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June 1997

Dietary Antioxidants and Parkinson Disease: The Rotterdam Study

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics (Drs de Rijk, Breteler, Launer, Grobbee, and Hofman and Ms den Breeijen), Erasmus University Medical School, the Department of Neurology, University Hospital Rotterdam (Drs de Rijk and van der Meché), and the Erasmus Center for Research on Aging (Dr de Rijk), Rotterdam, the Netherlands.

Arch Neurol. 1997;54(6):762-765. doi:10.1001/archneur.1997.00550180070015

Objective:  To investigate whether high dietary intake of antioxidants decreases the risk of Parkinson disease (PD).

Setting:  The community-based Rotterdam Study, the Netherlands.

Design:  The cross-sectional study formed part of a large community-based study in which all participants were individually screened for parkinsonism and were administered a semiquantitative food frequency questionnaire. The study population consisted of 5342 independently living individuals without dementia between 55 and 95 years of age, including 31 participants with PD (Hoehn-Yahr stages 1-3).

Results:  The odds ratio for PD was 0.5 (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.2-0.9) per 10-mg daily dietary vitamin E intake, 0.6 (95% CI, 0.3-1.3) per 1-mg beta carotene intake, 0.9 (95% CI, 0.4-1.9) per 100-mg vitamin C intake, and 0.9 (95% CI, 0.7-1.2) per 10-mg flavonoids intake, all adjusted for age, sex, smoking habits, and energy intake. The association with vitamin E intake was dose dependent (P for trend=.03). To assess whether the association was different in participants with more advanced disease, we excluded those with PD who had a Hoehn-Yahr stage of 2.5 or 3. This did not fundamentally alter the results.

Conclusion:  Our data suggest that a high intake of dietary vitamin E may protect against the occurrence of PD.