Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Vegetarians and Pescetarians have Lower Risk of Certain Cancer

Well, we've been saying this for a long time and here we have some pretty decent evidence. One more reason you, yes *you!* eat too much meat.


Cancer incidence in British vegetarians

Key, TJ, Appleby, PN, Spencer, EA, Travis, RC, Allen, NE, Thorogood, M, Mann, JI. Cancer incidence in British vegetarians. British Journal of Cancer. 101:192-197. 2009.


Background: Few prospective studies have examined cancer incidence among vegetarians.

Methods: We studied 61 566 British men and women, comprising 32 403 meat eaters, 8562 non-meat eaters who did eat fish (‘fish eaters’) and 20 601 vegetarians. After an average follow-up of 12.2 years, there were 3350 incident cancers of which 2204 were among meat eaters, 317 among fish eaters and 829 among vegetarians. Relative risks (RRs) were estimated by Cox regression, stratified by sex and recruitment protocol and adjusted for age, smoking, alcohol, body mass index, physical activity level and, for women only, parity and oral contraceptive use.

Results: There was significant heterogeneity in cancer risk between groups for the following four cancer sites: stomach cancer, RRs (compared with meat eaters) of 0.29 (95% CI: 0.07–1.20) in fish eaters and 0.36 (0.16–0.78) in vegetarians, P for heterogeneity=0.007; ovarian cancer, RRs of 0.37 (0.18–0.77) in fish eaters and 0.69 (0.45–1.07) in vegetarians, P for heterogeneity=0.007; bladder cancer, RRs of 0.81 (0.36–1.81) in fish eaters and 0.47 (0.25–0.89) in vegetarians, P for heterogeneity=0.05; and cancers of the lymphatic and haematopoietic tissues, RRs of 0.85 (0.56–1.29) in fish eaters and 0.55 (0.39–0.78) in vegetarians, P for heterogeneity=0.002. The RRs for all malignant neoplasms were 0.82 (0.73–0.93) in fish eaters and 0.88 (0.81–0.96) in vegetarians (P for heterogeneity=0.001).

Conclusion: The incidence of some cancers may be lower in fish eaters and vegetarians than in meat eaters.



Cancer. 2010 Sep 15;116(18):4345-53.
Meat and components of meat and the risk of bladder cancer in the NIH-AARP Diet and Health Study.

Ferrucci LM, Sinha R, Ward MH, Graubard BI, Hollenbeck AR, Kilfoy BA, Schatzkin A, Michaud DS, Cross AJ.

Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services, Rockville, Maryland, USA.

BACKGROUND: Meat could be involved in bladder carcinogenesis via multiple potentially carcinogenic meat-related compounds related to cooking and processing, including nitrate, nitrite, heterocyclic amines (HCAs), and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). The authors comprehensively investigated the association between meat and meat components and bladder cancer.

METHODS: During 7 years of follow-up, 854 transitional cell bladder-cancer cases were identified among 300,933 men and women who had completed a validated food-frequency questionnaire in the large prospective NIH-AARP Diet and Health Study. The authors estimated intake of nitrate and nitrite from processed meat and HCAs and PAHs from cooked meat by using quantitative databases of measured values. Total dietary nitrate and nitrite were calculated based on literature values.

RESULTS: The hazard ratios (HR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) for red meat (HR for fifth quintile compared with first quintile, 1.22; 95% CI, 0.96-1.54; P(trend) = .07) and the HCA 2-amino-1 methyl-6-phenylimidazo(4,5-b)pyridine (PhIP) (HR, 1.19; 95% CI, 0.95-1.48; P(trend) = .06) conferred a borderline statistically significant increased risk of bladder cancer. Positive associations were observed in the top quintile for total dietary nitrite (HR, 1.28; 95% CI, 1.02-1.61; P(trend) = .06) and nitrate plus nitrite intake from processed meat (HR, 1.29; 95% CI, 1.00-1.67; P(trend) = .11).

CONCLUSIONS: These findings provided modest support for an increased risk of bladder cancer with total dietary nitrite and nitrate plus nitrite from processed meat. Results also suggested a positive association between red meat and PhIP and bladder carcinogenesis.
© 2010 American Cancer Society.



Cancer Res. 2010 Mar 15;70(6):2406-14. Epub 2010 Mar 9.
A large prospective study of meat consumption and colorectal cancer risk: an investigation of potential mechanisms underlying this association.

Cross AJ, Ferrucci LM, Risch A, Graubard BI, Ward MH, Park Y, Hollenbeck AR, Schatzkin A, Sinha R.

