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Dietary intake of α-linolenic acid and risk of age-related macular degeneration.

Abstract

Background:

The relation between α-linolenic acid (ALA), a plant-derived omega-3 (n-3) fatty acid, and age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is unclear. European researchers reported that ≤40% of ALA can be present as trans forms.

Objective:

We aimed to evaluate the associations between intake of ALA and intermediate and advanced AMD.

Design:

Seventy-five thousand eight hundred eighty-nine women from the Nurses' Health Study and 38,961 men from Health Professionals Follow-Up Study were followed up from 1984 to 2012 and from 1986 to 2010, respectively. We assessed dietary intake by a validated food-frequency questionnaire at baseline and every 4 y thereafter. One thousand five hundred eighty-nine incident intermediate and 1356 advanced AMD cases (primarily neovascular AMD) were confirmed by medical record review.

Results:

The multivariable-adjusted HR for intermediate AMD comparing ALA intake at the top quintile to the bottom quintile was 1.28 (95% CI: 1.05, 1.56; P-trend = 0.01) in the analyses combining 2 cohorts. The HR in each cohort was in the positive direction but reached statistical significance only in the women. However, the positive association was apparent only in the pre-2002 era in each cohort and not afterward (P-time interaction = 0.003). ALA intake was not associated with advanced AMD in either time period. Using gas-liquid chromatography, we identified both cis ALA (mean ± SD: 0.13% ± 0.04%) and trans ALA isomers (0.05% ± 0.01%) in 395 erythrocyte samples collected in 1989-1990. In stepwise regression models, mayonnaise was the leading predictor of erythrocyte concentrations of cis ALA and one isomer of trans ALA. We also found trans ALA in mayonnaise samples.

Conclusions:

A high intake of ALA was associated with an increased risk of intermediate AMD before 2002 but not afterward. The period before 2002 coincides with the same time period when trans ALA was found in food and participants' blood; this finding deserves further study.

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  • Authors+Show Affiliations

    ,

    Departments of Nutrition, juan.wu@mail.harvard.edu.

    ,

    Channing Division of Network Medicine, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA. Department of Dermatology, The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, Providence, RI. Department of Epidemiology, Brown School of Public Health, Providence, RI.

    ,

    Departments of Nutrition. Epidemiology, and. Channing Division of Network Medicine, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA.

    ,

    Biostatistics, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, MA. Channing Division of Network Medicine, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA.

    ,

    Bethesda Retina, Bethesda, MD; and.

    ,

    Epidemiology, and. Global Medical Affairs, Shire Pharmaceuticals, Lexington, MA. Center for Translational Medicine, John A. Moran Eye Center, University of Utah School of Medicine, Salt Lake City, UT.

    Departments of Nutrition. Epidemiology, and. Channing Division of Network Medicine, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA.

    Source

    MeSH

    Aged
    Diet
    Erythrocytes
    Feeding Behavior
    Female
    Humans
    Macular Degeneration
    Middle Aged
    Risk Factors
    Trans Fatty Acids
    alpha-Linolenic Acid

    Pub Type(s)

    Journal Article
    Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

    Language

    eng

    PubMed ID

    28468892

    Citation

    Wu, Juan, et al. "Dietary Intake of Α-linolenic Acid and Risk of Age-related Macular Degeneration." The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, vol. 105, no. 6, 2017, pp. 1483-1492.
    Wu J, Cho E, Giovannucci EL, et al. Dietary intake of α-linolenic acid and risk of age-related macular degeneration. Am J Clin Nutr. 2017;105(6):1483-1492.
    Wu, J., Cho, E., Giovannucci, E. L., Rosner, B. A., Sastry, S. M., Schaumberg, D. A., & Willett, W. C. (2017). Dietary intake of α-linolenic acid and risk of age-related macular degeneration. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 105(6), pp. 1483-1492. doi:10.3945/ajcn.116.143453.
    Wu J, et al. Dietary Intake of Α-linolenic Acid and Risk of Age-related Macular Degeneration. Am J Clin Nutr. 2017;105(6):1483-1492. PubMed PMID: 28468892.
    * Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
    TY - JOUR T1 - Dietary intake of α-linolenic acid and risk of age-related macular degeneration. AU - Wu,Juan, AU - Cho,Eunyoung, AU - Giovannucci,Edward L, AU - Rosner,Bernard A, AU - Sastry,Srinivas M, AU - Schaumberg,Debra A, AU - Willett,Walter C, Y1 - 2017/05/03/ PY - 2016/09/07/received PY - 2017/03/30/accepted PY - 2017/5/5/pubmed PY - 2017/8/2/medline PY - 2017/5/5/entrez KW - age-related macular degeneration KW - food-frequency questionnaire KW - omega-3 fatty acids KW - prospective cohort study KW - trans fat KW - α-linolenic acid SP - 1483 EP - 1492 JF - The American journal of clinical nutrition JO - Am. J. Clin. Nutr. VL - 105 IS - 6 N2 - Background: The relation between α-linolenic acid (ALA), a plant-derived omega-3 (n-3) fatty acid, and age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is unclear. European researchers reported that ≤40% of ALA can be present as trans forms.Objective: We aimed to evaluate the associations between intake of ALA and intermediate and advanced AMD.Design: Seventy-five thousand eight hundred eighty-nine women from the Nurses' Health Study and 38,961 men from Health Professionals Follow-Up Study were followed up from 1984 to 2012 and from 1986 to 2010, respectively. We assessed dietary intake by a validated food-frequency questionnaire at baseline and every 4 y thereafter. One thousand five hundred eighty-nine incident intermediate and 1356 advanced AMD cases (primarily neovascular AMD) were confirmed by medical record review.Results: The multivariable-adjusted HR for intermediate AMD comparing ALA intake at the top quintile to the bottom quintile was 1.28 (95% CI: 1.05, 1.56; P-trend = 0.01) in the analyses combining 2 cohorts. The HR in each cohort was in the positive direction but reached statistical significance only in the women. However, the positive association was apparent only in the pre-2002 era in each cohort and not afterward (P-time interaction = 0.003). ALA intake was not associated with advanced AMD in either time period. Using gas-liquid chromatography, we identified both cis ALA (mean ± SD: 0.13% ± 0.04%) and trans ALA isomers (0.05% ± 0.01%) in 395 erythrocyte samples collected in 1989-1990. In stepwise regression models, mayonnaise was the leading predictor of erythrocyte concentrations of cis ALA and one isomer of trans ALA. We also found trans ALA in mayonnaise samples.Conclusions: A high intake of ALA was associated with an increased risk of intermediate AMD before 2002 but not afterward. The period before 2002 coincides with the same time period when trans ALA was found in food and participants' blood; this finding deserves further study. SN - 1938-3207 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/28468892/Dietary_intake_of_α_linolenic_acid_and_risk_of_age_related_macular_degeneration_ L2 - https://academic.oup.com/ajcn/article-lookup/doi/10.3945/ajcn.116.143453 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -