The effects of a calorie-reduced diet on periodontal inflammation and disease in a non-human primate model

J Periodontol. 2008 Jul;79(7):1184-91. doi: 10.1902/jop.2008.070629.


Background: Low-calorie diets are commonplace for reducing body weight. However, no information is available on the effects of a reduced-calorie diet on periodontal inflammation and disease. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the clinical effects of a long-term calorie-restriction (CR) diet on periodontitis in an animal model of periodontitis.

Methods: Periodontitis was induced in 55 young, healthy, adult rhesus monkeys (Macaca mulatta) by tying 2.0 silk ligatures at the gingival margins of maxillary premolar/molar teeth. Animals on a CR diet (30% CR; N = 23) were compared to ad libitum diet controls (N = 32). Clinical measures, including the plaque index (PI), probing depth (PD), clinical attachment level (CAL), modified gingival index (GI), and bleeding on probing (BOP) were recorded at baseline and 1, 2, and 3 months after ligature placement.

Results: Significant effects of CR were observed on the development of inflammation and the progression of periodontal destruction in this model. Compared to controls, CR resulted in a significant reduction in ligature-induced GI (P <0.0001), BOP (P <0.0015), PD (P <0.0016), and CAL (P <0.0038). Periodontal destruction, as measured by CAL, progressed significantly more slowly in the CR animals than in the controls (P <0.001).

Conclusions: These clinical findings are consistent with available evidence that CR has anti-inflammatory effects. Moreover, these experimental findings are the first observations, to the best of our knowledge, that CR dampens the inflammatory response and reduces active periodontal breakdown associated with an acute microbial challenge.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Intramural

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bicuspid / pathology
  • Caloric Restriction*
  • Dental Plaque Index
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Disease Progression
  • Female
  • Gingival Hemorrhage / physiopathology
  • Gingivitis / physiopathology
  • Macaca mulatta
  • Male
  • Molar / pathology
  • Periodontal Attachment Loss / physiopathology
  • Periodontal Diseases / physiopathology*
  • Periodontal Index
  • Periodontal Pocket / physiopathology
  • Periodontitis / physiopathology*
  • Time Factors