Nutrient patterns and chronic inflammation in a cohort of community dwelling middle-aged men

Yingting Cao, Gary Wittert, Anne W. Taylor, Robert Adams, Sarah Appleton, Zumin Shi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


Background & aims There is limited data relating to the effect of the combination of nutrients on inflammation and the interactions with lifestyle factors and chronic conditions. We examined the association between nutrient patterns and inflammatory markers C-reactive protein (CRP) and interleukin 6 (IL-6) in community dwelling middle-aged and elderly Australian men. Methods Participants (mean age 59.7 y) with complete data relating to diet and fasting serum inflammatory markers in the Men Androgen Inflammation Lifestyle Environment and Stress cohort were analysed (n = 1577 for CRP, n = 1557 for IL-6). Food intake was assessed using a food frequency questionnaire, and nutrient patterns were identified by factor analysis. Biomedical examinations were conducted in The Queen Elizabeth Hospital and Lyell McEwin Health Service. CRP and IL-6 were log transformed due to the skewed distribution. Linear regression models were used to assess the association between nutrient patterns and inflammation. Results We generated three nutrient patterns by factor analysis. An animal-sourced pattern (animal protein, cobalamin, cholesterol and omega-6) was positively associated with CRP (p for trend across quartiles 0.057). A plant-sourced pattern (beta-carotene, vitamin A, lutein and zeaxanthin) was inversely associated with CRP (p for trend across quartiles 0.005). The association between plant-sourced pattern and CRP was stronger in participants with severe sleep apnoea, smoking (p for interaction 0.019), and participants without diabetes (p for interaction 0.238) and/or with normal triglycerides (p for interaction 0.005) and high density lipoprotein (p for interaction 0.120) compared with their counterparts. No interactions were found between the animal-sourced pattern and lifestyle factors and chronic conditions. No independent associations were found between the animal/plant-sourced pattern and IL-6. No associations were found between the vitamin B and folate pattern (total folate, thiamine, riboflavin and niacin) and inflammatory markers. Conclusions While an animal-sourced pattern may enhance inflammation level, a plant-sourced pattern may reduce inflammation particularly in people with less healthy lifestyles and severe obstructive apnoea.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1040-1047
Number of pages8
JournalClinical Nutrition
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished or Issued - Aug 2017


  • Apnoea-hypopnoea index
  • C-reactive protein
  • Inflammation
  • Lifestyle
  • Nutrient patterns

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine

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