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Am J Clin Nutr. 2011 Jan;93(1):37-46. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.2010.29913. Epub 2010 Nov 10.

Greater variety in fruit and vegetable intake is associated with lower inflammation in Puerto Rican adults.

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Gerald J and Dorothy R Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, Tufts University, Boston, MA, USA.



Puerto Rican adults have prevalent metabolic abnormalities, but few studies have explored fruit and vegetable (FV) intake and coronary heart disease (CHD) risk in this population.


We tested the hypothesis that greater FV intake and variety are associated with a lower 10-y risk of CHD and C-reactive protein (CRP) concentrations.


In a cross-sectional study of ≈1200 Puerto Rican adults aged 45-75 y, we assessed FV intake with a food-frequency questionnaire. The 10-y risk of CHD was assessed with the Framingham risk score (FRS) in participants free of cardiovascular disease. CRP was measured in fasting serum.


Variety, but not quantity, of FV intake was inversely associated with FRS after adjustment for the following: sex; waist circumference; perceived stress; alcohol use; intakes of energy, trans fatty acids, and saturated fatty acids; and use of supplements, cardiovascular medications, and diabetes medications (P = 0.02). However, the association was attenuated after adjustment for income (P = 0.11). Variety, but not quantity, was associated with a lower serum CRP concentration after adjustment for age, sex, smoking status, alcohol use, servings of FV, white blood cell count, diastolic blood pressure, diabetes, nonsteroidal antiinflammatory medication use, intakes of energy and vitamin B-6, waist circumference, perceived stress, and income. The adjusted odds of a high CRP concentration for those in the highest compared with the lowest tertile of FV variety was 0.68 (95% CI: 0.49, 0.94).


FV variety, but not quantity, appears to be important in reducing inflammation. Although the results are suggestive, larger studies are needed to confirm a possible association with CHD risk score.

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