Document Type

Journal Article

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PubMed ID





Nutrition and Health Innovation Research Institute / School of Medical and Health Sciences




National Health and Medical Research Council

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NHMRC Number : APP1050949

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Clark, J. S., Dyer, K. A., Davis, C. R., Shivappa, N., Hébert, J. R., Woodman, R., ... & Murphy, K. J. (2023). Adherence to a mediterranean diet for 6 months improves the dietary inflammatory index in a western population: Results from the MedLey study. Nutrients, 15(2), Article 366.


Increasing evidence supports that a higher dietary inflammatory index (DII®) score is associated with inflammation and cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk, events, and mortality. This randomized trial sought to determine if a change to a Mediterranean diet resulted in a reduction in the DII score, and then it evaluated the relationship between the DII and cardiometabolic outcomes following the administration of a traditional Mediterranean diet in older Australian adults. A total of 152 Australian adults (mean age 71 ± 5 years) was randomly allocated either a MedDiet (n = 80) or to continue their habitual diet (HabDiet) (n = 72) for 6 months. Diet and cardiovascular outcomes were measured at baseline and 3 and 6 months of the intervention. DII and energy-adjusted DII (E-DIITM) scores were calculated from 3-day weighed food records. There was a significant reduction in the DII score at 2 and 4 months for the MedDiet group ( − 1.40 ± 0.20 p < 0.001 and − 1.47 ± 0.20 p < 0.001, respectively), which was significantly different from the HabDiet group over time (p < 0.001). The HabDiet DII score did not change significantly at the 2 and 4 months timepoints (0.47 ± 0.21 p = 0.35 and 0.54 ± 0.21 p = 0.21, respectively). The improvement in the DII in the MedDiet group was not related to any cardiometabolic outcome. Baseline cross-sectional analyses identified a positive association between the E-DII score and average BMI, body weight, WHR, abdominal adiposity, and SBP, and a negative association with HDL-C. We demonstrate that a MedDiet intervention significantly reduced DII scores compared with a habitual Australian diet in older Australians. This could be beneficial for healthy ageing and the avoidance of chronic disease in Western populations.



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