Wheat germ contains plenty of vitamin E. This vitamin serves as a powerful antioxidant that protects the wheat germ oil from becoming rancid too quickly. Vitamin E is an antioxidant that can protect cell membranes, brain cells, and cholesterol molecules from free radical damage. Free radical damage greatly contributes to plaque build-up in the arteries, called atherosclerosis. Vitamin E can help stop that process. Vitamin E is also important for good liver detoxification, immune function, and blood glucose control in both healthy and diabetic individuals.
A 2008 study in rats showed that rats given wheat germ had significantly higher protective levels of vitamin E in their blood and liver, conferring greater antioxidant protection.
While some research is not totally clear to the benefit of supplementing with vitamin E, vitamin E-rich foods like wheat germ are shown to be very healthy every time. People who do decide to supplement should use mixed tocopherols, which are more like the type found in natural food.
Fermented Wheat Germ for Cancer and Arthritis
There is a form of wheat germ called fermented wheat germ. This form has had impressive research results and has been used in cancer and arthritis treatment. First invented in the early 1990s in Hungary, this wheat germ differs from ordinary wheat germ because it is fermented with baker's yeast to concentrate certain naturally active compounds called benzoquinones.
In our clinic, we work with many patients going through therapy for cancer. For many of them, we highly recommend fermented wheat germ compounds. A study in the British Journal of Cancer showed that this compound can lower the incidence of cancer spreading in colon cancer patients, as well as greatly reduce recurrence, and increase overall survival. Other studies showed a decrease in recurrence of melanoma in patients who were undergoing chemotherapy, and an increase in white cell counts and lower fevers in kids undergoing chemotherapy. One recent study suggested that the fermented wheat germ was able to reduce oxidative stress in patients with head and neck cancers, and improve these patients’ quality of life.
We also recommend this fermented version of wheat germ for patients with an auto-immune condition called rheumatoid arthritis. One preliminary study in the 2006 journal Clinical Experiments in Rheumatology of 15 patients even showed that in these severe cases, after 6 and 12 months, morning stiffness was reduced when patients used the fermented wheat germ, and half the patients were able to significantly reduce their use of steroids. Steroids are drugs that suppress the immune system, and can cause many side effects, including digestive problems, skin thinning, increased cancer risk, and weight gain.
This wonderful fermented version of wheat germ showed no side effects in the patients who used it.