Chronic Inflammation in the Context of Everyday Life: Dietary Changes as Mitigating Factors
Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Pharmacy, “Carol Davila” University of Medicine and Pharmacy, Traian Vuia 6, 020956 Bucharest, Romania
Department of Toxicology, Faculty of Pharmacy, “Carol Davila” University of Medicine and Pharmacy, Traian Vuia 6, 020956 Bucharest, Romania
European Institute of Nutritional Medicine EINuM, 00198 Rome, Italy
Metabolomic Medicine Clinic, Health Clinics for Autoimmune and Chronic Diseases, 10674 Athens, Greece
Laboratory of Toxicology and Forensic Sciences, Medical School, University of Crete, 71003 Heraklion, Greece
Department of Biochemistry-Biotechnology, School of Health Sciences, 41500 Larisa, Greece
Gene Expression and Therapy Group, King’s College London, Faculty of Life Sciences and Medicine, Department of Medical and Molecular Genetics, 8th Floor, Tower Wing, Guy’s Hospital, Great Maze Pond, London SE1 9RT, UK
Department Forensic Sciences and Toxicology, University of Crete, Faculty of Medicine, 71003 Heraklion, Greece
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(11), 4135; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17114135
Received: 9 May 2020 / Revised: 3 June 2020 / Accepted: 5 June 2020 / Published: 10 June 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Toxicology of Xenobiotic Mixtures and Health)
The lifestyle adopted by most people in Western societies has an important impact on the propensity to metabolic disorders (e.g., diabetes, cancer, cardiovascular disease, neurodegenerative diseases). This is often accompanied by chronic low-grade inflammation, driven by the activation of various molecular pathways such as STAT3 (signal transducer and activator of transcription 3), IKK (IκB kinase), MMP9 (matrix metallopeptidase 9), MAPK (mitogen-activated protein kinases), COX2 (cyclooxigenase 2), and NF-Kβ (nuclear factor kappa-light-chain-enhancer of activated B cells). Multiple intervention studies have demonstrated that lifestyle changes can lead to reduced inflammation and improved health. This can be linked to the concept of real-life risk simulation, since humans are continuously exposed to dietary factors in small doses and complex combinations (e.g., polyphenols, fibers, polyunsaturated fatty acids, etc.). Inflammation biomarkers improve in patients who consume a certain amount of fiber per day; some even losing weight. Fasting in combination with calorie restriction modulates molecular mechanisms such as m-TOR, FOXO, NRF2, AMPK, and sirtuins, ultimately leads to significantly reduced inflammatory marker levels, as well as improved metabolic markers. Moving toward healthier dietary habits at the individual level and in publicly-funded institutions, such as schools or hospitals, could help improving public health, reducing healthcare costs and improving community resilience to epidemics (such as COVID-19), which predominantly affects individuals with metabolic diseases.