Public Release: 

Controlling inflammation to reduce chronic disease risk

ILSI Europe

Brussels, [7 August 2015] - An unresolved inflammatory response is likely to be involved from the early stages of disease development. Controlling inflammation is crucial to human health and a key future preventative and therapeutic target. In a recent ILSI Europe's article published in the British Journal of Nutrition, a coalition of experts explain how nutrition influences inflammatory processes and help reduce chronic diseases risk.

Inflammation is a normal component of host defence, but elevated unresolved chronic inflammation is a core perturbation in a range of chronic diseases. Prevention or control of low-grade inflammation therefore seems to be an attractive target effect for healthy food or food ingredients. In a recent article commissioned by the ILSI Europe Obesity and Diabetes Task Force, experts present new approaches to capture inflammatory status in humans and to help quantify how much diet can positively modulate inflammation.

"Inflammation acts as both a friend and foe, being essential in metabolic regulation, with unresolved low-grade chronic inflammation being a pathological feature of a wide range of chronic conditions including the metabolic syndrome and cardiovascular diseases", commented Prof. Anne Marie Minihane, University of East Anglia (UK).

The nutrition status of the individual with for example a deficiency or excess of certain micronutrients (e.g. folate, vitamin B12, vitamin B6, vitamin 1, vitamin E, zinc) may lead to an ineffective or excessive inflammatory response. Studies have showed that high consumption of fat and glucose may induce post-prandial inflammation (manifesting itself after the consumption of a meal), which may have consequences for the development of diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. The Western-style diet, rich in fat and simple sugars but often poor in specific micronutrients, is linked to the increased prevalence of diseases with strong immunogical and autoimmune components, including allergies, food allergies, atopic dermatitis and obesity.


Anne M. Minihane, et al. Low-grade inflammation, diet composition and health: current research evidence and its translation. British Journal of Nutrition 2015; published online. To read the publication, click here:

This paper is the most recent in a series produced by ILSI Europe (P.C. Calder et al. 2009; P.C. Calder, et al. 2011; P.C. Calder, et al. 2013). It is co-authored by the speakers of the ILSI Europe workshop 'Low-grade Inflammation, a High-grade Challenge: Biomarkers and Modulation by Dietary Strategies'.

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