Inflammation and endothelial dysfunction are being increasingly recognized as key etiological
factors in the development of atherosclerosis and subsequent cardiovascular disease (CVD).
These pro-atherogenic states are strongly correlated and often found co-segregating among
individuals with obesity and the metabolic syndrome. There is increasing evidence to support
the use in clinical practice of these novel markers of atherosclerosis and CVD risk. Recent
data from the JUPITER study (Justification for the Use of Statins in Primary Prevention: An
Intervention Trial Evaluating Rosuvastatin) has provided undisputable evidence that treating
patients with elevated plasma CRP concentrations, a marker of systemic subclinical
inflammation, leads to marked reduction in the risk of CHD even in patients with highly
desirable LDL-C levels. There is also accumulating evidence associating endothelial
dysfunction, which is defined as incapacity of the arteries to vasodilate when required, to
an increased risk of CVD. While there are more and more studies on how diet affects
inflammation and endothelial function, the impact of dairy consumption per se on these novel
risk factors for CVD has not been well characterized.
The purpose of this study was to investigate the impact of dairy consumption on markers of
inflammation and other risk factors in men and women with low grade systemic inflammation.