Research: BATES and COLLEAGUES,

Listed in Issue 209

Abstract

BATES and COLLEAGUES, MRC Human Nutrition Research, Elsie Widdowson Laboratory, Fulbourn Road, Cambridge CB1 9NL, UK. chris.bates@mrc-hnr.cam.ac.uk  studied the predictive power, for total, vascular, cancer and respiratory mortality, of selected redox-modulatory (vitamin and mineral nutrient) indices in the British National Diet and Nutrition Survey of people aged 65 years and over.

Background

Methodology

The predictive power, for total, vascular, cancer and respiratory mortality, of selected redox-modulatory (vitamin and mineral nutrient) indices measured at baseline, was studied in the British National Diet and Nutrition Survey (community-living subset) of people aged 65 years and over. Mortality status and its primary and underlying causes were recorded for 1054 (mean age 76.6 (sd 7.4) years and 49.0 % female) participants, from the baseline survey in 1994-5 until September 2008.

Results

During this interval, 74 % of the male and 62 % of the female participants died. Total mortality was significantly predicted by baseline plasma concentrations (per sd) of vitamin C (hazard ratio (HR) 0.81; 95 % CI 0.74, 0.88), alpha-carotene (HR 0.90; 95 % CI 0.81, 0.99), Se (HR 0.76; 95 % CI 0.69, 0.84), Zn (HR 0.79; 95 % CI 0.72, 0.87), Cu (HR 1.27; 95 % CI 1.14, 1.42) and Fe (HR 0.81; 95 % CI 0.74, 0.89). Total mortality was also significantly predicted by baseline dietary intakes (per sd) of food energy (HR 0.86; 95 % CI 0.79, 0.94), vitamin C (HR 0.88; 95 % CI 0.80, 0.94), carotenoids (HR 0.89; 95 % CI 0.83, 0.96), Zn (HR 0.89; 95 % CI 0.82, 0.96) and Cu (HR 0.91; 95 % CI 0.84, 1.00). Prediction patterns and significance for primary vascular, cancer and respiratory mortality differed in certain respects, but not fundamentally. Model adjustment for known disease or mortality risk predictors resulted in loss of significance for some of the indices; however, plasma Se and Zn, and food energy remained significant predictors.

Conclusion

The authors conclude that total and primary vascular, cancer and respiratory mortality in older British people of both sexes is predicted by several biochemical indices of redox-modulatory nutrients, some of which may reflect the respondents' acute-phase status at baseline, whereas others may reflect the healthiness of their lifestyle.

References

Bates CJ, Hamer M and Mishra GD. Redox-modulatory vitamins and minerals that prospectively predict mortality in older British people: the National Diet and Nutrition Survey of people aged 65 years and over. British Journal of Nutrition. 105(1): 123-32, Jan 2011.


Comment

The above analysis demonstrates the relationship between plasma concentrations and dietary intakes of vitamin and mineral nutrients including vitamin C and alpha-carotene, Selenium, Zinc, Iron and Copper which modulate the body’s oxygen-reduction (redox) status and ability to predict total mortality; also vascular, cancer and respiratory mortality in British people aged 65 years and over. Remember this research the next time you read that taking vitamins is a complete waste of time, or worse, harmful.

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