Circulating levels of perfluoroalkyl substances are associated with dietary patterns – A cross sectional study in elderly Swedish men and women

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Abstract

Background

In our daily life, we are exposed to perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) with possible health implications. The main exposure route for these substances is diet but comparative studies on how dietary habits influence exposure are lacking.

Objectives

To examine the relations between blood levels of PFAS and adherence to three predefined dietary patterns (a WHO recommended diet, a Mediterranean-like diet, and a Low-Carbohydrate High-Protein (LCHP) diet) in an elderly Swedish population.

Methods

Dietary data from 7-day food records and serum concentrations of PFAS were obtained from a 70-year-old Swedish population (n=844), the Prospective Investigation of the Vasculature in Uppsala Seniors (PIVUS) study. The Healthy Diet Indicator score (based on WHO recommendations), the Mediterranean Diet Score and LCHP score were used to assess adherence. Multivariate linear regression was used to assess the associations between eight major PFAS and adherence to each dietary pattern.

Results

The WHO recommended diet was positively associated with perfluorohexane sulfonic acid (PFHxS). The LCHP diet was positively related to four out of eight PFAS; namely, perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS), perfluorononanoic acid (PFNA), perfluorodecanoic acid (PFDA) and perfluoroundecanoic acid (PFUnDA). The Mediterranean-like diet was positively associated with most PFAS; namely perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), perfluorooctane sulfonamide (PFOSA), PFHxS, PFNA, PFDA, and PFUnDA.

Conclusions

All dietary patterns were positively associated with blood levels of PFAS. The highest body burden of PFAS was found in individuals with high adherence to a Mediterranean-like diet, whilst individuals who more closely followed the officially recommended diet displayed a lower body burden of these compounds.

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