Send to

Choose Destination
Br J Nutr. 2015 Jul;114(2):240-7. doi: 10.1017/S0007114515001257. Epub 2015 Jun 16.

Dietary intakes of fats, fish and nuts and olfactory impairment in older adults.

Author information

Centre for Vision Research, Department of Ophthalmology and Westmead Millennium Institute, University of Sydney,Sydney,NSW2145,Australia.
Departments of Neurology and Neurogenetics,Kolling Institute, University of Sydney,Sydney,NSW,Australia.
Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Sydney,Sydney,NSW,Australia.


It is unclear whether lifestyle modifications, such as dietary changes, should be advocated to prevent olfactory dysfunction. We investigated the association between dietary intakes of fats (saturated, mono-unsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, and cholesterol) and related food groups (nuts, fish, butter, margarine) with olfactory impairment. There were 1331 and 667 participants (older than 60 years) at baseline and 5-year follow-up, respectively, with complete olfaction and dietary data. Dietary data were collected using a validated semi-quantitative FFQ. Olfaction was measured using the San Diego Odor Identification Test. In a cross-sectional analysis of baseline data, those in the highest v. lowest quartile of n-6 PUFA intake had reduced odds of having any olfactory impairment, multivariable-adjusted OR 0.66 (95% CI 0.44, 0.97), P for trend = 0.06. Participants in the highest v. lowest quartile of margarine consumption had a 65% reduced odds of having moderate/severe olfactory impairment (P for trend = 0.02). Participants in the highest quartile compared to the lowest quartile (reference) of nut consumption had a 46% (P for trend = 0.01) and 58% (P for trend = 0.001) reduced odds of having any or mild olfactory impairment, respectively. Older adults in the highest v. lowest quartile of fish consumption had 35% (P for trend = 0.03) and 50% (P for trend = 0.01) reduced likelihood of having any or mild olfactory impairment, respectively. In longitudinal analyses, a marginally significant association was observed between nut consumption and incidence of any olfactory impairment, highest v. lowest quartile of nut consumption: OR 0.61 (95% CI 0.37, 1.00). Older adults with the highest consumption of nuts and fish had reduced odds of olfactory impairment, independent of potential confounding variables.


Blue Mountains Eye Study; Fatty acids; Fish; Nuts; Olfactory impairment

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Cambridge University Press
Loading ...
Support Center