Fruit and Vegetable Intake and Risk of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis in Japan

Background: There has been little interest in the role of nutrition in the prevention of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). We investigated the relationship between dietary intake of vegetables, fruit, and antioxidants and the risk of ALS in Japan.

Methods: Between 2000 and 2004, we recruited 153 ALS patients aged 18-81 years with disease duration of 3 years within the study period in accordance with El Escorial World Federation of Neurology criteria. Three hundred and six gender- and age-matched controls were randomly selected from the general population. Information on dietary factors was collected using a validated self-administered diet history questionnaire.

Results: A higher consumption of all fruits and vegetables and fruit alone in the highest quartiles was associated with a statistically significantly reduced risk of ALS. Although not statistically significant, a beneficial association between intake of all vegetables, green and yellow vegetables and other vegetables and ALS was found. No statistically significant dose-response relationship was observed between intake of beta-carotene, vitamin C and vitamin E and the risk of ALS.

Conclusion: Our findings suggest that higher intake of food rich in antioxidants such as fruit and vegetables confer protection against the development of ALS.

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