Health Benefits of Sorghum
SORGHUM MAY INHIBIT CANCER TUMOR GROWTH
Compounds in sorghum called 3-Deoxyanthoxyanins (3-DXA) are present in darker-colored sorgums, and to a lesser extent in white sorghum. Scientists at the University of Missouri tested extracts of black, red, and white sorghums and found that all three extracts had strong antiproliferative activity against human colon cancer cells.
Journal of Agricultural & Food Chemistry. 2009 Mar 11;57(5):1797-804. Provided by The Whole Grains Council
SORGHUM MAY PROTECT AGAINST DIABETES AND INSULIN RESISTANCE
Advanced glycation endproducts (AGEs) are increasingly implicated in the complications of diabetes. A study from the University of Georgia Neutraceutical Research Libraries showed that sorghum brans with a high phenolic content and high anti-oxidant properties inhibit protein glycation, whereas wheat, rice or oat bran, and low-phenolic sorghum bran did not. These results suggest that “certain varieties of sorghum bran may affect critical biological processes that are important in diabetes and insulin resistance.”
Phytotherapy Research. 2008 Aug;22(8):1052-6 *Provided by The Whole Grains Council
SORGHUM MAY HELP MANAGE CHOLESTEROL
Scientists at the University of Nebraska observed that sorghum is a rich source of phytochemicals, and decided to study sorghum’s potential for managing cholesterol. They fed different levels of sorghum lipids to hamsters for four weeks, and found that the healthy fats in sorghum significantly reduced “bad” (non-HDL) cholesterol. Reductions ranged from 18% in hamsters fed a diet including 0.5% sorghum lipids, to 69% in hamsters fed a diet including 5% sorghum lipids. “Good” (HDL) cholesterol was not affected. Researchers concluded that “grain sorghum contains beneficial components that could be used as food ingredients or dietary supplements to manage cholesterol levels in humans.”
Journal of Nutrition. 2005 Sep;135(9):2236-40 *Provided by The Whole Grains Council
ADVANTAGES OF SORGHUM OVER MAIZE IN SOUTH AFRICAN DIETS
Sorghum has been widely consumed as a staple food and in beverages throughout Africa. More recently, corn has replaced sorghum in some areas. Researchers from the University of Witwatersrand Medical School in South Africa believe that “the change of the staple diet of Black South Africans from sorghum to maize (corn) is the cause of the epidemic of squamous carcinoma of the esophagus.” They link the cancers to Fusarium fungi that grow freely on maize but are far less common on sorghum and note that “countries in Africa, in which the staple food is sorghum, have a low incidence of squamous carcinoma of the esophagus.”
Medical Hypotheses. 2005;64(3):658-60 *Provided by The Whole Grains Council
ANTIOXIDANTS IN SORGHUM HIGH RELATIVE TO OTHER GRAINS AND TO FRUITS
Joseph Awika and Lloyd Rooney, at Texas A&M University, conducted an extensive review of scores of studies involving sorghum, and concluded that the phytochemicals in sorghum “have potential to significantly impact human health.” In particular, they cited evidence that sorghum may reduce the risk of certain cancers and promote cardiovascular health. Click here to download the full paper.
Phytochemistry. 2004 May;65(9):1199-221 *Provided by The Whole Grains Council
SORGHUM MAY HELP TREAT HUMAN MELANOMA
Scientists in Madrid studied the effect of three different components from wine and one from sorghum, to gauge their effects on the growth of human melanoma cells. While results were mixed, they concluded that all four components (phenolic fractions) “have potential as therapeutic agents in the treatments of human melanoma” although the way in which each slowed cancer growth may differ.
Journal of Agricultural & Food Chemistry. 2001 Mar;49(3):1620-4 *Provided by The Whole Grains Council
MAY HELP WITH WEIGHT MAINTENANCE and MAY REDUCE THE RISK OF CARDIOVASCULAR DISEASE.
After extensive studies on the health benefits of whole grain, the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010 report by the USDA and HHS states “ Moderate evidence shows that adults who eat more whole grains, particularely those higher in dietary fiber, have a lower body weight compared to adults who eat fewer whole grains.”
“Dietary fiber is the non-digestible form of carbohydrates and lignin. Dietary fiber that naturally occurs in food helps provide a feeling of fullness, is important in promoting healthy laxation and may reduce the risk of cardiovacular disease, obesity, and type 2 diabetes. For many, the minimum recommended amount of whole grains is 3 ounce-equivilents per day. Children and adults should consume foods naturally hign in dietary fiber in order to increase nutrient density, promote healthy lipid profiles and glucose tolerance, and ensure normal gastrointestinal function.” Whole grain white sorghum can be used to provide these important nutritional components.
U.S. Department of Agriculture and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Dietary guidelines for Americans, 2010 7th Edition, Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, December 2010 (pages 16,36,40,41)