Pro-inflammatory diets contribute to increased heart failure biomarkers

A recent study published in PLOS ONE reveals a significant connection between pro-inflammatory diets and higher levels of heart failure biomarkers [1].

This research emphasizes the potential influence of diet on heart health, suggesting that consuming certain types of food may elevate the risk of developing heart failure.

The study used the Dietary Inflammatory Index (DII) to evaluate the inflammatory potential of participants’ diets [2]. The DII scores foods based on their ability to increase or decrease inflammation.

Diets with high DII scores, considered pro-inflammatory, typically include refined sugars, processed meats and unhealthy fats. In contrast, diets with low DII scores, deemed anti-inflammatory, are rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains and healthy fats.

Researchers analyzed data from U.S. adults to assess dietary intake using the DII and measured levels of N-terminal pro-B-type natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP), a biomarker commonly associated with heart failure. Elevated NT-proBNP levels are indicative of cardiac stress and are often used in clinical settings to diagnose and monitor heart failure.

The study found a significant association between higher DII scores and elevated NT-proBNP levels. Participants with more pro-inflammatory diets had notably higher levels of this heart failure biomarker [3].

This relationship remained strong even after adjusting for potential confounding factors such as age, sex, body mass index (BMI), smoking status, physical activity and pre-existing health conditions like hypertension and diabetes.

The cross-sectional design allowed researchers to observe these associations at a specific time. While this design does not prove causation, the strong correlation between pro-inflammatory diets and increased NT-proBNP levels suggests that dietary inflammation could play a crucial role in heart health.

The findings highlight the importance of diet in maintaining cardiovascular health. Pro-inflammatory foods, including those high in saturated fats, sugars and processed ingredients, may promote systemic inflammation and contribute to the development and progression of heart failure [4].

Conversely, diets rich in anti-inflammatory foods, such as fruits, vegetables, nuts and fish, may offer protective benefits for the heart.

Dietary changes could be an effective strategy for those looking to improve their heart health.

Reducing the intake of pro-inflammatory foods and increasing the consumption of anti-inflammatory options may lower the risk of heart failure and improve overall cardiovascular wellbeing.

The study provides compelling evidence that pro-inflammatory diets are linked to increased heart failure biomarkers. By highlighting the potential impact of dietary choices on heart health, this research encourages individuals to reconsider their eating habits.

Emphasizing anti-inflammatory foods in the diet could be a practical approach to reducing the risk of heart failure and promoting long-term cardiovascular health.


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