Consumption of healthy dietary patterns has been associated with reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and metabolic syndrome. Dietary intervention targets disease prevention, so studies increasingly use biomarkers of underlying inflammation and metabolic syndrome progression to examine the diet-health relationship. The extent to which these biomarkers contribute to the body of evidence on healthy dietary patterns is unknown. The aim of this meta-analysis was to determine the effect of healthy dietary patterns on biomarkers associated with adiposity, insulin resistance, and inflammation in adults. A systematic search of Scopus, PubMed, Web of Science, and Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (all years to April 2015) was conducted. Inclusion criteria were randomized controlled trials; effects of dietary patterns assessed on C-reactive protein (CRP), total adiponectin, high-molecular-weight adiponectin, tumor necrosis factor-α, adiponectin:leptin, resistin, or retinol binding protein 4. Random effects meta-analyses were conducted to assess the weighted mean differences in change or final mean values for each outcome. Seventeen studies were included in the review. These reflected research on dietary patterns associated with the Mediterranean diet, Nordic diet, Tibetan diet, and the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension diet. Consumption of a healthy dietary pattern was associated with significant reductions in CRP (weighted mean difference, -0.75 [-1.16, -0.35]; P = .0003). Non-significant changes were found for all other biomarkers. This analysis found evidence for favorable effects of healthy dietary patterns on CRP, with limited evidence for other biomarkers. Future research should include additional randomized controlled trials incorporating a greater range of dietary patterns and biomarkers.
Keywords: Adiponectin; Biomarkers; C-reactive protein; Mediterranean diet; Meta-analysis.
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