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The Effect of Habitual Fat Intake, IL6 Polymorphism, and Different Diet Strategies on Inflammation in Postmenopausal Women with Central Obesity

Obesity is associated with systemic, low-grade inflammation, which may play an important role in the pathogenesis of obesity-related insulin resistance, dyslipidemia, and the atherosclerotic process.
 White adipose tissue (WAT) acts as lipid storage, but also as an endocrine organ that releases signaling molecules called adipokines; these include leptin, adiponectin, and the main cytokines responsible for chronic inflammation—namely tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFα) and interleukin 6 (IL6) ]. TNFα is primarily secreted from monocytes and macrophages, and plays a major role in inflammation, immune system development, apoptosis, and lipid metabolism. IL6 is involved in inflammation and infection responses, but a role of IL6 in the control of lipid metabolism has also been confirmed in several observations . The IL6 gene is expressed in many tissues, including adipose tissue, skeletal muscles, and the hypothalamus—all of which are involved in the regulation of energy balance. Higher circulating levels of IL6 have been associated with obesity and visceral adiposity . Body weight—and especially centrally localized adipose tissue—as well as fat intake are among the modifiable factors that affect inflammatory biomarkers .
There are studies showing an increase in pro-inflammatory serum markers, especially IL6 and TNFα, after menopause and suggested that in addition to age these changes have been attributed to estrogen decrease . This is associated with an increased incidence of cardiovascular diseases among the targeted population. Therefore it is important to develop beneficial dietary treatment for postmenopausal women.
There are several polymorphisms of the IL6 gene, with rs1800795 being the most frequently studied. This single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) is located in the promoter region, 174 bp upstream of the transcription start site, and it affects gene activity. The C allele is associated with a lower expression level. Although the results of studies on how rs1800795 affects inflammation, body weight, and adiposity do conflict, it has been suggested that the C allele is associated with higher adiposity and lower energy expenditure. Studies of dietary therapies that may reduce the inflammation associated with central obesity are limited. The effectiveness of the Mediterranean diet (MED) and its main components (mainly monounsaturated fatty acids, MUFAs) in reducing inflammation, in subjects with metabolic syndrome, has been demonstrated . Whether and how the alternative dietary regimen (moderate in carbohydrates, and dietary fiber) composed into the central European diet (CED) mitigates the inflammatory state in postmenopausal women with central obesity remains unknown.
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