Nordic Diet and Inflammation—A Review of Observational and Intervention Studies
Institute of Public Health and Clinical Nutrition, University of Eastern Finland, 70211 Kuopio, Finland
Department of Medicine, Endocrinology and Clinical Nutrition, Kuopio University Hospital, 70210 Kuopio, Finland
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Nutrients 2019, 11(6), 1369; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11061369
Received: 11 April 2019 / Revised: 7 June 2019 / Accepted: 14 June 2019 / Published: 18 June 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health Benefits of the Nordic Diet)
Low-grade inflammation (LGI) has been suggested to be involved in the development of chronic diseases. Healthy dietary patterns, such as the Mediterranean diet (MD), may decrease the markers of LGI. Healthy Nordic diet (HND) has many similarities with MD, but its effects on LGI are less well known. Both of these dietary patterns emphasize the abundant use of fruits and vegetables (and berries in HND), whole grain products, fish, and vegetable oil (canola oil in HND and olive oil in MD), but restrict the use of saturated fat and red and processed meat. The aim of this narrative review is to summarize the results of studies, which have investigated the associations or effects of HND on the markers of LGI. Altogether, only two publications of observational studies and eight publications of intervention trials were found through the literature search. Both observational studies reported an inverse association between the adherence to HND and concentration of high sensitivity C-reactive protein (hsCRP). A significant decrease in the concentration of hsCRP was reported in two out of four intervention studies measuring hsCRP. Single intervention studies reported the beneficial effects on interleukin 1Ra and Cathepsin S. Current evidence suggests the beneficial effects on LGI with HND, but more carefully controlled studies are needed to confirm the anti-inflammatory effects of the HND.