Study Title
Consumption of Vegetables Is Associated with Systemic Inflammation in Older Adults

Konstantinos-Georgios Papaioannou, Fawzi Kadi and Andreas Nilsson


It is hypothesized that healthy diets rich in fruits and vegetables (FV) can modulate the inflammatory status in older adults. However, to determine the actual impact of FV on inflammatory status, adiposity level and objectively assessed physical activity (PA) behaviors need to be considered. The aim of the present study was to explore associations between FV intake and biomarkers of systemic inflammation in older adults. Based on a sample of 233 older adults (65–70 years old), the following inflammatory biomarkers were assessed: C-reactive protein (CRP), fibrinogen, interleukin-6 (IL-6), IL-10, IL-18, and monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1). FV intake was assessed by self-report, and PA behaviors encompassing time spent sedentary and in moderate-to-vigorous PA (MVPA) were determined using accelerometers. Associations between FV intake and inflammatory biomarkers were analyzed using stepwise linear regression models while adjusting for several covariates, including health-related food groups, adherence to the MVPA guidelines, total sedentary time, and waist circumference. While no significant associations were observed for the total FV intake, the vegetable intake was inversely associated with levels of IL6 (β = −0.15; p less than 0.05). In contrast, fruit intake was not associated with any inflammatory biomarker. In conclusion, our findings indicate beneficial associations between vegetable intake and levels of a pro-inflammatory biomarker in older adults, which strengthens public health efforts to promote vegetable-rich diets in older adults to mitigate age-related systemic inflammation.

April 23, 2022
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