An analysis of dietary and health records for aover 120,000 subjects from the Health Professionals Follow-up Study and Nurses’ Health Study found that those with pro-inflammatory diets had 32% higher risk of colorectal cancer than those with anti-inflammatory diets.
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.
In a meta-analysis of 17 randomized trials involving a total of 2300 subjects, a high adherence to a Mediterranean diet pattern (minimum intervention time of 12 weeks) led to a decrease in CRP levels (-.98 mg/L) and other pro-inflammatory cytokines. View the study.
In a one-year prospective study of 510 elderly subjects at high risk for cardiovascular disease, for those who increased their dietary vitamin K intake by 70 mcg/day or more, circulating IL-6 and TNF-alpha decreased by approximately 30%, compared to no change or increased levels in those who did not increase dietary vitamin K intake.View abstract.
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.
A pooled analysis of 10 trials, involving a total of 924 participants, showed that vitamin D supplementation significantly decreases CRP levels by an average of 1.08 mg/L. Among participants with baseline CRP level of greater than 5 mg/L, reduction averaged 2.21 mg/L. View abstract.
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.
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.
Researchers tested the acute effects of two meals on various markers of inflammation. One meal was rich in monounsaturated fatty acids from macademia nut oil while the other was rich in medium chain saturated fats from coconut oil. Although there were no significant differences between the effects of the two meals on CRP (which was unchanged) or IL-6 (which increased), the coconut oil-rich meal led to significant changes in the expression of pro-inflammatory genes. The researchers conclude that “Medium-chain SFA seems more proinflammatory than MUFA, judged by the gene expression in muscle and adipose tissue of [subjects].” View the entire paper here.
Researchers found that the serum levels of omega-3 PUFAs were inversely associated with serum CRP levels, confirming that higher intake of omega-3 fatty acids (especially the longer-chain fatty acids found in fish) reduces systemic inflammation. View the study.