Association of Dietary Prebiotic Consumption with Reduced Risk of Alzheimer's Disease in a Multiethnic Population

Curr Alzheimer Res. 2021;18(12):984-992. doi: 10.2174/1567205019666211222115142.


Objective: This study aimed to investigate the association between dietary prebiotic intake and risk for Alzheimer's disease (AD).

Methods: This longitudinal study includes 1,837 elderly (≥65 years) participants of a multi-ethnic community-based cohort study who were dementia-free at baseline and had provided dietary information from food frequency questionnaires. Total daily intake of fructan, one of the best-known prebiotics, was calculated based on consumption frequency and fructan content per serving of 8 food items. The associations of daily fructan intake with AD risk were examined using a Cox proportional hazards model, adjusted for cohort recruitment wave, age, gender, race/ethnicity, education, daily caloric intake, and APOE genotype. Effect modification by race/ethnicity, APOE genotype, and gender was tested by including an interaction term into the Cox models, as well as by stratified analyses.

Results: Among 1,837 participants (1,263 women [69%]; mean [SD] age = 76 [6.3] years), there were 391 incident AD cases during a mean follow-up of 7.5 years (13736 person-years). Each additional gram of fructan intake was associated with 24% lower risk for AD ((95% CI)=0.60-0.97; P =0.03). Additional adjusting for smoking, alcohol consumption, and comorbidity index did not change results materially. The associations were not modified by race/ethnicity, gender, and APOE genotype, although stratified analyses showed that fructan intake was significantly associated with reduced AD risk in Hispanics but not in non-Hispanic Blacks or Whites.

Conclusion: Higher dietary fructan intake is associated with a reduced risk of clinical Alzheimer's disease among older adults.

Keywords: APOE Genotype; Alzheimer’s Disease; Central Nervous System (CNS); Dementia; Dietary Prebiotic Consumption; Multiple Sclerosis.; Parkinson’s Disease.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Alzheimer Disease* / epidemiology
  • Alzheimer Disease* / genetics
  • Alzheimer Disease* / prevention & control
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Prebiotics*
  • Proportional Hazards Models
  • Risk Factors


  • Prebiotics