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European Journal of Nutrition

, Volume 57, Issue 7, pp 2477–2488 | Cite as

Association between organic food consumption and metabolic syndrome: cross-sectional results from the NutriNet-Santé study

  • Julia Baudry
  • Hélène Lelong
  • Solia Adriouch
  • Chantal Julia
  • Benjamin Allès
  • Serge Hercberg
  • Mathilde Touvier
  • Denis Lairon
  • Pilar Galan
  • Emmanuelle Kesse-Guyot
Original Contribution

Abstract

Purpose

Metabolic syndrome (MetS), a multicomponent condition, is a cardiovascular disease predictor. Although exposure to agricultural pesticides has been suggested as a potential contributor to the rising rates of obesity, type 2 diabetes, and other features of metabolic disorders, no studies have focused on the association between consumption of organic food (produced without synthetic pesticides) and MetS. We aimed to investigate the cross-sectional association between organic food consumption and MetS in French adults to determine whether it would be worth conducting further studies, particularly large prospective and randomised trials.

Methods

A total of 8174 participants from the NutriNet-Santé study who attended a clinical visit and completed an organic food frequency questionnaire were included in this cross-sectional analysis. We evaluated the association between the proportion of organic food in the diet (overall and by food group) and MetS using Poisson regression models while adjusting for potential confounders.

Results

Higher organic food consumption was negatively associated with the prevalence of MetS: adjusted prevalence ratio was 0.69 (95% CI 0.61, 0.78) when comparing the third tertile of proportion of organic food in the diet with the first one (p value <0.0001). Higher consumption of organic plant-based foods was also related to a lower probability of having MetS. In addition, when stratifying by lifestyle factors (nutritional quality of the diet, smoking status, and physical activity), a significant negative association was detected in each subgroup (p values <0.05), except among smokers.

Conclusions

Our results showed that a higher organic food consumption was associated with a lower probability of having MetS. Additional prospective studies and randomised trials are required to ascertain the relationship between organic food consumption and metabolic disorders.

Keywords

Metabolic syndrome Metabolic traits Organic food consumption Dietary pattern 

Abbreviations

BMI

Body mass index

CI

Confidence intervals

CNIL

National commission on informatics and liberty

DBP

Diastolic blood pressure

EFSA

European food safety authority

ENNS

French National Nutrition and Health Survey

HDL

High-density protein

IRB

Institutional Review Board of the French Institute for Health and Medical Research

INSEE

French National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies

IPAQ

International Physical Activity Questionnaire

LDL

Low-density protein

MetS

Metabolic syndrome

mPNNS-GS

Modified Programme National Nutrition Guideline Score

Org-FFQ

Organic Food Frequency Questionnaire

POP

Persistent organic pollutants

PUFA

Polyunsaturated fatty acids

PR

Prevalence ratios

SBP

Systolic blood pressure

Notes

Acknowledgements

We thank all the people who helped carry out the NutriNet-Santé study and all dedicated and conscientious volunteers. We especially thank Younes Esseddik, Paul Flanzy, Nathalie Arnault, Fabien Szabo, Laurent Bourhis, and Cédric Agaesse.

Author contributions

SH, PG, DL, and EKG conceived and designed research; JB performed the statistical analysis and wrote the article; JB, HL, SA, CJ, BA, SH, MT, DL, PG, and EKG were involved in revising the work critically for important intellectual content; and JB had primary responsibility for final content. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

None of the authors declares any conflicts of interest.

Funding

The BioNutriNet project was supported by the French National Research Agency (Agence Nationale de la Recherche) in the context of the 2013 Programme de Recherche Systèmes Alimentaires Durables (ANR-13-ALID-0001). The NutriNet-Santé cohort study is funded by the following public institutions: Ministère de la Santé, Santé Publique France, Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale (INSERM), Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique (INRA), Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers (CNAM), and Paris 13 University. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Julia Baudry
    • 1
  • Hélène Lelong
    • 1
  • Solia Adriouch
    • 1
  • Chantal Julia
    • 1
  • Benjamin Allès
    • 1
  • Serge Hercberg
    • 1
    • 2
  • Mathilde Touvier
    • 1
  • Denis Lairon
    • 3
  • Pilar Galan
    • 1
  • Emmanuelle Kesse-Guyot
    • 1
  1. 1.Equipe de Recherche en Epidémiologie Nutritionnelle (EREN), Centre d’Epidémiologie et Statistiques Sorbonne Paris Cité, Inserm U1153, Inra U1125, Cnam, COMUE Sorbonne Paris Cité, Université Paris 13BobignyFrance
  2. 2.Département de Santé PubliqueHôpital AvicenneBobignyFrance
  3. 3.Aix Marseille Université, Nutrition Obésité et Risque Thrombotique (NORT), Inra 1260, Inserm UMR S 1062MarseilleFrance

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