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Association between dietary intake and inflammatory markers: results from the CoLaus study

  • Eva Piccand (a1), Peter Vollenweider (a1), Idris Guessous (a2) (a3) and Pedro Marques-Vidal (a1)

To assess the associations between single foods, nutrients, dietary patterns and dietary scores, and inflammatory markers (C-reactive protein (CRP), IL-6, TNF-α and leucocyte count).


Cross-sectional, population-based study.


City of Lausanne, Switzerland, years 2009–2012.


Adults (n 4027; 46·5 % men), mean age 57·2 (sd 10·2) years. Dietary intake was collected using a semi-quantitative FFQ. Single foods and nutrients, three dietary patterns (‘Meat & fries’; ‘Fruits & vegetables’; ‘Fatty & sugary’) and three dietary scores (two Mediterranean; Alternative Healthy Eating Index (AHEI)) were used. Associations were assessed using correlation and multivariable linear regression.


After adjusting for total energy intake, gender and other sociodemographic factors, no individual macro- or micronutrient was associated with inflammatory markers. Among single foods, only fruit intake was negatively associated with CRP levels (standardized regression score=−0·043, P<0·01). The ‘Fruits & vegetables’ pattern, the Mediterranean and the AHEI scores were negatively associated with CRP levels (standardized regression score=−0·079, −0·043 and −0·067, respectively, all P<0·01). When entered simultaneously with fruit intake, the ‘Fruits & vegetables’ pattern, the Mediterranean and the AHEI scores tended to remain significantly and negatively associated with CRP levels, while the association with fruit intake was no longer significant. No association between all dietary markers and IL-6, TNF-α or leucocyte count was found.


Dietary scores, but not individual foods, are associated with inflammatory markers in the general population.

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