In a cross-sectional analysis, researchers found an inverse association between nonalcoholic fatty liver disease and dietary vitamin C intake among a Chinese population. The association was most prevalent among populations of men and people who did not have obesity.
“To our best knowledge, this is the first study which examines the association between dietary vitamin C intake and NAFLD on a large sample with adjustment of potential confounding factors,” the researchers wrote. “Further understanding about this association would be helpful for elucidating the pathogenesis of NAFLD, and providing a new insight into the management of NAFLD.”
Researchers analyzed data of 3,471 middle-aged and older adults diagnosed with NAFLD via abdominal ultrasound examination who consumed less than 40 g/day of alcohol (men) or less than 20g/day (women). Vitamin C intake was divided into four categories according to the quartile distribution: less than 74.8 mg/day (first quartile), between 74.81 and 110.15 mg/day (second quartile), between 110.16 and 146.06 mg/day (third quartile) and greater than 146.07 mg/day (fourth quartile).
Overall, a significant inverse association between dietary vitamin C intake and NAFLD was observed in a multivariate model. The multivariable adjusted odds ratios for NAFLD were 0.69 (95% CI, 0.54-0.89) in the second dietary vitamin C intake quartile, 0.93 (95% CI, 0.72-1.2) in the third quartile and 0.71 (95% CI, 0.53-0.95) in the fourth quartile compared with the first quartile, which was also the lowest, according to the research.
In subgroup analysis, the inverse association remained evident in the male population. The negative association between vitamin C intake and NAFLD were evident in the second quartile (OR = 0.61; 95% CI, 0.43-0.87) and the highest quartile of vitamin C intake (OR = 0.63; 95% CI, 0.42-0.95) compared with the lowest quartile. In addition, the inverse association remained evident in the nonobesity population (OR = 0.83; 95% CI, 0.55–0.96) in the highest quartile. The inverse associations were not evident in the female or obesity populations.
The relative odds of developing NAFLD was 0.71 times less in the fourth quartile of dietary vitamin C intake compared with the lowest quartile.
The researchers concluded: “There might be a moderate inverse association between dietary vitamin C intake and NAFLD in middle-aged and older adults, especially for the male population and nonobesity population.” – by Melinda Stevens
Disclosure: The researchers report no relevant financial disclosures.