Purpose: The cellular oxidative stress (balance between pro-oxidant and antioxidant) may be a major risk factor for chronic diseases. Antioxidant capacity of human diet can be globally assessed through the dietary non-enzymatic antioxidant capacity (NEAC). Our aim was to investigate the relationship between the NEAC and all-cause and cause-specific mortality, and to test potential interactions with smoking status, a well-known pro-oxidant factor.
Methods: Among the French women of the E3N prospective cohort study initiated in 1990, including 4619 deaths among 1,199,011 persons-years of follow-up. A validated dietary history questionnaire assessed usual food intake; NEAC intake was estimated using a food composition table from two different methods: ferric ion reducing antioxidant power (FRAP) and total radical-trapping antioxidant parameter (TRAP). Hazard ratio (HR) estimates and 95 % confidence intervals (CI) were derived from Cox proportional hazards regression models.
Results: In multivariate analyses, FRAP dietary equivalent intake was inversely associated with mortality from all-causes (HR for the fourth vs. the first quartile: HR4 = 0.75, 95 % CI 0.67, 0.83, p trend < 0.0001), cancer, and cardiovascular diseases. Similar results were obtained with TRAP. There was an interaction between NEAC dietary equivalent intake and smoking status for all-cause and cardiovascular disease mortality, but not cancer mortality (respectively, for FRAP, p inter = 0.002; 0.013; 0.113, results were similar with TRAP), and the association was the strongest among current smokers.
Conclusion: This prospective cohort study highlights the importance of antioxidant consumption for mortality prevention, especially among current smokers.
Keywords: All-cause and cause-specific mortality; E3N study; FRAP; Non-enzymatic antioxidant capacity; TRAP.