Recently, it has been proposed that dietary factors may contribute to the etiology and progression of Sjögren's syndrome, and that nutritional intervention may modify the severity of pathological abnormalities. The objective of this study was to determine whether the nutrient intake of women with primary (1 degrees SS) or secondary (2 degrees SS; ie with systemic lupus erythematosus (2 degrees SS/SLE) or rheumatoid arthritis (2 degrees SS/RA) Sjögren's syndrome is significantly different than that of age- and gender-matched controls.

Women with Sjögren's syndrome were asked to complete the 97 General Purpose Semi-Quantitative Food Frequency Questionnaire, which consists of a list of 147 separate food items that represent the major sources of multiple nutrients. Nutritional data were evaluated in terms of absolute and energy-adjusted nutrient amounts and analyzed by ANOVA.

Our results showed: (a) greater intake of energy, glutamate, carbohydrates, lactose, phosphorus, caffeine and unsupplemental thiamin and riboflavin in 1 degrees SS, as well as supplemental calcium in 2 degrees SS/SLE, compared with controls; (b) greater nutrient intake of energy, protein, glutamate, methionine, tryptophan, carbohydrates, lactose, supplemental calcium and phosphorus, sodium, caffeine and unsupplemental calcium, riboflavin and thiamin in 2 degrees SS/RA, relative to 1 degrees SS and/or 2 degrees SS/SLE; (c) higher energy-adjusted values for supplemental calcium in 2 degrees SS/SLE, and for vitamin A and supplemental iron and zinc in 2 degrees SS/RA, compared with other groups; and (d) higher energy-adjusted intake of supplemental calcium, and a lower energy-adjusted intake of unsupplemental vitamin C, polyunsaturated fat, linoleic acid, omega-3 fatty acid, and specific other unsaturated fatty acids, in the Sjögren's syndrome group as a whole, relative to controls.

Our findings demonstrate that nutrient intake is altered in Sjögren's syndrome.