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Adding Spices to Meal May Help Decrease Postmeal Inflammation

Postprandial inflammation often spikes after a person consumes a meal high in fat or sugar, and may contribute to chronic inflammation and increase the risk of cardiovascular disease. A recent study suggests that adding a 6 gram spice blend to a high-saturated-fat, high-carbohydrate meal may help reduce postprandial inflammation in overweight men.

Twelve men with an average age of 48 who were overweight or obese and had at least one risk factor for cardiovascular disease participated in the study. They consumed three versions of a meal high in saturated fat and carbohydrates on three separate days. One contained no spices, one contained 2 grams of a spice blend, and one contained 6 grams of a spice blend. The spice blend contained basil, bay leaf, black pepper, cinnamon, coriander, cumin, ginger, oregano, parsley, red pepper, rosemary, thyme and turmeric.

The researchers collected blood samples before the meal was consumed and every hour for 4 hours after it was consumed. They were analyzed for proinflammatory cytokine concentrations.

Consumption of the meal containing 6 grams of the spice belnd was found to significantly reduce proinflammatory cytokines compared to consumption of the other two meals. Secretion of interleukin-1 beta was reduced by 1314% 4 hours after consumption.

The study was conducted by researchers from the Pennsylvania State University. It was published online ahead of print on March 25, 2020 in The Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

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