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Eur J Clin Nutr. 2019 Jan 14. doi: 10.1038/s41430-018-0387-4. [Epub ahead of print]

Healthy diets and telomere length and attrition during a 10-year follow-up.

Author information

1
Folkhälsan Research Center, Helsinki, Finland. Jelena.meinila@helsinki.fi.
2
Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University of Helsinki and Helsinki University Hospital, Helsinki, Finland. Jelena.meinila@helsinki.fi.
3
Folkhälsan Research Center, Helsinki, Finland.
4
Department of Public Health Solutions, National Institute of Health and Welfare, Helsinki, Finland.
5
Department of Public Health, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland.
6
Cancer Prevention and Control Program, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC, 29208, USA.
7
Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Arnold School of Public Health, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC, 29208, USA.
8
Connecting Health Innovations LLC, Columbia, SC, 29201, USA.
9
Institute of Clinical Physiology, National Research Council (IFC-CNR), Pisa, Italy.
10
Department of General Practice and Primary Health Care, University of Helsinki and Helsinki University Hospital, Helsinki, Finland.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Telomeres are repeats of DNA that contain the sequence TTAGGG at the ends of each chromosome, and their function is to protect DNA from damage. Little evidence exists regarding the relationship between dietary patterns and telomere length, especially derived applying longitudinal design. The aim was to study if overall dietary pattern is associated with leukocyte telomere length (LTL) or faster telomere attrition or both.

METHODS:

The setting was longitudinal and observational. Participants were 456 men and 590 women whose birth settled in between 1934 and 1944 and who participated in the Helsinki Birth Cohort Study. Baltic sea diet score (BSDS), modified Mediterranean diet score (mMED), and dietary inflammatory index (DII®) were calculated based on a 128-item food frequency questionnaire (FFQ) collected in 2001-2004. LTL was measured twice, in 2001-2004 and in 2011-2013 by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction. Association between the dietary patterns and LTL were analysed by general linear models with appropriate contrasts.

RESULTS:

BSDS, mMED, and DII did not associate with LTL in the cross-sectional analysis in men or women. Higher mMED at baseline (2001-2004) was associated with slightly faster LTL shortening during the follow-up (standardized ß -0.08, 95% CI -0.15, -0.01). No association between mMED and LTL change was found in men. Adherence to BSDS and DII did not associate with LTL change in men or women.

CONCLUSION:

Baltic sea diet, Mediterranean diet, and diet's inflammatory potential seem to have only little impact on telomere length and telomere attrition in elderly Finnish men and women.

PMID:
30643221
DOI:
10.1038/s41430-018-0387-4

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