Nutrition and Chronic Disease

A wide variety of nutrients have been associated with a variety of diseases or health states, often with varying degrees of association. The table below summarises the nutritional research that has examined the protective or increased incidence of nutrients on chronic diseases.

Disease State Protective Effect Increased Incidence
Cancer Carotenes

Vitamins C, D & E

n-3 fatty acids

High intakes of fruits/vegetables

Low vitamin A and folate intakes

High total fat intake

Low fibre intake

Cardiovascular Disease Vitamins C, D & E

High dietary fibre intakes

Low intakes of saturated fats

Higher intakes of mono- and poly-unsaturated fats

Low folate intakesHigh sodium intakes

High magnesium intakes

High iron intakes

Immunocompetence Glutaminen-3 fatty acids MalnutritionZinc, copper, iron and selenium deficiencies.

Vitamin A, B6, C & E deficiencies

Osteoporosis High calcium intakes

Magnesium, flouride, and vitamin C and D intakes

Low calcium intakes

High sodium and protein intakes

Anaemia Folate and vitamin B12 deficiency

Copper deficiency

Cataract/Macular Degeneration Antioxidants
Diabetes Chromium

Fibre, complex carbohydrate

Resistant starch

Monounsaturated fats

Low vitamin E
Bowel Health n-3 fatty acids


High intakes of fat & total protein