fuel his desire to change the agricultural landscape of America—one grain at a time.

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Laura Meditz
+1 (212) 693-2150 Ext: 311
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