Low-Grade Inflammation — A High-Grade Challenge. Biomarkers and Modulation by Dietary Strategies

Granada, Spain
Hotel Macia Real De La Alhambra

2013 Low-Grade Inflammation

Organised by the ILSI Europe Obesity and Diabetes Task Force
(formerly Metabolic Syndrome and Diabetes)

In collaboration with ILSI Europe Metabolic Imprinting Task Force,
ILSI North America, ILSI Southeast Asia and ILSI Brazil

ILSI Europe organised a workshop on “Low-grade Inflammation: A High-grade Challenge. Biomarkers and Modulation by Dietary Strategies”. The event was held on 15 September 2013, at Hotel Macia Real De La Alhambra in Granada, Spain. The meeting took place prior to the official opening of the IUNS 20th International Congress of Nutrition (ICN 2013).


Inflammation is an essential component of the immune response. However, chronic low-grade inflammation is being increasingly recognised as a pathological feature of numerous common chronic diseases. For example, adipose tissue inflammation is a key determinant of risk and progression of type 2 diabetes and the metabolic syndrome.

Numerous dietary components (macronutrients, micronutrients and non-nutrient plant bio-actives) modulate inflammatory status. The generic aim of the workshop is to provide a comprehensive overview of what is known and unknown regarding the contribution of inflammation to health and disease, how inflammation may be assessed and modified by diet, and the use of inflammation as the basis for health claims.

The ILSI Europe Obesity and Diabetes Task Force (formerly Metabolic Syndrome and Diabetes) published the peer-reviewed publication Calder, et al, 2011. Dietary factors and low-grade inflammation in relation to overweight and obesity. British Journal of Nutrition Vol. 106, S3.


This workshop:

  • Highlighted the importance of low-grade inflammation in health and disease;
  • Reviewed and interpreted the extensive literature on the dietary modulation of low-grade inflammation by macronutrients, micronutrients and non-nutrients (such as fibre and other plant bio-actives);
  • Provided a comprehensive overview of the hierarchy of inflammatory markers as biomarkers of risk of the metabolic syndrome, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cognitive and gut health;
  • Focused on issues relevant to the translation of research findings into health claims.


The speakers provided clear take-home messages and the workshop provided a platform to discuss with key stakeholders the challenges of low-grade inflammation and its importance as a pathological feature of numerous common chronic diseases.

A peer-reviewed publication covering the discussions will be produced soon after the workshop.


  • Researchers in the field of inflammation, metabolic diseases, cardiovascular diseases, neurodevelopment and cognitive decline, gut health, nutrition and healthy ageing;
  • Scientists from industry involved in Research & Development; Individuals interested in marketing, food regulatory affairs and health claims;
  • Governmental scientists and risk assessors.


The final programme is available here.


Introduction and Background
Welcome and opening of the workshop
D. Bánáti, ILSI Europe, BE

Introduction and objectives of the workshop
S. Vinoy, Mondēlez International, FR

Inflammation: Friend or foe?
A.M. Minihane, University of East Anglia, UK

Session 1: Inflammation In Acute and Chronic Diseases
1.1 Low grade inflammation in cardiometabolic syndrome and diabetes
H. Roche, University College Dublin, IE

1.2 Gut-systemic inflammatory axis
K. Tuohy, Fondazione Edmund Mach, IT (not available)

1.3 Immune adaptation in the central nervous system in response to systemic infections
J. Teeling, University of Southampton, UK

Session 2: Dietary Modulation of Inflammation
2.1 Dietary fat, carbohydrates and inflammation
E. Blaak, Maastricht University, NL

2.2 Micronutrients and inflammation
M. Fenech, CSIRO, AU

2.3 PresePlant bioactives, inflammation and ageing
D. Vauzour, University of East Anglia, UK

2.4 Early life nutrition and inflammation
H.J. McArdle, University of Aberdeen, UK

Session 3: Translation of Research into Public Health Benefit and Novel Products
3.1 Biomarkers of inflammation in human nutrition studies
P. Calder, University of Southampton, UK

3.2 Low-grade inflammation & health claims
B. Kremer, TNO Quality of Life, NL

Session 4: Discussion and Wrap-Up
4.1 Wrap-up and closing remarks
W. Russel, University of Aberden, UK


The workshop was held at:
Hotel Real Macia de la Alhambra
Mirador del Genil, 2
18008 Granada, Spain
Tel: +34 958 216 693 Fax: +34 958 22 49 65

Located at a ten-minute walk from La Alhambra, this modern avant-garde style hotel is nestled amidst splendid gardens. It has an outdoor swimming pool, a fitness center and an Arabic SPA.


  • Prof. A.M. Minihane (Chair), University of East Anglia, UK
  • Dr S. Vinoy (Vice chair), Mondelēz International, FR
  • Prof. J.L. Bresson, Hôpital Necker, Centre d'Investigation Clinique, FR
  • Prof. P. Calder, University of Sounthampton, UK
  • Prof. M. Massi Benedetti*, University of Perugia, IT
  • Dr W. Russell, University of Aberdeen, UK
  • Dr L. Sterkman,Newtricious, NL
  • Dr K. Vafeiadou, University of Reading, UK
  • Ms Athanasia (Nancy) Baka, ILSI Europe, BE


For more information on the Obesity and Diabetes Task Force (formerly Metabolic Syndrome and Diabetes), click here.