Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and food intake

For Slalom, Parals, and for Slap Groups

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: To verify if specific foods and nutrients could be risk factors or protective factors for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Methods: Patients with newly diagnosed ALS from three Italian administrative regions were included. For each patient, a healthy control, matched for age (±5 years), sex and administrative region of residence, was selected by a general practitioner. Cases and controls were interviewed by a trained investigator who filled a validated and reproducible food-frequency questionnaire. Daily intake of macronutrients, micronutrients, fatty acids, and total energy were estimated using an Italian food composition database. Results: Two hundred and twelve cases and 212 controls were included. A risk reduction was found for coffee and tea (odds ratios (OR) = 0.29, 95% CI 0.14–0.60), whole bread (OR = 0.55, 95% CI 0.31–0.99), raw vegetables (OR = 0.25, 95% CI 0.13–0.52) and citrus fruits (OR = 0.49, 95% CI 0.25–0.97). A risk increase was observed for red meat (OR = 2.96, 95% CI 1.46–5.99) and pork and processed meat (OR = 3.87, 95% CI 1.86–8.07). An increased risk was found for total protein (OR = 2.96, 95% CI 1.08–8.10), animal protein (OR = 2.91, 95% CI 1.33–6.38), sodium (OR = 3.96, 95% CI 1.45–10.84), zinc (OR = 2.78, 95% CI 1.01–7.83) and glutamic acid (OR = 3.63, 95% CI 1.08–12.2). Conclusions: Some foods/nutrients may be risk factors and others protective factors for ALS.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)267-274
Number of pages8
JournalAmyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis and Frontotemporal Degeneration
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 3 2018


  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
  • case-control
  • Italy
  • nutrition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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