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Am J Clin Nutr. 2008 Feb;87(2):424-30.

Dietary choline and betaine intakes in relation to concentrations of inflammatory markers in healthy adults: the ATTICA study.

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  • 1Department of Nutrition Science-Dietetics, Harokopio University, Athens, Greece.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Choline and betaine are found in a variety of plant and animal foods and were recently shown to be associated with decreased homocysteine concentrations.

OBJECTIVE:

The scope of this work was to investigate the associations between dietary choline and betaine consumption and various markers of low-grade systemic inflammation.

DESIGN:

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.

RESULTS:

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.

CONCLUSIONS:

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.

Comment in

PMID:
18258634
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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