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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: EPIDEMIOLOGY, NUTRITION AND PROBLEMS OF AGING Title: Greater variety in fruit and vegetable intake is associated with lower inflammation in Puerto Rican adults

Authors
item Bhupathiraju, Shilpa -
item Tucker, Katherine -

Submitted to: American Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: October 17, 2010
Publication Date: January 1, 2011
Citation: Bhupathiraju, S.N., Tucker, K.L. 2011. Greater variety in fruit and vegetable intake is associated with lower inflammation in Puerto Rican adults. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 93(1):37-46.

Interpretive Summary: Puerto Rican adults have a higher rate of metabolic abnormalities than other racial ethnic groups, but few studies have explored fruit and vegetable intake and coronary heart disease risk in this population. Researchers tested the hypothesis that greater fruit and vegetable intake and variety are associated with a lower 10-y risk of coronary heart disease and C-reactive protein (CRP) concentrations. In a cross-sectional study of around 1200 Puerto Rican adults aged 45-75 years, Tufts University researchers assessed fruit and vegetable intake with a food-frequency questionnaire. The 10-year risk of coronary heart disease was assessed with the Framingham risk score (FRS) in participants free of cardiovascular disease. Variety, but not quantity, of fruit and vegetable intake were associated with a lower Framingham risk score after adjusting for the following potential risk factors for coronary heart disease: sex; waist circumference; perceived stress; alcohol use; calorie intake, trans fatty acids, and saturated fatty acids; and use of supplements, cardiovascular medications, and diabetes medications. However, the association was lessened after adjustment for income. Variety, but not quantity, was associated with a lower serum C-reactive protein concentration after adjustment for age, sex, smoking status, alcohol use, servings of fruits and vegetables, white blood cell count, diastolic blood pressure, diabetes, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medication use, intakes of calories and vitamin B-6, waist circumference, perceived stress, and income. Fruit and vegetable variety, but not quantity, appears to be important in reducing inflammation. Although the results are suggestive, larger studies are needed to confirm a possible association with coronary heart disease risk score.

Technical Abstract: BACKGROUND: Puerto Rican adults have prevalent metabolic abnormalities, but few studies have explored fruit and vegetable (FV) intake and coronary heart disease (CHD) risk in this population. OBJECTIVE: Researchers tested the hypothesis that greater FV intake and variety are associated with a lower 10-y risk of CHD and C-reactive protein (CRP) concentrations. DESIGN: In a cross-sectional study of ˜1200 Puerto Rican adults aged 45-75 y, we assessed FV intake with a food-frequency questionnaire. The 10-y risk of CHD was assessed with the Framingham risk score (FRS) in participants free of cardiovascular disease. CRP was measured in fasting serum. RESULTS: Variety, but not quantity, of FV intake was inversely associated with FRS after adjustment for the following: sex; waist circumference; perceived stress; alcohol use; intakes of energy, trans fatty acids, and saturated fatty acids; and use of supplements, cardiovascular medications, and diabetes medications (P = 0.02). However, the association was attenuated after adjustment for income (P = 0.11). Variety, but not quantity, was associated with a lower serum CRP concentration after adjustment for age, sex, smoking status, alcohol use, servings of FV, white blood cell count, diastolic blood pressure, diabetes, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medication use, intakes of energy and vitamin B-6, waist circumference, perceived stress, and income. The adjusted odds of a high CRP concentration for those in the highest compared with the lowest tertile of FV variety was 0.68 (95% CI: 0.49, 0.94). CONCLUSIONS: FV variety, but not quantity, appears to be important in reducing inflammation. Although the results are suggestive, larger studies are needed to confirm a possible association with CHD risk score.

Last Modified: 12/20/2014