Article

Virgin olive oil and nuts as key foods of the Mediterranean diet effects on inflammatory biomakers related to atherosclerosis.

Department of Internal Medicine, Hospital Clinic, Institut d'Investigació Biomèdica August Pi i Sunyer (IDIBAPS), University of Barcelona, C/Villarroel, 170, 08036 Barcelona, Spain.
Pharmacological Research (Impact Factor: 3.98). 03/2012; 65(6):577-83. DOI: 10.1016/j.phrs.2012.03.006
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Previous epidemiological and feeding studies have observed that adherence to Mediterranean diet (Med-Diet) is associated with reduced cardiovascular risk. However, the molecular mechanisms involved are not fully understood. Since atherosclerosis is nowadays considered a low-grade inflammatory disease, recent studies have explored the anti-inflammatory effects of a Med-Diet intervention on serum and cellular biomarkers related to atherosclerosis. In two sub-studies of the PREDIMED (PREvencion con DIeta MEDiterranea) trial, we analyzed the effects at 3 months of two Med-Diet interventions supplemented with either virgin olive oil (VOO) or nuts compared with a control low-fat diet (LFD). Both Med-Diets showed an anti-inflammatory effect reducing serum C-reactive protein, interleukin-6 (IL6) and endothelial and monocytary adhesion molecules and chemokines (P<0.05; all), whereas these parameters increased after the LFD intervention (P<0.05; all). In another substudy, we evaluated the long-term (1 year) effects of these interventions on vascular risk factors in 516 high-risk subjects, as well as the effect of different Med-Diet components in the reduction of these biomarkers. At 1 year, the Med-Diet groups had significant decreases in the plasma concentrations of IL6, tumor necrosis factor receptor (TNFR) 60 and TNFR80 (P<0.05), while intercellular adhesion molecule 1 (ICAM-1), TNFR60 and TNFR80 concentrations increased in the LFD group (P<0.002). In addition, those allocated in the highest tertile of VOO and vegetables consumption had a significant diminution of plasma TNFR60 concentration compared with those in tertile 1 (P<0.02). In conclusion, Med-Diet exerts an anti-inflammatory effect on cardiovascular system since it down-regulates cellular and circulating inflammatory biomarkers related to atherogenesis in subjects at high cardiovascular risk.

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Available from: Cristina Andres-Lacueva, Apr 02, 2015
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