BACKGROUND: Dietary modification may be important in the prevention and control of chronic adult periodontitis. The role of promoting an adequate consumption of fruits, vegetables and whole grains in chronic periodontitis has not been thoroughly investigated. The main aim of this dietary intervention study was to assess the influence of a customised dietary intervention (aiming to increase the consumption of fruits, vegetables and whole grains) on antioxidant status in adults with chronic periodontitis. METHODS: Fifty-one participants, aged 30-65 years, were recruited from a U.K. Dental Hospital and randomly allocated to an intervention or control group. Both groups received normal clinical treatment but customised dietary advice was delivered to the intervention group by a community nutrition assistant. Dietary intakes, anthropometric parameters and biochemical indices with respect to blood and saliva and periodontal indices were evaluated at baseline, as well as at 3 and 6 months post-dietary intervention. RESULTS: At 3 and 6 months post-intervention, the intervention group showed a significant (P < 0.05) increase in plasma total antioxidant capacity measured by Trolox equivalent antioxidant capacity assay compared to the control group. At 3 and 6 months after dietary intervention, the intervention group had significantly higher intakes of fruits and vegetables compared to the control group. The intake of whole grain was significantly higher in the intervention group than in the control group, 6 months post-intervention. No significant differences were observed with respect to periodontal indices between groups. CONCLUSIONS: It is suggested that dietary advice may help to improve dietary habits and, consequently, the antioxidant status of patients with chronic periodontitis. However, the impact of such intervention on periodontal indices needs further investigation.
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