The process of milling corn products makes key vitamins and nutrients more easily utilized than from many other foods. According to a 2008 study by the Department of Food Science at Purdue University, milled corn products are a good source of carotenoids, known for their disease prevention qualities. Furthermore, the study showed that the carotenoids are highly-bioaccessible, which refers to the amount of nutrients available to the body after digestion.
Carotenoids possess biological activities consistent with preventative effects including Provitamin A and antioxidant activity, modulation of cell signaling and modulation of inflammatory response. The consumption of fruits and vegetables, which are also important dietary sources of carotenoids, is associated with decreased risk of several chronic diseases, including cancer, cardiovascular disorders, and age-related macular degeneration.
The research, funded by the North American Millers’ Association in partnership with the National Corn Growers Association, was presented at the 2008 Annual Meeting of the Institute of Food Technologists and published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, which you can find here: http://www.namamillers.org/pdf/Bioactive_compounds_in_corn__mpact_of_dry_milling.pdf.