Dairy products consumption is associated with decreased levels of inflammatory markers related to cardiovascular disease in apparently healthy adults: the ATTICA study

J Am Coll Nutr. 2010 Aug;29(4):357-64. doi: 10.1080/07315724.2010.10719852.


Objective: The aim of this work was to investigate the association between consumption of dairy products and levels of various inflammatory markers among adults with no evidence of cardiovascular or other chronic disease.

Methods: The ATTICA study is a cross-sectional survey that enrolled 1514 men (18-87 years old) and 1528 women (18-89 years old) from the Attica region in Greece. Fasting blood samples were collected and dietary habits (including consumption of dairy products [i.e., milk, cheese, and yogurt]) were evaluated using a validated food frequency questionnaire.

Results: We observed that C-reactive protein (CRP), interleukin-6 (IL-6), and tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α) levels of individuals consuming between 11 and 14 servings of dairy products per week were almost 16%, 5%, and 12% lower, respectively, than in those consuming fewer than 8 servings (p < 0.05), while those consuming more than 14 servings per week had 29%, 9%, and 20% lower levels of CRP, IL-6, and TNF-α, respectively (p < 0.01), even after adjustments were made for age, gender, smoking, physical activity, body mass, dietary habits, and other potential confounders.

Conclusion: We identified an inverse association between dairy products consumption and levels of various inflammatory markers among healthy adults. Additional clinical trials are needed to refute or confirm our findings.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • C-Reactive Protein / metabolism*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / blood
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / etiology*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Dairy Products*
  • Diet Surveys
  • Diet*
  • Female
  • Greece
  • Humans
  • Inflammation Mediators / blood*
  • Interleukin-6 / blood*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Reference Values
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / blood*
  • Young Adult


  • Biomarkers
  • Inflammation Mediators
  • Interleukin-6
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha
  • C-Reactive Protein