A posteriori dietary patterns and their association with systemic low-grade inflammation in adults: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Nutr Rev. 2021 Feb 11;79(3):331-350. doi: 10.1093/nutrit/nuaa010.


Context: A posteriori dietary patterns are promising ways of uncovering potential public health strategies for the prevention of systemic, low-grade, inflammation-related, chronic noncommunicable diseases.

Objective: To investigate and summarize the current evidence on the association between a posteriori dietary patterns and systemic, low-grade inflammation in adults.

Data sources: MEDLINE, EMBASE, Web of Science, and LILACS were searched.

Data extraction: Data screening, extraction, and quality assessment were performed independently by 2 investigators. Meta-analysis with random effects was conducted. Differences and similarities between reduced rank regression-derived dietary patterns were assessed.

Results: Healthy dietary patterns are inversely and the Western dietary pattern is positively associated with inflammation (r = -0.13, 95% confidence interval -0.20 to -0.06; and r = 0.11, 95% confidence interval, 0.09-0.12, respectively). Reduced rank regression-derived anti-inflammatory dietary patterns are consistently characterized by high intake of fresh fruits and inflammatory dietary patterns are consistently characterized by high intake of red and processed meat and low intake of vegetables.

Conclusion: Favoring the substitution of a Westernized diet for a healthy diet may lower inflammation, which might improve the prevention of some chronic noncommunicable diseases.

Keywords: C-reactive protein; a posteriori dietary pattern; adiponectin; interleukin-6; leptin.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Diet*
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / epidemiology*