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Am J Clin Nutr. 2016 Sep;104(3):722-8. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.116.134205. Epub 2016 Jul 27.

Associations between nut consumption and inflammatory biomarkers.

Author information

1
Division of Rheumatology, Allergy and Immunology, Section of Clinical Sciences, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, MA;
2
Departments of Nutrition and.
3
Departments of Nutrition and Epidemiology, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, MA; Channing Division of Network Medicine, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA; and.
4
Channing Division of Network Medicine, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA; and Department of Medical Oncology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, MA.
5
Channing Division of Network Medicine, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA; and ying.bao@channing.harvard.edu.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Increased nut consumption has been associated with reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes, as well as a healthy lipid profile. However, the associations between nut consumption and inflammatory biomarkers are unclear.

OBJECTIVE:

We investigated habitual nut consumption in relation to inflammatory biomarkers in 2 large cohorts of US men and women.

DESIGN:

We analyzed cross-sectional data from 5013 participants in the Nurses' Health Study (NHS) and Health Professionals Follow-Up Study (HPFS) who were free of diabetes. Nut intake, defined as intake of peanuts and other nuts, was estimated from food-frequency questionnaires, and cumulative averages from 1986 and 1990 in the NHS and from 1990 and 1994 in the HPFS were used. Plasma biomarkers were collected in 1989-1990 in the NHS and 1993-1995 in the HPFS. Multivariate linear regression was used to assess the associations of nut consumption with fasting plasma C-reactive protein (CRP, n = 4941), interleukin 6 (IL-6, n = 2859), and tumor necrosis factor receptor 2 (TNFR2, n = 2905).

RESULTS:

A greater intake of nuts was associated with lower amounts of a subset of inflammatory biomarkers, after adjusting for demographic, medical, dietary, and lifestyle variables. The relative concentrations (ratios) and 95% CIs comparing subjects with nut intake of ≥5 times/wk and those in the categories of never or almost never were as follows: CRP: 0.80 (0.69, 0.90), P-trend = 0.0003; and IL-6: 0.86 (0.77, 0.97), P-trend = 0.006. These associations remained significant after further adjustment for body mass index. No significant association was observed with TNFR2. Substituting 3 servings of nuts/wk for 3 servings of red meat, processed meat, eggs, or refined grains/wk was associated with significantly lower CRP (all P < 0.0001) and IL-6 (P ranges from 0.001 to 0.017).

CONCLUSION:

Frequent nut consumption was associated with a healthy profile of inflammatory biomarkers.

KEYWORDS:

inflammatory biomarkers; nuts; peanut butter; peanuts; substitution; tree nuts

PMID:
27465378
PMCID:
PMC4997300
DOI:
10.3945/ajcn.116.134205
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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