Objective

To investigate the association between mineral intake (potassium, magnesium, calcium, phosphorus, iron, zinc, manganese, copper) and multiple sclerosis (MS) risk.

Methods

In a prospective cohort study, we assessed dietary and supplemental mineral intake by a validated food frequency questionnaire administered every 4 years to 80,920 nurses in the Nurses’ Health Study (1984–2002) and 94,511 in the Nurses’ Health Study II (1991–2007). There were 479 new MS cases during follow-up. We estimated hazard ratios and 95% confidence intervals for the association of energy-adjusted mineral intake with MS risk using Cox regression, adjusting for age, residence latitude at age 15, ancestry, body mass index at age 18, supplemental vitamin D, smoking, and total energy intake.

Results

We did not find any association between the minerals and MS risk, either for baseline or cumulative intake during follow-up. The associations were null comparing women with highest to those with lowest intakes in quintiles or deciles and there was no significant trend for higher intakes (ptrend across baseline quintiles: potassium 0.35, magnesium 0.13, calcium 0.22, phosphorus 0.97, iron 0.85, zinc 0.67, manganese 0.48, copper 0.59).

Conclusions

Our findings suggest that mineral intake is not an important determinant of MS risk.

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