Effect of the Anti-Inflammatory Diet in People with Diabetes and Pre-Diabetes: A Randomized Controlled Feeding Study
Heather Zwickey, PhD
Helfgott Research Institute, National University of Natural Medicine, Portland, OR, USA
Angela Horgan, PhD, RD, LD
Doug Hanes, PhD
Heather Schiffke, MATCM
Annie Moore, MD, MBA
Helané Wahbeh, ND, MCR
Julia Jordan, MS, RD, LD
Lila Ojeda, MS, RDN
Martha McMurry
Patricia Elmer, PhD
Jonathan Q Purnell, MD


Anti-inflammatory diet
pre-diabetic diet
cytokines and diet
weight loss


Introduction: Inflammation underlies a variety of chronic medical conditions, including diabetes. The anti-inflammatory diet, one that excludes foods that may stimulate inflammation and includes foods that reduce inflammation, may improve inflammatory biomarkers in people with diabetes and pre-diabetes.

Study Design: Thirty participants with diabetes or pre-diabetes were randomized (2:1) in a controlled feeding study that compared the anti-inflammatory diet (n=20) to a control diet (n=10) based on the American Diabetes Association recommendations. Diets were matched for protein, carbohydrate, fat, and fiber content as closely as possible. Participants were fed an isocaloric diet for 2 weeks, followed by continued ad libitum feeding in their dietary group assignment for an additional 4 weeks. All meals were prepared by the study team.

Outcomes: Primary outcomes included inflammatory markers, including cytokines and hsCRP. Secondary outcomes included body weight and biomarkers for cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

Results: Both diets resulted in trends in reduced markers of inflammation, especially with weight loss. In addition, glucose, lipids, and triglycerides all trended downward, also non-significantly and equally in both groups.

Conclusion: Dietary change can improve inflammation as well as other cardiometabolic risk factors. In this study, the anti-inflammatory diet did not affect markers of inflammation more than the control diet.



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