Prebiotic Consumption and Reduced Risk of Alzheimer's Disease


This study aimed to investigate the association between dietary prebiotic intake and risk for Alzheimer's disease (AD) (Curr Alzheimer Res. 2021 Dec 21).

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.

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.

In conclusion, higher dietary fructan intake is associated with a reduced risk of clinical Alzheimer's disease among older adults.