Healthy diet reduces markers of cardiac injury and inflammation regardless of macronutrients: Results from the OmniHeart trial

Lara C. Kovell, Edwina H. Yeung, Edgar R. Miller, Lawrence J. Appel, Robert H. Christenson, Heather Rebuck, Steven P. Schulman, Stephen P. Juraschek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Background: Despite diet being a first-line strategy for preventing cardiovascular disease, the optimal macronutrient profile remains unclear. We studied the effects of macronutrient profile on subclinical cardiovascular injury and inflammation. Methods: OmniHeart was a randomized 3-period, crossover feeding study in 164 adults with high blood pressure or hypertension (SBP 120–159 or DBP 80–99 mm Hg). Participants were fed each of 3 diets (emphasizing carbohydrate (CARB), protein (PROT), or unsaturated fat (UNSAT)) for 6-weeks, with feeding periods separated by a washout period. Weight was held constant. Fasting serum was collected at baseline while participants ate their own diets and after each feeding period. High-sensitivity cardiac troponin I (hs-cTnI) and high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP) were measured in stored specimens. Results: The average age was 53.6 years, 55% were African American, and 45% were women. At baseline, the median (25th-percentile, 75th-percentile) hs-cTnI was 3.3 ng/L (1.9, 5.6) and hs-CRP was 2.2 mg/L (1.1, 5.2). Compared to baseline, all 3 diets reduced hs-cTnI: CARB –8.6% (95%CI: −16.1, −0.4), PROT –10.8% (−18.4, −2.5), and UNSAT −9.4% (−17.4, −0.5). Hs-CRP was similarly changed by −13.9 to −17.0%. Hs-cTnI and hs-CRP reductions were of similar magnitudes as SBP and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDLc) but were not associated with these risk-factor reductions (P-values = 0.09). There were no between-diet differences in hs-cTnI and hs-CRP reductions. Conclusions: Healthy diet, regardless of macronutrient emphasis, directly mitigated subclinical cardiac injury and inflammation in a population at risk for cardiovascular disease. These findings support dietary recommendations emphasizing healthy foods rather than any one macronutrient. Trial Registration: This trial is registered at, number: NCT00051350; URL:

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)282-288
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Cardiology
StatePublished - Jan 15 2020


  • Cardiovascular risk factors
  • Diet
  • High-sensitivity C-reactive protein
  • High-sensitivity cardiac troponin I
  • Hypertension
  • Randomized trial

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'Healthy diet reduces markers of cardiac injury and inflammation regardless of macronutrients: Results from the OmniHeart trial'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this