McCormick Science Institute

MSI Funded Study: The Postprandial Effect of Spice Consumption Delivered in a High-Fat Meal on Pro-Inflammatory Cytokine Secretion in Overweight Obese Men

Oh, E., Petersen, K., Kris-Etherton, P. and Rogers, C.


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MSI Team

June, 2019 -- Researchers from The Pennsylvania State University investigated the postprandial effect of spice consumption delivered in a high fat meal on inflammatory cytokine responses.View the abstract.


Postprandial lipidemia is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease. The postprandial inflammation that occurs concurrently with lipidemia following ingestion of a high-fat meal (HFM) may contribute to this association. Numerous individual spices have anti-inflammatory properties in vitro and in vivo in animal models and humans. However, the effect of consumption of a spice blend on inflammatory mediators has not been examined in humans in a randomized controlled trial. The objective of this study was to investigate the postprandial effect of spice consumption delivered in a HFM on inflammatory cytokine responses. 


Overweight/obese (BMI ≥25 and ≤35 kg/m2), nonsmoking, men (40–65 years old) with elevated waist circumference (≥94 cm) and at least one other risk factor for cardiovascular disease were recruited for a 3-period crossover study (n = 12). In random order, participants consumed the following dietary interventions: 1) a HFM (1076 kcal, 39% kcal from saturated fat), 2) a HFM containing 2 g of spice blend, or 3) a HFM containing 6 g of spice blend with a ≥3-day washout period between each test meal. The spice blend consisted of black pepper, basil, bay leaf, cinnamon, coriander, cumin, ginger, oregano, parsley, rosemary, red pepper, thyme and turmeric. Participants fasted overnight and blood was collected before, and hourly for four hours after the HFM. Peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) were isolated at each time point, and the number of monocytes (CD14+/HLA-DR+) were quantified by flow cytometry. PBMCs were stimulated with lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and pro-inflammatory cytokines (TNF-α, IL-1β, IL-6, IL-8, MCP-1) were quantified by ELISA in the supernatants.


Monocyte number (P = 0.001), and the secretion of IL-1β (P = 0.036) and TNF-α (P = 0.046) from LPS-stimulated PBMCs were significantly elevated during the four-hour time period after HFM consumption compared to the baseline. However, the presence of 6 g of spice in the HFM reduced the secretion of IL-6 (P = 0.046), IL-8 (P = 0.031), TNF-α (P = 0.001) and MCP-1 (P = 0.063) from PBMCs at 60 min after the meal.

Consumption of a HFM containing a spice blend attenuated postprandial inflammation in overweight/obese men.


Oh, E., Petersen, K., Kris-Etherton, P. and Rogers, C., 2019. The Postprandial Effect of Spice Consumption Delivered in a High-Fat Meal on Pro-Inflammatory Cytokine Secretion in Overweight/Obese Men (OR12-06-19). Current Developments in Nutrition, Volume 3, Issue Supplement_1, June 2019. 


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