High intakes of vegetables have been associated with a lower incidence of cardiovascular diseases (CVD). However, the effect of vegetables on immune function and antioxidant status in human studies have provided contrasting results. In the present study, after a week of run-in period, 38 subjects at risk of CVD were randomly assigned to one of the following 4-week interventions: low vegetable consumption (800 g of vegetables/week) or high vegetable consumption (4200 g of vegetables/week). Vegetables included carrots, topinambur (Jerusalem artichoke, Helianthus tuberosus), tomatoes, red cabbage, and sweet peppers. Blood and salivary samples were collected before and after intervention periods. In addition to clinical, immunological, and antioxidant markers, leukocyte and lymphocyte expression of the gut-homing β7 integrin was evaluated. No significant changes were detected in clinical, immunological, and antioxidant markers in biological samples, except for an increase in white blood cell count for the low vegetable consumption group (p < 0.05). The study provides additional evidence about the uncertainty of providing a clear evidence for vegetables in modulating markers of immune function and antioxidant status. Further studies are needed in order to unravel the mechanism of effect of vegetable consumption in cardiovascular prevention.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology