Accumulating evidence identifies diet and inflammation as potential mechanisms contributing to cardiometabolic risk. However, inconsistent reports regarding dietary inflammatory potential, biomarkers of cardiometabolic health and metabolic syndrome (MetS) risk exist. Our objective was to examine the relationships between a food frequency questionnaire (FFQ)-derived dietary inflammatory index (DII®
), biomarkers of lipoprotein metabolism, inflammation and glucose homeostasis and MetS risk in a cross-sectional sample of 1992 adults. Energy-adjusted DII (E-DII) scores derived from an FFQ were calculated. Lipoprotein particle size and subclass concentrations were measured using nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy. Serum acute-phase reactants, adipocytokines, pro-inflammatory cytokines and white blood cell (WBC) counts were determined. Insulin resistance was calculated by homeostasis model assessment (HOMA-IR). Our data indicate that a more pro-inflammatory diet, reflected by higher E-DII scores, was associated with potentially pro-atherogenic lipoprotein profiles characterised by increased numbers of large very low density lipoprotein (VLDL), small dense low density lipoprotein (LDL) and high density lipoprotein (HDL) particles and less large LDL and HDL particles (all p
< 0.001). Inflammatory profiling identified a range of adverse phenotypes among those with higher E-DII scores, including higher complement component C3 (C3), C-reactive protein (CRP), (both p
< 0.05), interleukin 6 (IL-6) and tumour necrosis factor (TNF)-α concentrations, higher WBC counts and neutrophil to lymphocyte ratio (NLR) and lower adiponectin levels (all p
< 0.001). MetS risk was increased among those with higher E-DII scores (OR 1.37, 95% CI (1.01, 1.88), p
< 0.05), after adjusting for potential confounders. In conclusion, habitual intake of a more pro-inflammatory diet is associated with unfavourable lipoprotein and inflammatory profiles and increased MetS risk.
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