13 Mar Components of Mediterranean Diet Linked to Reduced Inflammatory Markers
MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Dr. Riddhi Shah, PhD
AHA SFRN Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Division of Cardiology
Columbia University Medical Center
New York, New York
MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?
Response: The Mediterranean Diet, characterized by higher intakes of plant foods including plant proteins, monounsaturated fat, fish, and lower consumption of animal products and saturated fat, has long been associated with reduced cardiovascular risk and greater longevity, but the molecular mechanisms underlying these associations have not been fully elucidated.
We evaluated associations of an Alternate Mediterranean Diet Score, reflective of adherence to this diet pattern and adapted for US populations, and its components with markers of endothelial inflammation directly measured in endothelial cells harvested from women, including oxidative stress, nuclear factor kappa B (NFκB), and endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) gene expression.
MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings?
Response: We found significant associations between certain Mediterranean Diet components and cardiovascular risk markers assessed in endothelial cells of women. In particular, intakes of legumes, red and processed meat, plant-based protein and overall protein, were significantly associated with reduced inflammation and oxidative stress, and greater eNOS expression among women. No associations were observed between the overall Alternate Mediterranean Diet Score and any of the study outcomes.
Dietary selenium, an antioxidant, was significantly higher among women with higher red and processed meat intake in this study, suggesting higher intakes of micronutrients and foods groups known to be associated with lower cardiovascular risk may explain, at least in part, the observed relation between red meat and oxidative stress. Previous reports have shown that higher selenium intake is associated with lower CVD risk.
MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?
Response: Our findings suggest several novel potential molecular mechanisms through which dietary factors may benefit cardiovascular health in women. These findings may help to identify targets for dietary interventions aimed at CVD risk reduction.
MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this work?
Response: This study represents preliminary results among a small sample of 25 healthy women. These results warrant confirmation prospectively, in a larger sample and among men.
Any disclosures? This study was funded by the American Heart Association.
Riddhi Shah, Nour Makarem, Memet Emin, Ming Liao, Sanja Jelic, Brooke Aggarwal. Mediterranean diet components are linked to greater endothelial function and lower inflammation in a pilot study of ethnically diverse women. Nutrition Research, 2020 Jan 13;75:77-84. doi: 10.1016/j.nutres.2020.01.004. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0271531719306700?via%3Dihub
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