Lauren Larger and Andrea Arikawa, PhD, MPH, RD
Dr. Andrea Arikawa | Brooks College of Health | Department of Nutrition and Dietetics
The aim of this pilot study was to examine the feasibility and effect of consumption of fermented vegetables on blood markers of inflammation in women. A total of 34 women were randomized into one of three groups: fermented vegetable (Group A, n=11), non-fermented vegetable (Group B, n=13), and control (Group C, n=10). Participants in the vegetable groups were provided ½ cup of vegetables/day for six weeks, while the control group was asked to maintain their regular diet. Blood samples were collected before and after the intervention for measurement of inflammatory markers. Blood pressure, body composition, dietary intake, side effects and compliance to the intervention were assessed. Thirty-one participants completed the study. The majority of the participants were white (71%). Compliance to the interventions was 79.8% in group A and 86.5% in group B. Approximately 2.9 kg and 3.2 kg of cabbage and/or pickles per person were consumed by groups A and B, respectively, over an average of 41 days. Side effects were reported by groups A and B in 21.1% and 34.1% of the time, respectively. Median age was 35 years, body mass index, 24.1 kg/m2, and blood pressure, 114/75 mmHg. At the end of the intervention, median changes and interquartile ranges of the inflammatory markers in groups A, B, and C, respectively were: C-reactive protein: -26.8 (251), -14.2 (194), and -32.0 (545) ng/mL; tumor necrosis factor-alpha: -0.21 (0.46), -0.20 (1.50), and +0.14 (3.33) ng/mL, and lipopolysaccharide binding protein: +2.15 (7.2), -2.40 (2.4), and +0.31 (6.3) ng/mL.