The role of dietary inflammatory index in cardiovascular disease, metabolic syndrome and mortality Academic Article uri icon


  • Inflammation is an underlying pathophysiological process in chronic diseases, such as obesity, type 2 diabetes mellitus and cardiovascular disease. In fact, a number of systematic reviews have shown the association between inflammatory biomarkers, such as CRP, IL-1β, IL-6, TNF-α, IL-4, or IL-10, and cardio-metabolic diseases. Diet is one of the main lifestyle-related factors which modulates the inflammatory process. Different individual foods and dietary patterns can have a beneficial health effect associated with their anti-inflammatory properties. The dietary inflammatory index (DII) was recently developed to estimate the inflammatory potential of overall diet. The aim of this review is to examine the findings of recent papers that have investigated the association between the DII, cardio-metabolic risk factors and cardiovascular disease. The relevance of the DII score in the association between inflammation and cardio-metabolic diseases is critically appraised, as well as its role in the context of healthy dietary patterns. We conclude that the DII score seems to be a useful tool to appraise the inflammatory capacity of the diet and to better understand the relationships between diet, inflammation, and cardio-metabolic diseases.

publication date

  • 2016