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Int J Food Sci Nutr. 2012 Sep;63(6):749-65. doi: 10.3109/09637486.2011.649250. Epub 2012 Jan 17.

Bioactive compounds with effects on inflammation markers in humans.

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Division of Clinical Nutrition, Department of Internal Medicine, Faculty of Medicine of Ribeirão Preto, University of São Paulo, Calle Irunlarrea 1, São Paulo, Brazil.


Obesity and other chronic diseases are accompanied by adipose tissue, liver, pancreas, muscle and brain low-grade chronic inflammation. Indeed, the obese condition and metabolic syndrome are characterized by an increased expression of inflammatory cytokines and infiltration of immune cells in adipocytes. The inflammatory response promotes the activation of transcriptional factors and pro-inflammatory cytokines, which can lead to an unresolved inflammatory response associated with an inhibition of insulin signalling and high risk for cardiovascular events. Epidemiological and intervention studies have been carried out to find out dietary patterns, foods and bioactive compounds with protective anti-inflammatory actions. The most studied compounds are polyphenols, especially isoflavone and anthocyanin, but quercertin, catechin and resveratrol have also been investigated. Furthermore, some studies have reported the effects of milk peptides, plant sterol and stanol, l-carnitine and α-lipoic acid on inflammatory processes. This review aimed to collect and discuss those relevant studies reported in the scientific literature following a systematic scientific search about the effect of such bioactive compounds on inflammation in humans.

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