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Low dietary intake of β-carotene, α-tocopherol and ascorbic acid is associated with increased inflammatory and oxidative stress status in a Swedish cohort

  • Johanna Helmersson (a1) (a2), Johan Ärnlöv (a2), Anders Larsson (a3) and Samar Basu (a2) (a4)
  • DOI:
  • Published online: 15 December 2008

Fruit and vegetable consumption has been associated with a reduced risk of several diseases including CVD. A part of these effects seen could be linked to anti-inflammatory and antioxidative effects, although this has not been thoroughly investigated. The present study was designed to investigate the effects of the dietary intake of β-carotene, α-tocopherol and ascorbic acid on in vivo biomarkers of inflammation (PGF, high-sensitive C-reactive protein (hsCRP) and IL-6 formation) and oxidative stress (F2-isoprostane formation), the two important factors associated with accelerated atherosclerosis. The dietary intake of 704 participants in the Uppsala Longitudinal Study of Adult Men (ULSAM) at age 70 years was registered and inflammatory and oxidative stress biomarkers were quantified 7 years later. The registered dietary intakes of ascorbic acid and α-tocopherol were negatively associated linearly and in quartiles with both PGF, hsCRP, IL-6 and F2-isoprostanes, where ascorbic acid intake generally was more strongly associated. Dietary intake of β-carotene was only significantly negatively associated with F2-isoprostanes. In conclusion, the present study is the first to suggest that the intake of food rich in antioxidants is associated with reduced cyclo-oxygenase- and cytokine-mediated inflammation and oxidative stress at 7 years of follow-up. These associations could be linked to the beneficial effects of fruit and vegetables observed on CVD.

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*Corresponding author: Dr Samar Basu, fax +46 18 611 79 76, email
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