Plasma polyphenols associated with lower high-sensitivity C-reactive protein concentrations: a cross-sectional study within the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) cohort

Laura M Harms, Augustin Scalbert, Raul Zamora-Ros, Sabina Rinaldi, Mazda Jenab, Neil Murphy, David Achaintre, Anne Tjønneland, Anja Olsen, Kim Overvad, Francesca Romana Mancini, Yahya Mahamat-Saleh, Marie-Christine Boutron-Ruault, Tilman Kühn, Verena Katzke, Antonia Trichopoulou, Georgia Martimianaki, Anna Karakatsani, Domenico Palli, Salvatore Panico, Sabina Sieri, Rosario Tumino, Carlotta Sacerdote, Bas Bueno-de-Mesquita, Roel C H Vermeulen, Elisabete Weiderpass, Therese Haugdahl Nøst, Cristina Lasheras, Miguel Rodríguez-Barranco, José María Huerta, Aurelio Barricarte, Miren Dorronsoro, Johan Hultdin, Julie A Schmidt, Marc Gunter, Elio Riboli, Krasimira Aleksandrova
British Journal of Nutrition 2019 October 4, : 1-35
Experimental studies have reported on the anti-inflammatory properties of polyphenols. However, results from epidemiological investigations have been inconsistent, and especially studies using biomarkers for assessment of polyphenol intake have been scant. We aimed to characterize the association between plasma concentrations of 35 polyphenol compounds and low-grade systemic inflammation state as measured by high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hsCRP). A cross-sectional data analysis was performed based on 315 participants in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition cohort with available measurements of plasma polyphenols and hsCRP. In logistic regression analysis the odds and 95% confidence intervals (CI-s) of elevated serum hsCRP (>3 mg/L) were calculated within quartiles and per standard deviation (SD) higher level of plasma polyphenol concentrations. In multivariable-adjusted model, the sum of plasma concentrations of all polyphenols measured (per SD) was associated with 29% lower odds of elevated hsCRP (95% CI: 50%-1%). In the class of flavonoids, daidzein was inversely associated with elevated hsCRP (OR= 0.66, 95%CI 0.46-0.96). Among phenolic acids, statistically significant associations were observed for 3,5-dihydroxyphenylpropionic acid (OR=0.58, 95%CI 0.39-0.86), 3,4-dihydroxyphenylpropionic acid (OR= 0.63, 95% CI 0.46-0.87), ferulic acid (OR= 0.65, 95%CI 0.44-0.96), and caffeic acid (OR= 0.69, 95%CI 0.51-0.93). The odds of elevated hsCRP were significantly reduced for hydroxytyrosol (OR= 0.67, 95%CI 0.48-0.93). This study showed that polyphenol biomarkers are associated with lower odds of elevated hsCRP. Whether diet rich in bioactive polyphenol compounds could be an effective strategy to prevent or modulate deleterious health effects of inflammation should be addressed by further well-powered longitudinal studies.

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