Plant compounds tied to less stomach cancer in women: study
Sun Oct 28, 2012 8:20pm EDT
(Reuters) - Getting a moderate amount of plant substances called flavonoids through food may be linked to a lower stomach cancer risk in women - but not in men, according to a European study.
The researchers, writing in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, found that women with the highest intake of flavonoids were half as likely to develop the disease as women who had the smallest intake.
"A flavonoid-rich diet is based on plant-based foods (such as) fruits, vegetables, whole grain cereals, nuts, legumes, and their derived products (tea, chocolate, wine)," lead author Raul Zamora-Ros told Reuters Health by email.
"This kind of diet combined with less consumption of red and processed meat can be a good way to reduce the risk of developing stomach cancer," added Zamora-Ros, a researcher at the Catalan Institute of Oncology in Spain.
The findings don't prove that flavonoids alone can ward off the disease, because other factors such as a healthier lifestyle may play a role.
The researchers not that past research has hinted that flavonoids may help protect against cancer, but few studies have focused on stomach cancer - the fourth most common, and the second most deadly, according to Zamora-Ros.
For the study, the researchers turned to ongoing research following almost 500,000 men and women in 10 European countries. All of the participants were between 35 and 70 years old, and had been part of the study for about 11 years.
During that time, there were 683 cases of stomach cancer, of which 288 occurred in women.
The researchers analyzed the participants' food diaries to see how many flavonoids they are on average, then they checked to see whether or not that amount was linked to the participant's cancer risk.
Green tea contains a large amount of flavonoids, with more than 12,511 milligrams (mg) per 100 grams (g) of leaves. Pinto beans also contain a lot, with about 769 mg per 100 g of beans.
Women who got more than 580 mg of flavonoids per day had a 51-percent-lower risk of developing stomach cancer than women who consumed no more than 200 mg a day.
"If you look at absolute numbers, this risk reduction probably wouldn't be as significant as if we were talking about colon cancer," said Richard peek, director of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, who was not involved in the study.
Zamora-Ros said a person's exact risk depends on several factors, including whether they smoke and drink, how much red and processed meat they eat, and whether they are obese.
He added that the absence of a link between flavonoids and stomach cancer in men was a surprise, and might be due to differences in how much they smoke or drink, or to hormonal differences.
Overall, he added, the study adds more evidence that "healthy lifestyles reduce the risk of chronic diseases." SOURCE: bit.ly/UDC3xx
(Reporting from New York by Andrew Seaman at Reuters Health; editing by Elaine Lies)
Dietary flavonoid and lignan intake and gastric adenocarcinoma risk in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) study1,2,3
Raul Zamora-Ros, Antonio Agudo, Leila Lujan-Barroso, Isabelle Romieu, Pietro Ferrari, Viktoria Knaze, H Bas Bueno-de-Mesquita, Max Leenders, Ruth C Travis, Carmen Navarro, Emilio Sanchez-Cantalejo, Nadia Slimani, Augustin Scalbert, Veronika Fedirko, Anette Hjartaker, Dagrun Engeset, Guri Skeie, Heiner Boeing, Jana Forster, Kuanrong Li, Birgit Teucher, Claudia Agnoli, Rosario Tumino, Amalia Mattiello, Calogero Saieva, Ingegerd Johansson, Roger Stenling, Maria Luisa Redondo, Peter Wallstrom, Ulrika Ericson, Kay-Tee Khaw, Angela A Mulligan, Antonia Trichopoulou, Vardis Dilis, Michael Katsoulis, Petra HM Peeters, Lazslo Igali, Anne Tjonneland, Jytte Halkjar, Marina Touillaud, Florence Perquier, Guy Fagherazzi, Pilar Amiano, Eva Ardanaz, Lea Bredsdorff, Kim Overvad, Fulvio Ricceri, Elio Riboli, and Carlos A Gonzalez
First published October 17, 2012, doi: 10.3945/?ajcn.112.037358
Am J Clin Nutr December 2012 ajcn.037358
Background: Several experimental studies have suggested potential anticarcinogenic effects of flavonoids, although epidemiologic evidence for the impact of dietary flavonoids on risk of gastric cancer (GC) is limited.
Objective: We investigated the association between intake of dietary flavonoids and lignans and incident GC.
Design: The study followed 477,312 subjects (29.8% men) aged 35?70 y from 10 European countries who participated in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) study. Validated dietary questionnaires and lifestyle information were collected at baseline. A food-composition database on flavonoids and lignans was compiled by using data from USDA and Phenol-Explorer databases.
Results: During an average follow-up of 11 y, 683 incident GC cases (57.8% men) were mostly validated by a panel of pathologists and used in this analysis. We observed a significant inverse association between total flavonoid intake and GC risk in women (HR: 0.81; 95% CI: 0.70, 0.94; for the continuous variable after log2 transformation) but not in men (HR: 0.97; 95% CI: 0.85, 1.09). In women, significant inverse associations with GC risk were also observed for intakes of some flavonoid subgroups (anthocyanidins, flavonols, flavones, and flavanols), particularly with intestinal type tumors for total flavonoid and flavanol intakes (P-heterogeneity < 0.1). After stratification by smoking status and sex, there was no significant heterogeneity in these associations between ever- and never-smokers.
Conclusion: Total dietary flavonoid intake is associated with a significant reduction in the risk of GC in women.
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