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BackgroundEvidence for antioxidants, minerals and vitamins in relation to the risk of Crohn's disease (CD) and ulcerative colitis (UC) is limited and inconsistent. This mendelian randomization (MR) study aimed to examine the causal associations of circulating levels of antioxidants, minerals and vitamins with CD and UC.MethodsSingle-nucleotide polymorphisms associated with antioxidants (beta-carotene, lycopene and uric acid), minerals (copper, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc and selenium), and vitamins (folate, vitamins A, B6, B12, C, D, E and K1) were employed as instrumental variables. Genetic associations with CD and UC were extracted from the UK Biobank, the FinnGen study and the International Inflammatory Bowel Disease Genetics Consortium. The inverse variance weighted method and sensitivity analyses were performed.ResultsGenetically predicted higher lycopene (OR = 0.94, 95% CI: 0.91-0.97), vitamins D (OR = 0.65, 95% CI: 0.54-0.79) and K1 (OR = 0.93, 95% CI: 0.90-0.97) levels were inversely associated with CD risk, whereas genetically predicted higher magnesium (OR = 1.53, 95% CI: 1.23-1.90) levels were positively associated with CD risk. Higher levels of genetically predicted lycopene (OR = 0.91, 95% CI: 0.88-0.95), phosphorus (OR = 0.69, 95% CI: 0.58-0.82), selenium (OR = 0.91, 95% CI: 0.85-0.97), zinc (OR = 0.91, 95% CI: 0.89-0.94), folate (OR = 0.71, 95% CI: 0.56-0.92) and vitamin E (OR = 0.78, 95% CI: 0.69-0.88) were associated with reduced UC risk, whereas genetically predicted high levels of calcium (OR = 1.46, 95% CI: 1.22-1.76) and magnesium (OR = 1.24, 95% CI: 1.03-1.49) were associated with increased risk of UC.ConclusionsOur study provided evidence that circulating levels of antioxidants, minerals and vitamins might be causally linked to the development of IBD.

Original publication




Journal article


Alimentary pharmacology & therapeutics

Publication Date



Department of Gastroenterology, The Third Xiangya Hospital, Central South University, Changsha, China.