Diet and Inflammation: A Scientific Update

This review discusses the role of dietary patterns and macronutrients on the variation of inflammatory markers related to NCD risk. Recent evidence from clinical trials, case-controls, cohorts, and cross-sectional studies confirm that moderate carbohydrate, low-glycemic, monounsaturate and omega-3 rich, and low-saturated fat diets display positive effects on the inflammatory state, both in healthy individuals and in those with cardiovascular risk. Read the full review here.

Lowering inflammation reduces cardio risk

Researchers from Harvard University found that reducing systemic inflammation significantly reduced the risk of a second heart attack, independent of changes in cholesterol. Cholesterol lowering drugs also reduce inflammation, raising questions about whether their cardio protective benefits were due to lower cholesterol or lower inflammation. This study helps to separate the two issues and confirms inflammation as an independent risk factor for heart disease.

Read more about this research.

Canola oil and tocotrienols both significantly reduce inflammation

Daily supplementation with pure canola oil or canola oil enriched with 200 mg mixed tocotrienols significantly decreased inflammation markers (CRP) by 40 to 44% in individuals with Type 2 diabetes, with the larger decrease in the enriched group. Although the pure canola oil was intended to serve as a placebo, canola oil contains a substantial amount of vitamin E and omega-3 fats, making this more of a two-arm intervention than a placebo-controlled trial. However, both interventions were quite effective. View abstract.

Ginger reduces inflammation and improves glycemic control in Type 2 diabetics

Patients with Type 2 diabetes were given 1600 mg of powdered ginger or a placebo supplement daily for 12 weeks. At the end of the trial, those taking ginger had significant reductions in C-reactive protein and PGE2 (two markers of inflammation). There were also positive changes in other markers, including fasting blood glucose, insulin, and triglycerides.  The dosage used in the trial is equivalent to about 3/4 teaspoon of ground ginger.  Read the abstract.

Avocado protects against inflammatory effect of burger–as predicted by IF Rating

Markers of inflammation increased after subjects consumed a hamburger but not when subjects  consumed avocado along with the hamburger–despite the additional fat and calories that the avocado added to a meal.  View the study abstract. 

COMMENT: This finding supports the validity of the IF Rating system as a tool for estimating inflammatory effects of mixed meals. The IF Rating of the burger is approximately -20. The IF Rating of the burger plus the avocado is approximately +97.