Professor, Institute of Public Health and Clinical Nutrition, School of Medicine, University of Eastern Finland, Finland
Marjukka Kolehmainen is currently Professor within the research area of Food and Health (https://uefconnect.uef.fi/en/person/marjukka.kolehmainen/). Her expertise is within health effects of diets, foods and food components that she has been studying in acute, short and long-term human interventions for over 20 years. Main scientific interest has been in the effects of whole grain cereals and berries, and their bioactive compounds from the molecular level to whole body physiology, especially in their effect on inflammation, and more recently on gut microbiota and gut barrier function. She has also studied interaction between physiological and mental stress, and the impact of stress and recovery on eating behaviour.
Cereal foods, in general, are a fundamental component in human diets worldwide providing the main energy source as well as being an important source of dietary proteins and many essential nutrients. In addition to these qualities, rye is a major source of dietary fiber in Northern and Eastern European countries. Rye contains also high levels of micronutrients, such as group B vitamins, as well as various types of phytochemicals, for instance, lignans and phenolic acids. Whole grain cereals are, as part of varied diet, convincingly and repeatedly associated with decreased risk of chronic disease morbidity and mortality. In clinical interventions, diets rich in rye have shown to maintain balanced glucose and lipid metabolism and decreased low grade inflammation. However, controversial results have also been gained from interventions.