The positive effects of dietary fibre on gut barrier function and inflammation have not been completely elucidated. Mice studies show gut barrier disruption and diet-induced insulin resistance can be alleviated by cytokine interleukin-22 (IL-22). However, little is known about IL-22 in humans and its association with gut-beneficial nutrients like fibre. We investigated whether fibre intake was associated with circulating levels of IL-22 in 48 participants with metabolic syndrome (MetS). Bivariate analysis was used to explore associations between circulating IL-22, fibre intake, MetS factors, body composition, and cardiorespiratory fitness (peak oxygen uptake, V˙ O2peak). Hierarchical multiple regression (HMR) was used to test the independent association of fibre intake with circulating IL-22, adjusting for variables correlated with IL-22. Circulating IL-22 was positively associated with fibre intake (rs = 0.393, p < 0.006). The HMR-adjusted model explained 40% of circulating IL-22 variability, and fibre intake significantly improved the prediction model by 8.4% (p < 0.022). Participants with fibre intake above median intake of 21.5 g/day had a significantly higher circulating IL-22 than the lower intake group (308.3 ± 454.4 vs. 69.0 ± 106.4 pg/mL, p < 0.019). Fibre intake is independently associated with increased circulating IL-22 in individuals with MetS. Findings warrant further investigations to evaluate whether changes in dietary fibre intake alter circulating IL-22, and its effects on health outcomes.
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- Dietary fibre
- Immune response
- Metabolic endotoxemia