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Clin Nutr. 2017 Jun;36(3):793-797. doi: 10.1016/j.clnu.2016.05.011. Epub 2016 May 24.

Serum α-linolenic and other ω-3 fatty acids, and risk of disabling dementia: Community-based nested case-control study.

Author information

1
Department of Public Health Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Tsukuba, Tsukuba, Japan; Osaka Center for Cancer and Cardiovascular Disease Prevention, Osaka, Japan. Electronic address: yamagishi.kazumas.ge@u.tsukuba.ac.jp.
2
Department of Public Health, Juntendo University, Tokyo, Japan.
3
Department of Public Health Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Tsukuba, Tsukuba, Japan; Health Services and Systems Research, Duke-National University of Singapore Graduate Medical School, Singapore, Singapore.
4
Public Health, Department of Social Medicine, Osaka University Graduate School of Medicine, Suita, Japan.
5
Department of Public Health Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Tsukuba, Tsukuba, Japan; Department of Public Health, Dokkyo Medical University, Mibu, Japan.
6
Osaka Center for Cancer and Cardiovascular Disease Prevention, Osaka, Japan.
7
Department of Epidemiology, Fukushima Medical University, Fukushima, Japan.
8
Department of Public Health Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Tsukuba, Tsukuba, Japan.
9
Osaka Center for Cancer and Cardiovascular Disease Prevention, Osaka, Japan; Public Health, Department of Social Medicine, Osaka University Graduate School of Medicine, Suita, Japan; Research Team for Social Participation and Community Health, Tokyo Metropolitan Institute of Gerontology, Tokyo, Japan.

Abstract

BACKGROUND & AIMS:

It has been hypothesized that ω-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids have anti-atherosclerotic and neuronal protective functions and may benefit prevention of dementia, but the epidemiological evidence, especially for α-linolenic acid, is quite limited. The aim of this study was to examine whether serum ω-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids are associated with risk of dementia.

METHODS:

We performed an intracohort case-control study nested in a community-based cohort, the Circulatory Risk in Communities Study, involving 7586 Japanese individuals aged 40-74 years at the baseline period of 1984-1994. Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid constituents (α-linolenic, eicosapentaenoic, and docosahexaenoic acids) in serum total lipid were measured in 315 cases of incident disabling dementia in the above-mentioned cohort between 1999 and 2004, and in 630 controls whose age, sex, area, and baseline year were matched with the cases.

RESULTS:

As we had postulated, serum α-linolenic acid was inversely associated with risk of disabling dementia: the multivariate odds ratios (95% confidence intervals) were 0.57 (0.39-0.85), 0.51 (0.34-0.76), and 0.61 (0.41-0.90) for persons with the second, third, and highest quartiles of serum α-linolenic acid, respectively, as compared with the lowest quartile (P for trend = 0.01). Associations of other ω-3 fatty acids with disabling dementia were not statistically significant.

CONCLUSIONS:

Serum α-linolenic acid was inversely associated with risk of disabling dementia. Although the causality needs to be confirmed by randomized control trials, we identified serum α-linolenic acid as a biomarker that predicts future dementia.

KEYWORDS:

Cognitive dysfunction; Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA); Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA); Follow-up study; α-Linolenic acid (ALA); ω-3 (n-3) Polyunsaturated fatty acids

PMID:
27265182
DOI:
10.1016/j.clnu.2016.05.011
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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