(HealthDay) -- A Western-style diet is associated with increased levels of endotoxin activity (endotoxemia), and a prudent-style diet (containing moderately greater amounts of omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin C, and vitamin E than the Western-style diet) is linked to reduced endotoxemia, according to a study published in the May issue of Gastroenterology.
Noting that endotoxemia is associated with systemic inflammation and metabolic syndrome, Swaroop Pendyala, M.D., from The Rockefeller University in New York City, and colleagues investigated the impact of diet on endotoxemia. In a crossover study, eight healthy individuals were fed a Western-style and a prudent-style diet with similar caloric density for one month. Using a neutrophil priming method that detects lipopolysaccharide from gram-negative organisms, blood endotoxin levels were measured.
The researchers observed a 71 percent increase in endotoxemia induced by the Western-style diet, compared with a 31 percent decrease with the prudent diet.
"The Western-style diet might, therefore, contribute to endotoxemia by causing changes in gastrointestinal barrier function or the composition of the microbiota," the authors write. "Therapeutic reagents that reduce endotoxemia might reduce systemic inflammation in patients with gastrointestinal diseases or metabolic syndrome."
More information: doi:10.1053/j.gastro.2012.01.034