Low-grade inflammation adversely influences metabolism and cardiovascular prognosis, nevertheless increased intake of fruits and vegetables has rarely been studied in this context.
Objective: In a prospective controlled study, the effect on C-reactive protein (CRP) levels was assessed.
Methodology: Sixty consecutive women undergoing cosmetic abdominal surgery were instructed to consume six servings each of fruits and vegetables during the first postoperative month. Detailed 24 h interviewer-administered dietary recall was conducted at baseline and at the end of the study, with weekly returns to monitor unscheduled dietary changes and compliance with the protocol. Variance (ANOVA) and covariance (ANCOVA) were evaluated to confirm significance and minimize confounding variables.
Results: No differences concerning age (42.2±5.3 vs 41.1±6.0 years) or BMI (25.5±3.1 vs 25.0±3.0 kg/m²) occurred. Ingestion of fruits increased to approximately 5.2 vs 3.9 and of vegetables 5.9 vs 3.4 servings/ day, respectively. CRP decreased more conspicuously in the treated group (P=0.028), and correlation between vitamin C input and CRP in supplemented participants was demonstrated (P=0.014).
Conclusions: Higher intake of antioxidant foods was feasible, and an antiinflammatory effect occurred. Further studies with longer administration and follow-up period are recommended.