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J Nutr. 2012 Jun;142(6):1019-25. doi: 10.3945/jn.111.148726. Epub 2012 Apr 25.

The Mediterranean diet pattern and its main components are associated with lower plasma concentrations of tumor necrosis factor receptor 60 in patients at high risk for cardiovascular disease.

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Department of Internal Medicine, University of Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain.


Adherence to a Mediterranean diet (MD) is associated with a reduced risk of coronary heart disease. However, the molecular mechanisms involved are not fully understood. The aim of this study was to compare the effects of 2 MD with those of a low-fat-diet (LFD) on circulating inflammatory biomarkers related to atherogenesis. A total of 516 participants included in the Prevention with Mediterranean Diet Study were randomized into 3 intervention groups [MD supplemented with virgin olive oil (MD-VOO); MD supplemented with mixed nuts (MD-Nuts); and LFD]. At baseline and after 1 y, participants completed FFQ and adherence to MD questionnaires, and plasma concentrations of inflammatory markers including intercellular adhesion molecule-1(ICAM-1), IL-6, and 2 TNF receptors (TNFR60 and TNFR80) were measured by ELISA. At 1 y, the MD groups had lower plasma concentrations of IL-6, TNFR60, and TNFR80 (P < 0.05), whereas ICAM-1, TNFR60, and TNFR80 concentrations increased in the LFD group (P < 0.002). Due to between-group differences, participants in the 2 MD groups had lower plasma concentrations of ICAM-1, IL-6, TNFR60, and TNFR80 compared to those in the LFD group (P ≤ 0.028). When participants were categorized in tertiles of 1-y changes in the consumption of selected foods, those in the highest tertile of virgin olive oil (VOO) and vegetable consumption had a lower plasma TNFR60 concentration compared with those in tertile 1 (P < 0.02). Moreover, the only changes in consumption that were associated with 1-y changes in the geometric mean TNFR60 concentrations were those of VOO and vegetables (P = 0.01). This study suggests that a MD reduces TNFR concentrations in patients at high cardiovascular risk.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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