Polyunsaturated fatty acids and risk of Alzheimer’s disease: a Mendelian randomization study

Yasutake Tomata, Susanna C. Larsson, Sara Hägg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: Observational studies have suggested that polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) may decrease Alzheimer’s disease (AD) risk. In the present study, we examined this hypothesis using a Mendelian randomization analysis. Methods: We used summary statistics data for single-nucleotide polymorphisms associated with plasma levels of n-6 PUFAs (linoleic acid, arachidonic acid) and n-3 PUFAs (alpha-linolenic acid, eicosapentaenoic acid, docosapentaenoic acid, docosahexaenoic acid), and the corresponding data for AD from a genome-wide association meta-analysis of 63,926 individuals (21,982 diagnosed AD cases, 41,944 controls). Results: None of the genetically predicted PUFAs was significantly associated with AD risk; odds ratios (95% confidence interval) per 1 SD increase in PUFA levels were 0.98 (0.93, 1.03) for linoleic acid, 1.01 (0.98, 1.05) for arachidonic acid, 0.96 (0.88, 1.06) for alpha-linolenic acid, 1.03 (0.93, 1.13) for eicosapentaenoic acid, 1.03 (0.97, 1.09) for docosapentaenoic acid, and 1.01 (0.81, 1.25) for docosahexaenoic acid. Conclusions: This study did not support the hypothesis that PUFAs decrease AD risk.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1763-1766
Number of pages4
JournalEuropean Journal of Nutrition
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Jun 1
Externally publishedYes


  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Mendelian randomization analysis
  • Polyunsaturated fatty acids

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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