Prospective epidemiological studies have reported that a higher fruit and vegetable intake is associated with a lower risk of CHD. The aim of the present study was to examine associations between fruit and vegetable consumption, in particular the subgroupings citrus fruits, apples and cruciferous vegetables, and the risk of acute coronary syndrome (ACS). During a median follow-up of 7.7 years, 1075 incident ACS cases were identified among 53 383 men and women, aged 50-64 years at recruitment into the Diet, Cancer and Health cohort study in 1993-7. Fruit and vegetable intake was estimated from a validated FFQ, and ACS incidence rate ratios (IRR) were estimated using Cox proportional hazards models. Overall, a tendency towards a lower risk of ACS was observed for both men and women with higher fruit and vegetable consumption. For men, we found an inverse association for apple intake (IRR per 25 g/d: 0.97; 95 % CI 0.94, 0.99). This association was also seen among women, albeit borderline significant. However, a higher risk was seen among women with higher fruit juice intake (IRR per 25 g/d: 1.04; 95 % CI 1.00, 1.08). The present results provide some support for previously observed inverse associations between fresh fruit intake, particularly apples, and ACS risk.
The role of dietary fiber on the risk of colon and rectal cancer has been investigated in numerous studies, but findings have been inconsistent. The purpose of this study was to examine associations between intake of dietary fiber and risk of incident colon (including distal and proximal colon) and rectal cancer in the prospective Scandinavian HELGA cohort and to determine if fiber source (vegetables, fruits, potatoes, cereals) impacted the association. We included 1,168 incident cases (691 colon, 477 rectal cancer), diagnosed during a median of 11.3 years, among 108,081 cohort members. Sex-specific incidence rate ratios (IRRs) of colon and rectal cancer were related to intake of total or specific fiber source using Cox proportional hazards models. For men, an inverse association was observed between intake of total fiber and the risk of colon cancer per an incremental increase of 10 g day(-1) , IRR (95% CI): 0.74 (0.64-0.86). Intake of cereal fiber per 2 g day(-1) was associated with an IRR of 0.94 (0.91-0.98), which was also seen for intake of cereal fiber from foods with high fiber content (= 5 g per 100 g product), where the IRR per 2 g day(-1) was 0.94 (0.90-0.98). In women, intake of cereal fiber per 2 g day(-1) was also associated with lower risk of colon cancer, 0.97 (0.93-1.00). No clear associations were seen for rectal cancer. Our data indicate a protective role of total and cereal fiber intake, particularly from cereal foods with high fiber content, in the prevention of colon cancer.
It has been suggested that antioxidants attenuate oxidative stress and prevent oxidative stress-related diseases. Paradoxically, randomised controlled trials (RCT) using pharmacological doses of antioxidant supplements have demonstrated harmful effects in smokers. The aim of the present study was to test the compliance, tolerability and safety of two food-based antioxidant-rich diets in smokers. One of the diets provided antioxidants at levels similar to that used in RCT using supplements which previously have generated harmful effects. The present study followed a randomised, parallel-arm dietary intervention for 8 weeks (n 102) in male smokers (age = 45 years). Participants were randomised to either antioxidant-rich diet, kiwi fruit or control groups. The antioxidant-rich foods provided about 300 mmol antioxidants/week from a wide range of plant-based food items. The kiwi fruit group consumed three kiwi fruits/d. Compliance to both diets was good. Only mild, undesirable events were reported by a minority of the participants. The safety of both diets was demonstrated as no potentially harmful or pro-oxidative effects were observed. In the antioxidant-rich diet group, the mean intake of antioxidants increased from 30 mmol/d at baseline to 62 mmol/d during the intervention. In conclusion, we have demonstrated that male smokers can comply with two food-based antioxidant-rich diets. Furthermore, the present study is the first to demonstrate the tolerability and safety of dietary antioxidants at levels similar to dosages provided in RCT using supplements. Such diets may be useful in future studies investigating whether dietary antioxidants may reduce oxidative stress and related diseases.
A previous study has shown effects of the New Nordic Diet (NND) to stimulate weight loss and lower systolic and diastolic blood pressure in obese Danish women and men in a randomized, controlled dietary intervention study. This work demonstrates long-term metabolic effects of the NND as compared with an Average Danish Diet (ADD) in blood plasma and reveals associations between metabolic changes and health beneficial effects of the NND including weight loss. A total of 145 individuals completed the intervention and blood samples were taken along with clinical examinations before the intervention started (week 0) and after 12 and 26 weeks. The plasma metabolome was measured using GC-MS, and the final metabolite table contained 144 variables. Significant and novel metabolic effects of the diet, resulting weight loss, gender, and intervention study season were revealed using PLS-DA and ASCA. Several metabolites reflecting specific differences in the diets, especially intake of plant foods and seafood, and in energy metabolism related to ketone bodies and gluconeogenesis formed the predominant metabolite pattern discriminating the intervention groups. Among NND subjects, higher levels of vaccenic acid and 3-hydroxybutanoic acid were related to a higher weight loss, while higher concentrations of salicylic, lactic, and N-aspartic acids and 1,5-anhydro-d-sorbitol were related to a lower weight loss. Specific gender and seasonal differences were also observed. The study strongly indicates that healthy diets high in fish, vegetables, fruit, and whole grain facilitated weight loss and improved insulin sensitivity by increasing ketosis and gluconeogenesis in the fasting state.