Publication details

Dietary antioxidant intake decreases carotid intima media thickness in women but not in men: A cross-sectional assessment in the Kardiovize study



Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source Free Radical Biology and Medicine
Description Objective: Atherosclerosis is a major contributor to cardiovascular disease, with a higher burden on men than women during the occupational age. Intake of individual dietary antioxidants is inversely associated with risk of atherosclerosis development. We aimed to understand the relationship between dietary composite antioxidant intake and the carotid intima media thickness (cIMT), which is a proxy of atherosclerosis progression. Approach and results: We performed a cross-sectional analysis that included 894 members of the Kardiovize cohort, a random urban sample population. Nutrient intakes were derived by 24-h recall. We constructed a composite dietary antioxidant index (CDAI), based on zinc, selenium, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E and carotenoids. We considered the CDAI as the exposure variable and primary outcomes were the following cardio-metabolic parameters: body mass index (BMI), waist-to-hip ratio (WHR), body fat mass (BFM), systolic and diastolic blood pressure, triglycerides, HDL and LDL cholesterol, and cIMT. Associations and interactions between variables were evaluated using linear regression analyses. In women, a 1 mg increase in dietary intake of zinc or vitamin E decreased the cIMT by 3.36 and 1.48 mu m, respectively, after adjusting for covariates. Similarly, the cIMT decreased by 4.72 mu m for each one-unit increase in CDAI (p=0.018). Beyond CDAI, age (beta=3.61; SE=0.89; p=0.001), systolic blood pressure (beta=1.30; SE=0.59; p=0.029) and triglycerides (beta=22.94; SE=10.09; p=0.024) were significant predictors of cIMT in women. By contrast, we found no association between CDAI and cIMT in men. Conclusions: CDAI negatively associates with cIMT in women. These findings indicate that combined intake of nutrients with anti-oxidant properties might prevent the initiation and progression of arterial lesions in a sex-specific manner.