Dietary choline and betaine intakes in relation to concentrations of inflammatory markers in healthy adults: the ATTICA study1-3

Department of Nutrition Science-Dietetics, Harokopio University, Athens, Greece.
American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (Impact Factor: 6.92). 02/2008; 87(2):424-30.
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Choline and betaine are found in a variety of plant and animal foods and were recently shown to be associated with decreased homocysteine concentrations.
The scope of this work was to investigate the associations between dietary choline and betaine consumption and various markers of low-grade systemic inflammation.
Under the context of a cross-sectional survey that enrolled 1514 men (18-87 y of age) and 1528 women (18-89 y of age) with no history of cardiovascular disease (the ATTICA Study), fasting blood samples were collected and inflammatory markers were measured. Dietary habits were evaluated with a validated food-frequency questionnaire, and the intakes of choline and betaine were calculated from food-composition tables.
Compared with the lowest tertile of choline intake (<250 mg/d), participants who consumed >310 mg/d had, on average, 22% lower concentrations of C-reactive protein (P < 0.05), 26% lower concentrations of interleukin-6 (P < 0.05), and 6% lower concentrations of tumor necrosis factor-alpha (P < 0.01). Similarly, participants who consumed >360 mg/d of betaine had, on average, 10% lower concentrations of homocysteine (P < 0.01), 19% lower concentrations of C-reactive protein (P < 0.1), and 12% lower concentrations of tumor necrosis factor-alpha (P < 0.05) than did those who consumed <260 mg/d. These findings were independent of various sociodemographic, lifestyle, and clinical characteristics of the participants.
Our results support an association between choline and betaine intakes and the inflammation process in free-eating and apparently healthy adults. However, further studies are needed to confirm or refute our findings.

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