Intakes of 4 dietary lignans and cause-specific and all-cause mortality in the Zutphen Elderly Study1–3

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Abstract

Background:

Plant lignans are converted to enterolignans that have antioxidant and weak estrogen-like activities, and therefore they may lower cardiovascular disease and cancer risks.

Objective:

We investigated whether the intakes of 4 plant lignans (lariciresinol, pinoresinol, secoisolariciresinol, and matairesinol) were inversely associated with coronary heart disease (CHD), cardiovascular diseases (CVD), cancer, and all-cause mortality.

Design:

The Zutphen Elderly Study is a prospective cohort study in which 570 men aged 64–84 y were followed for 15 y. We recently developed a database and used it to estimate the dietary intakes of 4 plant lignans. Lignan intake was related to mortality with the use of Cox proportional hazards analysis.

Results:

The median total lignan intake in 1985 was 977 μg/d. Tea, vegetables, bread, coffee, fruit, and wine were the major sources of lignan. The total lignan intake was not related to mortality. However, the intake of matairesinol was inversely associated with CHD, CVD, and all-cause mortality (P ≤ 0.05 for all) and cancer (P = 0.06). Multivariate-adjusted rate ratios (95% CI) per 1-SD increase in intake were 0.72 (0.53, 0.98) for CHD, 0.83 (0.69, 1.00) for CVD, 0.86 (0.76, 0.97) for all-cause mortality, and 0.81 (0.65, 1.00) for cancer.

Conclusions:

Total lignan intake was not associated with mortality. The intake of matairesinol was inversely associated with mortality due to CHD, CVD, cancer, and all causes. We cannot exclude the possibility that the inverse association between matairesinol intake and mortality is due to an associated factor, such as wine consumption. Am J Clin Nutr 2006;84:400–5.

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