Previous studies on individual foods and nutrients and Parkinson's disease (PD) risk have been inconsistent. Furthermore, only one study has examined the association between the quality of diet and PD. We investigated the prediction of food groups and diet quality on PD in the Finnish Mobile Clinic Survey (1966-72). The population comprised 4524 individuals, aged 40-79 years and free from PD at baseline. Data collection included health examinations, a questionnaire and a 1-year dietary history interview. A modified Alternate Healthy Eating Index was formed to assess diet quality. Statistical analyses were based on Cox's model. During a 41-year follow-up, eighty-five incident cases of PD occurred. No statistically significant associations were found between PD incidence and most of the food groups examined. A few exceptions were fruits and berries in men and milk in women, which showed positive associations. An inverse association between the intake of meat products and PD was found in women. The diet quality index did not predict PD, the adjusted relative risk between the highest and lowest quartiles being 1.83 (95 % CI 0.65, 5.18) in men and 0.97 (95 % CI 0.38, 2.48) in women. The present study suggests that since most of the single food groups or the quality of diet did not predict PD occurrence, the role of diet is apparently rather modest.
The relation between the intake of retinoids, carotenoids, vitamin E, vitamin C, and selenium and the subsequent risk of lung cancer was studied among 4,538 initially cancer-free Finnish men aged 20-69 years. During a follow-up of 20 years beginning in 1966-1972, 117 lung cancer cases were diagnosed. Inverse gradients were observed between the intake of carotenoids, vitamin E, and vitamin C and the incidence of lung cancer among nonsmokers, for whom the age-adjusted relative risks of lung cancer in the lowest tertile of intake compared with that in the highest tertile were 2.5 (p value for trend = 0.04), 3.1 (p = 0.12), and 3.1 (p less than 0.01) for the three intakes, respectively. Adjustment for various potential confounding factors did not materially alter the results, and the associations did not seem to be due to preclinical cancer. In the total cohort, there was an inverse association between intake of margarine and fruits and risk of lung cancer. The relative risk of lung cancer for the lowest compared with the highest tertile of margarine intake was 4.0 (p less than 0.001), and that for fruits was 1.8 (p = 0.01). These associations persisted after adjustment for the micronutrient intakes and were stronger among nonsmokers. The results suggest that carotenoids, vitamin E, and vitamin C may be protective against lung cancer among nonsmokers. Food sources rich in these micronutrients may also have other constituents with independent protective effects against lung cancer.
Comment In: Am J Epidemiol. 1992 Nov 1;136(9):1167-9; author reply 1169-701462977
Flavonoids are effective antioxidants and, in theory, may provide protection against cancer, although direct human evidence of this is scarce. The relation between the intake of antioxidant flavonoids and subsequent risk of cancer was studied among 9,959 Finnish men and women aged 15-99 years and initially cancer free. Food consumption was estimated by the dietary history method, covering the total habitual diet during the previous year. During a follow-up in 1967-1991, 997 cancer cases and 151 lung cancer cases were diagnosed. An inverse association was observed between the intake of flavonoids and incidence of all sites of cancer combined. The sex- and age-adjusted relative risk of all sites of cancer combined between the highest and lowest quartiles of flavonoid intake was 0.80 (95% confidence interval 0.67-0.96). This association was mainly a result of lung cancer, which presented a corresponding relative risk of 0.54 (95% confidence interval 0.34-0.87). The association between flavonoid intake and lung cancer incidence was not due to the intake of antioxidant vitamins or other potential confounding factors, as adjustment for factors such as smoking and intakes of energy, vitamin E, vitamin C, and beta-carotene did not materially alter the results. The association was strongest in persons under 50 years of age and in nonsmokers with relative risks of 0.33 (95% confidence interval 0.15-0.77) and 0.13 (95% confidence interval 0.03-0.58), respectively. Of the major dietary flavonoid sources, the consumption of apples showed an inverse association with lung cancer incidence, with a relative risk of 0.42 (95% confidence interval 0.23-0.76) after adjustment for the intake of other fruits and vegetables. The results are in line with the hypothesis that flavonoid intake in some circumstances may be involved in the cancer process, resulting in lowered risks.
To study the association between dietary intake of flavonoids and subsequent coronary mortality.
A cohort study based on data collected at the Finnish mobile clinic health examination survey from 1967-72 and followed up until 1992.
30 communities from different parts of Finland.
5133 Finnish men and women aged 30-69 years and free from heart disease at baseline.
Dietary intake of flavonoids, total mortality, and coronary mortality.
In women a significant inverse gradient was observed between dietary intake of flavonoids and total and coronary mortality. The relative risks between highest and lowest quarters of flavonoid intake adjusted for age, smoking, serum cholesterol concentration, blood pressure, and body mass index were 0.69 (95% confidence interval 0.53 to 0.90) and 0.54 (0.33 to 0.87) for total and coronary mortality, respectively. The corresponding values for men were 0.76 (0.63 to 0.93) and 0.78 (0.56 to 1.08), respectively. Adjustment for intake of antioxidant vitamins and fatty acids weakened the associations for women; the relative risks for coronary heart disease were 0.73 (0.41 to 1.32) and 0.67 (0.44 to 1.00) in women and men, respectively. Intakes of onions and apples, the main dietary sources of flavonoids, presented similar associations. The relative risks for coronary mortality between highest and lowest quarters of apple intake were 0.57 (0.36 to 0.91) and 0.81 (0.61 to 1.09) for women and men, respectively. The corresponding values for onions were 0.50 (0.30 to 0.82) and 0.74 (0.53 to 1.02), respectively.
The results suggest that people with very low intakes of flavonoids have higher risks of coronary disease.
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The consumption of different foods was studied for their ability to predict type II diabetes mellitus.
The study design was a cohort study, based on the Finnish Mobile Clinic Health Examination Survey.
A total of 30 communities from different parts of Finland.
A total of 4304 men and women, 40-69 y of age and free of diabetes at baseline in 1967-1972 and followed up for incidence of diabetes medication during 23 y (383 incident cases).
Higher intakes of green vegetables, fruit and berries, oil and margarine, and poultry were found to predict a reduced risk of type II diabetes. The relative risks of developing type II diabetes between the extreme quartiles of the intakes were 0.69 (95% confidence interval (CI) = 0.50-0.93; P for trend (P) = 0.02) for green vegetables, 0.69 (CI = 0.51-0.92; P = 0.03) for fruit and berries, 0.71 (CI = 0.52-0.98; P = 0.01) for margarine and oil, and 0.71 (CI = 0.54-0.94; P = 0.01) for poultry.
The results suggest that prevention of type II diabetes might be aided by consumption of certain foods that are rich in nutrients with hypothesized health benefits.