Dietary ω-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid intake and risk for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

Kathryn C. Fitzgerald, Éilis J. O'Reilly, Guido J. Falcone, Marjorie L. McCullough, Yikyung Park, Laurence N. Kolonel, Alberto Ascherio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

IMPORTANCE: Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a severe progressive disease that cannot be prevented or cured. Diet-derived long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) are incorporated in brain lipids and modulate oxidative and inflammatory processes and could thus affect ALS risk and progression. OBJECTIVE: To examine the association between ω-6 and ω-3 PUFA consumption and ALS risk. DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS: Longitudinal analyses based on 1 002 082 participants (479 114 women and 522 968 men) in 5 prospective cohorts: the National Institutes of Health-AARP Diet and Health Study, the Cancer Prevention Study II Nutrition Cohort, the Health Professionals Follow-up Study, the Multiethnic Cohort Study, and the Nurses' Health Study. Diet was assessed via food frequency questionnaire developed or modified for each cohort. Participants were categorized into cohort-specific quintiles of intake of energy-adjusted dietary variables. MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES: Cohort-specific multivariable-adjusted risk ratios (RRs) of ALS incidence or death estimated by Cox proportional hazards regression and pooled using random-effects methods. RESULTS: A total of 995 ALS cases were documented during the follow-up. A greater ω-3 PUFA intake was associated with a reduced risk for ALS. The pooled, multivariable-adjusted RR for the highest to the lowest quintile was 0.66 (95%CI, 0.53-0.81; P < .001 for trend). Consumption of both α-linolenic acid (RR, 0.73; 95%CI, 0.59-0.89; P = .003 for trend) and marine ω-3 PUFAs (RR, 0.84; 95%CI, 0.65-1.08; P = .03 for trend) contributed to this inverse association. Intakes of ω-6 PUFA were not associated with ALS risk. CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: Consumption of foods high in ω-3 PUFAs may help prevent or delay the onset of ALS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1102-1110
Number of pages9
JournalJAMA Neurology
Volume71
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2014
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology

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