Rye bread is widely consumed in the Nordic countries. It is rich in dietary fibre, the main component of which is arabinoxylan. Consumption of rye might offer several health benefits, in analogy to the widely studied oat products. In a study of 20 healthy volunteers rye bread produced lower postprandial insulin response than wheat bread, but there was no difference in glucose response. It was also shown that different types of rye breads may differ in their ability to regulate plasma glucose and insulin metabolism. In a randomized crossover trial 18 men and 22 women with moderately elevated serum cholesterol consumed 20 per cent of the daily energy as wholemeal rye bread or wheat bread for 4 weeks, and after a 4-week wash- out period, the groups were reversed. Rye bread significantly decreased total cholesterol in men but not in women. Analysis of changes in serum lipids in tertiles of rye bread consumption confirmed the reduction in total cholesterol and revealed the reduction in LDL cholesterol. In the group consuming 196?237 g rye bread daily, the reduction of total cholesterol was 14 per cent and LDL cholesterol 12 per cent. Wholemeal rye bread significantly increased the fecal output and shortened the intestinal transit time both in men and in women compared to wheat bread. In conclusion, rye bread offers one alternative for increasing the daily consumption of wholemeal cereals, and contributes positively on several physiological functions.