If the study can be repeated in further studies and intervention trials, it may offers promise for reducing the risk of chronic inflammation, brought about by an over-expression or lack of control of the normal protective mechanism. Chronic inflammation has been linked to range of conditions linked to heart disease, osteoporosis, cognitive decline and Alzheimer's, type-2 diabetes, and arthritis.
The flavonoids family
A vast body of epidemiological studies has linked increased dietary intake of antioxidants from fruits, vegetables wine, chocolate, coffee, tea, and other foods to reduced risks of a range of diseases including cancer, cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
Flavonoids can be split into a number of sub-classes, including anthocyanins found in berries, flavonols from a variety of fruit and vegetables, flavones from parsley and thyme, for example, flavanones from citrus, isoflavones from soy, mono- and poly-meric flavonols like the catechins in tea, and proanthocyanidins from berries, wine and chocolate.
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Led by Rikard Landberg from the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences in Uppsala, the researchers used data from participants of the Nurses‚Äô Health Study cohort.
Using a food frequency questionnaire, the researchers evaluated intake for the six flavonoid subclasses of flavones, flavonols, flavanones, flavan-3-ols, anthocyanidins, and polymeric flavonoids. Blood samples were taken to correlate with levels of markers of inflammation, including IL-6, IL-18, C-reactive protein (CRP), and soluble vascular adhesion molecule-1 (sVCAM-1), amongst others.
Results showed that the highest intakes of flavones and flavanones were associated with 9 and 11 percent lower levels of IL-18, compared with women with the lowest average intakes.
In addition women with the highest average intakes of flavonol has 4 percent lower levels of sVCAM-1, compared with women with the lowest average intakes.
When the researchers looked at foods, they noted that grapefruit consumption was associated with lower levels of CRP.
Source: Journal of Nutrition
Published online ahead of print, , doi: 10.3945/‚Äãjn.110.133843
‚ÄúSelected Dietary Flavonoids Are Associated with Markers of Inflammation and Endothelial Dysfunction in U.S. Women‚Äù
Authors: R. Landberg, Q. Sun, E.B. Rimm, A. Cassidy, A. Scalbert, C.S. Mantzoros, F.B. Hu, R.M. van Dam
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