Metals are involved in several important functions in the nervous system. Zinc and iron are increased and copper is decreased in the substantia nigra in Parkinson's disease (PD). However, epidemiological evidence for the association of dietary intake of metals with the risk of PD is limited. We investigated the relationship between metal consumption and the risk of PD in Japan using data from a multicenter hospital-based case-control study. Included were 249 cases within 6 years of onset of PD based on the UK PD Society Brain Bank clinical diagnostic criteria. Controls were 368 inpatients and outpatients without a neurodegenerative disease. Information on dietary factors was collected using a self-administered diet history questionnaire. Higher intake of iron, magnesium, and zinc was independently associated with a reduced risk of PD: the adjusted OR in the highest quartile was 0.24 (95% CI: 0.10-0.57, P for trend = 0.0003) for iron, 0.33 (95% CI: 0.13-0.81, P for trend = 0.007) for magnesium and 0.50 (95% CI: 0.26-0.95, P for trend = 0.055) for zinc. There were no relationships between the intake of copper or manganese and the risk of PD. Higher intake of iron, magnesium, and zinc may be protective against PD.
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