2010 Volume 56 Issue 1 Pages 13-18
The purpose of this study is to examine the relationship between dietary algae (seaweed) consumption and the risk of Type 2 diabetes mellitus in the Korean population. We analyzed data from the Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey in 2005, a nationally representative survey. The study participants included 3,405 males and females aged 20-65 y. Participants were classified into four groups according to the quartiles of total algae consumption frequencies. Proportional odds models were used to assess the relationship between algae consumption and the risk of having diabetes or prediabetes, after adjustment for age, family history of diabetes, education, smoking, alcohol consumption, physical activity, body mass index, waist circumference, triglycerides, total energy intake and food group intakes. The frequency of algae consumption was positively correlated to the consumption of legumes, fruits, fish, and dairy products in both genders (p<0.001). The odds ratios (95% confidence interval) for diabetes vs. prediabetes vs. normoglycemia was 0.66 (0.43-0.99) for males and 0.80 (0.51-1.24) for females in the highest quartile of algae consumption compared to the lowest quartile. Our results suggest that dietary algae consumption may decrease the risk of diabetes mellitus in Korean men. A well-designed prospective study is needed to confirm this association.