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Mult Scler. 2017 Dec;23(14):1830-1838. doi: 10.1177/1352458517691150. Epub 2017 Feb 3.

Polyunsaturated fatty acids and the risk of multiple sclerosis.

Author information

1
Department of Global Public Health and Primary Care, University of Bergen, Bergen, Norway/Norwegian Multiple Sclerosis Competence Centre, Department of Neurology, Haukeland University Hospital, Bergen, Norway.
2
Partners Multiple Sclerosis Center, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, MA, USA.
3
Departments of Nutrition and Epidemiology, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, MA, USA/Channing Division of Network Medicine, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA.
4
Department of Nutrition, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, MA, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Results from previous studies on polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) intake and multiple sclerosis (MS) risk are conflicting.

OBJECTIVE:

To prospectively investigate the association between dietary intake of PUFA and MS risk.

METHODS:

We followed 80,920 women from Nurses' Health Study (1984-2004) and 94,511 women from Nurses' Health Study II (1991-2009) who reported on diet using a validated food frequency questionnaire every 4 years and identified 479 incident MS cases during follow-up. We used Cox regression to estimate hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs), for the effect of PUFA intake on MS risk adjusting for age, latitude of residence at age 15, ancestry, cigarette smoking, supplemental vitamin D intake, body mass index, and total energy intake.

RESULTS:

Higher intake of total PUFA at baseline was associated with a lower risk of MS (HR top vs bottom quintile: 0.67, 95% CI: 0.49-0.90, p trend = 0.01). Among the specific types of PUFA, only α-linolenic acid (ALA) was inversely associated with MS risk (HR top vs bottom quintile: 0.61, 95% CI: 0.45-0.83, p trend = 0.001). The long-chain fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) were not associated with MS risk.

CONCLUSION:

Low dietary PUFA intake may be another modifiable risk factor for MS.

KEYWORDS:

Multiple sclerosis; alpha-linolenic acid; epidemiology; polyunsaturated fatty acids; risk factors

PMID:
28156186
PMCID:
PMC5494026
DOI:
10.1177/1352458517691150
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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