Inflammation Control Using Nutrigenomics

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An intervention with selected dietary products affected inflammatory processes, oxidative stress, and metabolism in humans, as shown by large-scale profiling of genes, proteins, and metabolites in plasma, urine, and adipose tissue. The use of food stuffs as the principle medical intervention is far more relevant to outcome than simply delivering micro-nutrients and controlling calories.[1]

Foods contain biological information that is recognised and translated by our genome. The use of beneficial foods represents a compelling route to outcome for the benefit of the patient. By the same token the use of foods that promote the opposite effect indicate that the slow progressive morbidisation of the western world and all that choose to eat in the same manner is an almost unstoppable force.

In this study, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition various dietary products [resveratrol, green tea extract, α-tocopherol, vitamin C, n–3 (omega-3) polyunsaturated fatty acids, and tomato extract] were selected for their evidence-based anti inflammatory properties. They were then combined and delivered as supplements to 36 healthy overweight men with mildly elevated plasma C-reactive protein concentrations in a double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover study with treatment periods of 5 wk.

Inflammatory and oxidative stress defense markers were quantified in plasma and urine. Furthermore, 120 plasma proteins, 274 plasma metabolites (lipids, free fatty acids, and polar compounds), and the transcriptomes of peripheral blood mononuclear cells and adipose tissue were quantified.


This study showed that supplementation with food components with evidence-based anti inflammatory properties modulated inflammation and oxidation and altered the metabolism status of healthy overweight subjects. These effects were detected by a nutrigenomics approach consisting of large-scale analysis of gene expression, proteins, and metabolites followed by integrated biological interpretation of these data generated on multiple “omics” platforms.

The main focus of the study was on inflammation, with adiponectin and C.Reactive Protein (CRP) as established readouts. The plasma concentration of the anti inflammatory marker adiponectin increased in response to the antinflammatory diet . In contrast with unchanged concentrations of CRP, we detected numerous subtle changes in other markers related to inflammation, which together provided evidence of inflammatory modulation.

As described in the CVD lecture notes, found here, by Michael Ash, adiponectin is a powerful marker for CVD risk and increasing adiponectin through body mass composition and dietary modification demonstrates how gene expression can be changed quickly and beneficially using food supplements and diet.

Adipocytes secrete both pro- and antiinflammatory adipokines, including proinflammatory tumor necrosis factor-{alpha} (TNF-{alpha}), interleukin-6 (IL-6), and the antiinflammatory adiponectin . Reduced adiponectin  and increased C-reactive protein (CRP) concentrations are associated with CVD and type 2 diabetes. The established inflammatory marker CRP originates from the liver.


The role of supplements in managing health and preventing disease invariably encourages comments from parties wishing to denigrate their use or to diminish their role. Increasingly studies are showing that food supplements when correctly applied support a faster impact on beneficial outcome than diet alone and represent a valid mechanism for health care promotion and management.


[1] Bakker GC, van Erk MJ, Pellis L, Wopereis S, Rubingh CM, Cnubben NH, Kooistra T, van Ommen B, Hendriks HF. An antiinflammatory dietary mix modulates inflammation and oxidative and metabolic stress in overweight men: a nutrigenomics approach. Am J Clin Nutr. 2010 Apr;91(4):1044-59. Epub 2010 Feb 24. View Full Paper

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