Nutritional Epidemiology Branch, Biostatistics Branch, Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, Department of Health and Human Services, National Cancer Institute, NIH, Rockville, Maryland, USA. crossa@mail.nih.gov

Although the relation between red and processed meat intake and colorectal cancer has been reported in several epidemiologic studies, very few investigated the potential mechanisms. This study examined multiple potential mechanisms in a large U.S. prospective cohort with a detailed questionnaire on meat type and meat cooking methods linked to databases for estimating intake of mutagens formed in meats cooked at high temperatures (heterocyclic amines, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons), heme iron, nitrate, and nitrite. During 7 years of follow-up, 2,719 colorectal cancer cases were ascertained from a cohort of 300,948 men and women. The hazard ratios (HR) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CI) comparing the fifth to the first quintile for both red (HR, 1.24; 95% CI, 1.09-1.42; P(trend) < 0.001) and processed meat (HR, 1.16; 95% CI, 1.01-1.32; P(trend) = 0.017) intakes indicated an elevated risk for colorectal cancer. The potential mechanisms for this relation include heme iron (HR, 1.13; 95% CI, 0.99-1.29; P(trend) = 0.022), nitrate from processed meats (HR, 1.16; 95% CI, 1.02-1.32; P(trend) = 0.001), and heterocyclic amine intake [HR, 1.19; 95% CI, 1.05-1.34; P(trend) < 0.001 for 2-amino-3,8-dimethylimidazo[4,5-f]quinoxaline (MeIQx) and HR, 1.17; 95% CI, 1.05-1.29; P(trend) <0.001 for 2-amino-3,4,8-trimethylimidazo[4,5-f]quinoxaline (DiMeIQx)]. In general, the elevated risks were higher for rectal cancer than for colon cancer, with the exception of MeIQx and DiMeIQx, which were only associated with colon cancer. In conclusion, we found a positive association for red and processed meat intake and colorectal cancer; heme iron, nitrate/nitrite, and heterocyclic amines from meat may explain these associations.



J Natl Cancer Inst. 2009 Jul 15;101(14):1001-11. Epub 2009 Jun 26.
Dietary fatty acids and pancreatic cancer in the NIH-AARP diet and health study.

Thiébaut AC, Jiao L, Silverman DT, Cross AJ, Thompson FE, Subar AF, Hollenbeck AR, Schatzkin A, Stolzenberg-Solomon RZ.

Nutritional Epidemiology Branch, Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services, Bethesda, MD, USA.

Comment in:

* J Natl Cancer Inst. 2009 Jul 15;101(14):972-3.


BACKGROUND: Previous research relating dietary fat, a modifiable risk factor, to pancreatic cancer has been inconclusive.

METHODS: We prospectively analyzed the association between intakes of fat, fat subtypes, and fat food sources and exocrine pancreatic cancer in the National Institutes of Health-AARP Diet and Health Study, a US cohort of 308 736 men and 216 737 women who completed a 124-item food frequency questionnaire in 1995-1996. Hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated using Cox proportional hazards regression models, with adjustment for energy intake, smoking history, body mass index, and diabetes. Statistical tests were two-sided.

RESULTS: Over an average follow-up of 6.3 years, 865 men and 472 women were diagnosed with exocrine pancreatic cancer (45.0 and 34.5 cases per 100 000 person-years, respectively). After multivariable adjustment and combination of data for men and women, pancreatic cancer risk was directly related to the intakes of total fat (highest vs lowest quintile, 46.8 vs 33.2 cases per 100 000 person-years, HR = 1.23, 95% CI = 1.03 to 1.46; P(trend) = .03), saturated fat (51.5 vs 33.1 cases per 100 000 person-years, HR = 1.36, 95% CI = 1.14 to 1.62; P(trend) < .001), and monounsaturated fat (46.2 vs 32.9 cases per 100 000 person-years, HR = 1.22, 95% CI = 1.02 to 1.46; P(trend) = .05) but not polyunsaturated fat. The associations were strongest for saturated fat from animal food sources (52.0 vs 32.2 cases per 100 000 person-years, HR = 1.43, 95% CI = 1.20 to 1.70; P(trend) < .001); specifically, intakes from red meat and dairy products were both statistically significantly associated with increased pancreatic cancer risk (HR = 1.27 and 1.19, respectively).

CONCLUSION: In this large prospective cohort with a wide range of intakes, dietary fat of animal origin was associated with increased pancreatic cancer risk.


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