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Eur J Clin Nutr. 2008 Jan;62(1):127-37. Epub 2007 Feb 21.

Association between the intake of vitamins and trace elements from supplements and C-reactive protein: results of the MONICA/KORA Augsburg study.

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GSF National Research Center for Environment and Health, Institute of Epidemiology, Neuherberg, Germany.



To examine the association between plasma concentrations of C-reactive protein (CRP) and the intake of vitamins and trace elements from supplements possibly related to inflammation such as vitamin C, vitamin E, carotenoids, selenium and zinc.


Cross-sectional study using data from the Monitoring of Trends and Determinants in Cardiovascular Disease/Cooperative Health Research in the Region of Augsburg (MONICA/KORA) Survey 1994/95.


Region of Augsburg, Southern Germany.


Population-based sample of 2045 women and 2172 men, aged 25-74 years.


Intake of dietary supplements containing vitamins and trace elements was associated with lower CRP levels in women. Especially vitamin E in combination with other vitamins like vitamin C, vitamin B(1), B(2), B(6), B(12), niacin, folic acid, pantothenic acid and selenium, was significantly associated with lower CRP levels. Odds ratios for elevated CRP levels (>3.0 mg/l) after multivariable adjustment were 0.57 (95% confidence interval (CI): 0.37, 0.89) for the intake of vitamin E and 0.57 (95% CI: 0.35, 0.91) for the intake of multivitamins, defined as taking three or more different vitamins. These associations were not seen in men. Intake of vitamin C, carotenoids or zinc was not significantly associated with levels of CRP in both men and women.


Our data indicate that the intake of certain vitamins and trace elements from supplements is associated with lower CRP concentrations in women. Thus, intake of these micronutrients could influence the inflammatory process underlying the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis. Specific dose response relationships and the best combinations of vitamins and trace elements have to be determined in further studies.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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