Intake of polyunsaturated fatty acids and vitamin E reduces the risk of developing amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

J.H. Veldink, S. Kalmijn, G.J. Groeneveld, W. Wunderink, B. Köster, J.H.M. de Vries, J. van der Luyt, J.H.J. Wokke, L.H. Berg

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67 Citations (Scopus)


Background: To assess whether the premorbid dietary intake of fatty acids, cholesterol, lutamate, or anti- oxidants was associated with the risk of developing ALS. Methods: Patients referred to our clinic during the one-year period, 2001-2002, who had definite, probable or possible ALS according to El Escorial criteria, without a familial history of ALS, were asked to participate in a case-control study (132 patients and 220 healthy controls). A food-frequency questionnaire was used to assess dietary intake concerning the nutrients of interest. Multivariate logistic regression analysis was performed with adjustment for confounding factors (sex, age, level of education, energy intake, body mass index, and smoking). Results: High intake of polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) and vitamin E was significantly associated with a reduced risk of developing ALS (PUFA: OR = 0.4, 95% CI = 0.2 - 0.7, p = 0.001; vitamin E: OR = 0.4, 95% CI = 0.2 - 0.7, p = 0.001). PUFA and vitamin E appeared to act synergistically, because in a combined analysis the trend OR for vitamin E was further reduced from 0.67 to 0.37 (p = 0.02), and for PUFA from 0.60 to 0.26 (p = 0.005), with a significant interaction term (p = 0.03). The intake of flavonols, lycopene, vitamin C, vitamin B2, glutamate, calcium, or phytoestrogens was not associated with ALS. onclusion: A high intake of PUFAs and vitamin E was associated with a 50% to 60% decreased risk of developing ALS, and these nutrients appear to act synergistically
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)367-371
JournalJournal of neurology, neurosurgery and psychiatry
Publication statusPublished - 2007


  • motor-neuron disease
  • dietary-intake
  • antecedent events
  • amino-acids
  • foods
  • als
  • questionnaire
  • antioxidants
  • netherlands
  • flavonoids

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