Dietary Inflammatory Index

    The Dietary Inflammatory Index (DII) is a model that attempts to predict the inflammatory potential of a diet based on its components.


    The Dietary Inflammatory Index (DII) is a model that attempts to predict the inflammatory potential of a diet. It assigns points to various components of the diet, giving positive scores to proposed inflammatory components (e.g. trans fat, saturated fat, and calories) and negative points to proposed anti-inflammatory components (e.g. omega-3s, green/black tea, fiber, and vitamins C, E, and D). The final score, in theory, offers a general estimate of the inflammatory or anti-inflammatory potential of the diet.

    The DII was designed using data from thousands of scientific publications,[1] but some of the research it includes and how it incorporates this research is likely not ideal. In short, when designing the DII, the investigators included non-human studies (i.e., animal studies and cell culture experiments), did not weight studies differently according to their sample sizes, and only considered whether changes in inflammatory markers were statistically significant, but not if they were clinically important. These issues could make the DII a less than reliable model.

    That said, observational studies have found that people with a higher DII score do tend to have higher levels of certain inflammatory markers,[2][3][4][5] albeit with some inconsistency when broken down by individual markers.[6][7] However, it’s not entirely clear which of the 45 dietary components included in the DII are actually important determinants of its predictive ability and which are less relevant.


    1. ^Nitin Shivappa, Susan E Steck, Thomas G Hurley, James R Hussey, James R HébertDesigning and developing a literature-derived, population-based dietary inflammatory indexPublic Health Nutr.(2014 Aug)
    2. ^Corley J, Shivappa N, Hébert JR, Starr JM, Deary IJAssociations between Dietary Inflammatory Index Scores and Inflammatory Biomarkers among Older Adults in the Lothian Birth Cohort 1936 Study.J Nutr Health Aging.(2019)
    3. ^Suzuki K, Shivappa N, Kawado M, Yamada H, Hashimoto S, Wakai K, Iso H, Okada E, Fujii R, Hébert JR, Tamakoshi AAssociation between dietary inflammatory index and serum C-reactive protein concentrations in the Japan Collaborative Cohort Study.Nagoya J Med Sci.(2020-May)
    4. ^Shin D, Lee KW, Brann L, Shivappa N, Hébert JRDietary inflammatory index is positively associated with serum high-sensitivity C-reactive protein in a Korean adult population.Nutrition.(2019)
    5. ^Shivappa N, Steck SE, Hurley TG, Hussey JR, Ma Y, Ockene IS, Tabung F, Hébert JRA population-based dietary inflammatory index predicts levels of C-reactive protein in the Seasonal Variation of Blood Cholesterol Study (SEASONS).Public Health Nutr.(2014-Aug)
    6. ^Shivappa N, Hebert JR, Marcos A, Diaz LE, Gomez S, Nova E, Michels N, Arouca A, González-Gil E, Frederic G, González-Gross M, Castillo MJ, Manios Y, Kersting M, Gunter MJ, De Henauw S, Antonios K, Widhalm K, Molnar D, Moreno L, Huybrechts IAssociation between dietary inflammatory index and inflammatory markers in the HELENA study.Mol Nutr Food Res.(2017-Jun)
    7. ^Almeida-de-Souza J, Santos R, Barros R, Abreu S, Moreira C, Lopes L, Mota J, Moreira PDietary inflammatory index and inflammatory biomarkers in adolescents from LabMed physical activity study.Eur J Clin Nutr.(2018-May)