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Mediators of Inflammation
Volume 2017 (2017), Article ID 3674390, 12 pages
Clinical Study

Anti-Inflammatory Effects of the Mediterranean Diet in the Early and Late Stages of Atheroma Plaque Development

1Department of Internal Medicine, Hospital Clinic, Institut d’Investigació Biomèdica August Pi i Sunyer (IDIBAPS), University of Barcelona, Villarroel 170, 08036 Barcelona, Spain
2Ciber Fisiopatología de la Obesidad y la Nutrición (CIBEROBN), Instituto de Salud Carlos III, Madrid, Spain
3Department of Nutrition and Food Science, School of Pharmacy, University of Barcelona, Av. Joan XXIII s/n, 08028 Barcelona, Spain
4Department of Epidemiology and Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, School of Medicine, Valencia University, Valencia, Spain
5Cardiovascular Risk and Nutrition and REGICOR Research Group, Hospital del Mar Medical Research Institute (IMIM), Barcelona, Spain
6Human Nutrition Unit, Hospital Universitari de Sant Joan de Reus, IISPV, Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Reus, Spain
7Department of Family Medicine, Research Unit, Distrito Sanitario Atención Primaria Sevilla, Sevilla, Spain
8Nutrition and Obesity Group, Department of Nutrition and Food Sciences, Lucio Lascaray Research Center, University of Basque Country (UPV/EHU), Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain

Correspondence should be addressed to Emilio Sacanella

Received 20 January 2017; Accepted 14 March 2017; Published 18 April 2017

Academic Editor: Mauro M. Teixeira

Copyright © 2017 Rosa Casas 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.


Objective. To evaluate the long-term effects of a Mediterranean diet (MeDiet) intervention on the plasma concentrations of inflammatory and plaque stability-related molecules in elderly people at high risk for cardiovascular disease. Design and Setting. 66 participants from primary care centers affiliated with the Hospital Clinic of Barcelona were randomized into 3 groups: MeDiet plus extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) or nuts and a low-fat diet (LFD). At baseline and at 3 and 5 years, we evaluated the changes in the plasma concentrations of 24 inflammatory biomarkers related to the different stages of the atherosclerotic process by Luminex®. Results. At 3 and 5 years, both MeDiet groups showed a significant reduction of IL-6, IL-8, MCP-1, and MIP-1β (; all) compared to LFD. IL-1β, IL-5, IL-7, IL-12p70, IL-18, TNF-α, IFN-γ, GCSF, GMCSF, and ENA78 (; all) only decreased in the MeDiet+EVOO group and E-selectin and sVCAM-1 (; both) in the MeDiet+nuts group. Conclusions. Long-term adherence to MeDiet decreases the plasma concentrations of inflammatory biomarkers related to different steps of atheroma plaque development in elderly persons at high cardiovascular risk.