The importance of a healthy diet to living well is well recognized. A growing array of experimental, epidemiological, and clinical studies have revealed an association between pro-inflammatory responses and the progression of numerous serious disease states, including the metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases. Further studies have established a “diet/genetic interaction” that further modulates markers of inflammation, producing both positive and negative effects, depending on the net changes in gene expression. Yet, there are few studies that reveal the mechanisms underlying this modulation of the inflammatory response. Highlighted here are several such recent and ongoing studies that investigate the mechanisms underlying the effects of diet/genetic interactions on inflammatory biomarkers, followed by a discussion of to what extent these interactions may translate into healthier aging and increased longevity. Whether these interactions translate into healthier aging and increased longevity remains to be determined; however, the prospects are enticing.
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