Table of Contents Author Guidelines Submit a Manuscript
Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 542698, 21 pages
Review Article

Diet, Inflammation, and Glycemic Control in Type 2 Diabetes: An Integrative Review of the Literature

College of Nursing, New York University, 726 Broadway, 10th Floor, New York, NY 10003, USA

Received 9 August 2012; Accepted 19 September 2012

Academic Editor: Maria Luz Fernandez

Copyright © 2012 Sarah Y. Nowlin et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Type 2 diabetes (T2D) is a growing national health problem affecting 35% of adults ≥20 years of age in the United States. Recently, diabetes has been categorized as an inflammatory disease, sharing many of the adverse outcomes as those reported from cardiovascular disease. Medical nutrition therapy is recommended for the treatment of diabetes; however, these recommendations have not been updated to target the inflammatory component, which can be affected by diet and lifestyle. To assess the current state of evidence for which dietary programs contain the most anti-inflammatory and glycemic control properties for patients with T2D, we conducted an integrative review of the literature. A comprehensive search of the PubMed, CINAHL, Scopus, and Web of Science databases from January 2000 to May 2012 yielded 786 articles. The final 16 studies met the selection criteria including randomized control trials, quasiexperimental, or cross-sectional studies that compared varying diets and measured inflammatory markers. The Mediterranean and DASH diets along with several low-fat diets were associated with lower inflammatory markers. The Mediterranean diet demonstrated the most clinically significant reduction in glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c). Information on best dietary guidelines for inflammation and glycemic control in individuals with T2D is lacking. Continued research is warranted.