CONTEXT: Atherosclerosis is a disease of chronic inflammation. Recent research has identified 2 novel inflammatory biomarkers: platelet-activating factor (PAF) and lipoprotein-associated phospholipase A2 (Lp-PLA2). Diet has been proposed as a mediator of inflammation, but to date, the focus for these novel biomarkers has been on individual foods and nutrients rather than overall dietary patterns.
OBJECTIVE: To systematically review the literature on the association between dietary patterns and PAF and Lp-PLA2.
DATA SOURCES: The PubMed, Embase, CINAHL, and Cochrane CENTRAL literature databases were searched.
DATA ANALYSIS: Study quality was evaluated using the Quality Criteria Checklist. Sixteen studies (n = 4 observational and n = 12 interventional) were included and assessed for associations between dietary patterns and PAF and Lp-PLA2.
CONCLUSION: Study quality varied from neutral (n = 10) to positive (n = 6). Mediterranean, heart healthy, and vegetarian dietary patterns were associated with improved levels of PAF and Lp-PLA2. Conversely, Western dietary patterns were less favorable. A range of well-established, healthier dietary patterns may lower inflammation and the risk of atherosclerosis. More well-designed studies are needed to confirm these findings and identify other dietary patterns that improve inflammation.