Men who eat whole-grain cereal for their breakfast every morning can reduce their risk of heart failure, a study claims.
New research suggests that eating the cereal cuts the incidence of the condition, which occurs when the heart muscle becomes weakened because it has not received enough blood.
The analysis involved 21,376 men with an average age of 53.7. They estimated their cereal consumption in a questionnaire and rates of heart failure were then assessed over a period of more than 19 years.
During the follow-up period, 1,018 men experienced heart failure. Of those 362, or 5.17%, of 6,995 participants ate no whole-grain cereal.
However, only 230 (4.4%) of the 5,227 who ate two to six servings of whole-grain cereal a week suffered heart failure.
Whole-grain cereal was defined as one that contained at least 25% oats or bran.
The report's authors, Dr Luck Djousse and Dr Michael Gaziano, from the Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston, said: "Our data demonstrate that a higher intake of whole-grain breakfast cereals is associated with a lower risk of heart failure.
"If confirmed in other studies, a higher intake of whole grains along with other preventive measures could help lower the risk of heart failure."
Their findings are published in the journal Archives of Internal Medicine.