Complement C3 Is Inversely Associated with Habitual Intake of Provitamin A but Not with Dietary Fat, Fatty Acids, or Vitamin E in Middle-Aged to Older White Adults and Positively Associated with Intake of Retinol in Middle-Aged to Older White Women

M.M.J. van Greevenbroek*, I.C.W. Arts, C.J.H. van der Kallen, P.C. Dagnelie, I. Ferreira, E. Jansen, C.G. Schalkwijk, E.J.M. Feskens, C.D.A. Stehouwer

*Corresponding author for this work

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Complement factor 3 (C3) has been identified as a novel risk factor for obesity-associated cardiometabolic diseases. Data in the literature suggest that C3 concentrations may be influenced by diet. Therefore, we investigated the associations of intake of total fat, specific fatty acids, and fat-soluble vitamin E (and individual tocopherols) and vitamin A (and its dietary precursors) with circulating C3. In a white cohort [Cohort on Diabetes and Atherosclerosis Maastricht (CODAM); n = 501; 59.4 +/- 7.1 y; 61% men], associations of habitual nutrient intake (assessed by a food-frequency questionnaire) with circulating C3 were evaluated by using cross-sectional multiple linear regression analyses. Adjustments were first performed for age, sex, glucose metabolism status (i.e., impaired glucose metabolism or type 2 diabetes), and energy intake and subsequently for BMI, waist circumference, alcohol intake, smoking behavior, and season of blood collection. No associations with C3 were observed for total dietary fat intake or intake of specific fatty acids [saturated, monounsaturated, polyunsaturated, n-6 (omega-6), and n-3 (omega-3) fatty acids], vitamin E, or individual tocopherols. We observed an inverse association with intake of provitamin A carotenoids alpha-carotene (in mu g/d; regression coefficient beta = -0.075; 95% Cl: -0.140, -0.010; P = 0.025) and beta-carotene (in mu g/d; beta = -0.021; 95% Cl: -0.044, 0.002; P = 0.068) with C3 (in mg/L). In contrast, and only in women, dietary retinol intake (in mu g/d) was positively associated with C3 (beta = 0.116; 95% Cl: 0.014,0.218; P = 0.026; n = 196). In conclusion, these data suggest that fasting concentrations of C3 may, in a complex manner, be modifiable by variation in dietary provitamin A carotenoids and/or retinol content of the usual diet but most likely not by variations in fat composition and vitamin E content.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)61-67
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Nutrition
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014


  • SERUM C3
  • RISK

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