The aim was to assess inflammatory markers among adults and adolescents in relation to the adherence to the Mediterranean diet. A random sample (219 males and 379 females) of the Balearic Islands population (12-65 years) was anthropometrically measured and provided a blood sample to determine biomarkers of inflammation. Dietary habits were assessed and the adherence to the Mediterranean dietary pattern calculated. The prevalence of metabolic syndrome increased with age in both sexes. The adherence to the Mediterranean diet in adolescent males was 51.3% and 45.7% in adults, whereas in females 53.1% and 44.3%, respectively. In males, higher adherence to the Mediterranean diet was associated with higher levels of adiponectin and lower levels of leptin, tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α), plasminogen activator inhibitor 1 (PAI-1) and high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP) in adults, but not in young subjects. In females, higher adherence was associated with lower levels of leptin in the young group, PAI-1 in adults and hs-CRP in both groups. With increasing age in both sexes, metabolic syndrome increases, but the adherence to the Mediterranean diet decreases. Low adherence to the Mediterranean dietary pattern (MDP) is directly associated with a worse profile of plasmatic inflammation markers.
Keywords: Balearic Islands; Mediterranean diet; adiponectin; cytokine; dietary questionnaire; leptin.