Carotenoid intakes, assessed by dietary questionnaire, are associated with plasma carotenoid concentrations in an elderly population.
High intakes of fruits and vegetables and of carotenoids are associated with a lower risk for a variety of chronic diseases. It is therefore important to test the validity of dietary questionnaires that assess these intakes. We compared intakes of five carotenoids, as calculated from responses to the Willett 126-item food-frequency questionnaire, with corresponding biochemical measures. Subjects included 346 women and 201 men, aged 67-93 y, in the Framingham Heart Study. Unadjusted correlations were higher among women than men as follows: alpha-carotene 0.33 and 0.18, beta-carotene, 0.36 and 0.25; beta-cryptoxanthin, 0.44 and 0.32; lycopene, 0.35 and 0.21; and lutein + zeaxanthin, 0.27 and 0.10, respectively. Adjustment for age, energy intake, body mass index (BMI, kg/m2), plasma cholesterol concentrations and smoking reduced the gender differences, respectively, to the following: alpha-carotene 0.30 and 0.28; beta-carotene, 0.34 and 0.31; beta-cryptoxanthin, 0.45 and 0.36; lycopene, 0.36 and 0.31; and lutein + zeaxanthin, 0.24 and 0.14. Plots of adjusted mean plasma carotenoid concentration by quintile of respective carotenoid intake show apparent greater responsiveness among women, compared with men, to dietary intake of alpha- and beta-carotene and beta-cryptoxanthin, but similar blood-diet relationships for lycopene and lutein + zeaxanthin. Reported daily intake of fruits and vegetables correlated most strongly with plasma beta-cryptoxanthin and beta-carotene among women and with plasma alpha- and beta-carotene among men. With the exception of lutein + zeaxanthin, this dietary questionnaire does provide reasonable rankings of carotenoid status among elderly subjects, with the strongest correlations for beta-cryptoxanthin. Appropriate adjustment of confounders is necessary to clarify these associations among men. (+info)
Glutathione-S-transferase (GSTM1) genetic polymorphisms do not affect human breast cancer risk, regardless of dietary antioxidants.
Glutathione-S-transferases catalyze the detoxication of carcinogen metabolites and reactive oxygen species (ROS) produced through a number of mechanisms. Glutathione-S-transferase (GST) M1 is polymorphic, and the null allele results in a lack of enzyme activity. Because there are indications that ROS may be involved in breast carcinogenesis, we sought to determine whether the GSTM1 null allele was associated with increased breast cancer, particularly among women with lower consumption of dietary sources of alpha-tocopherol, carotenoids and ascorbic acid. In a study of diet and cancer in western New York, women with primary, incident, histologically confirmed breast cancer (n = 740) and community controls (n = 810) were interviewed and an extensive food-frequency questionnaire administered. A subset of these women provided a blood specimen. DNA was extracted and genotyping performed for GSTM1. Data were available for 279 cases and 340 controls. The null allele did not increase breast cancer risk, regardless of menopausal status. There were also no differences in associations between the polymorphism and risk among lower and higher consumers of dietary sources of antioxidants or smokers and nonsmokers. These results indicate that GSTM1 genetic polymorphisms are not associated with breast cancer risk, even in an environment low in antioxidant defenses. (+info)
Dietary variety within food groups: association with energy intake and body fatness in men and women.
BACKGROUND: Short-term experimental studies suggest that dietary variety may influence body fatness but no long-term human studies have been reported. OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to determine whether dietary variety within food groups influences energy intake and body fatness. DESIGN: Seventy-one healthy men and women (aged 20-80 y), who provided accurate reports of dietary intake and completed a body-composition assessment, were studied. RESULTS: Dietary variety was positively associated with energy intake within each of 10 food groups (r = 0.27-0.56, P < 0.05). In multiple regression analysis with age and sex controlled for, dietary variety of sweets, snacks, condiments, entrees, and carbohydrates (as a group) was positively associated with body fatness (partial r = 0.38, P = 0.001) whereas variety from vegetables was negatively associated (partial r = -0.31, P = 0.01) (R2 = 0.46, P < 0.0001). In separate models, both a variety ratio (variety of vegetables/variety of sweets, snacks, condiments, entrees, and carbohydrates) and percentage dietary fat were significant predictors of body fatness (controlled for age and sex, partial r = -0.39 and 0.31, respectively, P < 0.01). However, dietary fat was no longer significantly associated with body fatness when the variety ratio and dietary fat were included in the same model. CONCLUSIONS: Our data, coupled with those of previous short-term studies, suggest that a high variety of sweets, snacks, condiments, entrees, and carbohydrates coupled with a low variety of vegetables promotes long-term increases in energy intake and body fatness. These findings may help explain the rising prevalence of obesity. (+info)
Chemoprevention of cancer by isothiocyanates, modifiers of carcinogen metabolism.
Substantial quantities of isothiocyanates are released upon consumption of normal amounts of a number of cruciferous vegetables. Some of these naturally occurring isothiocyanates such as phenethyl isothiocyanate (PEITC), benzyl isothiocyanate (BITC) and sulforaphane are effective inhibitors of cancer induction in rodents treated with carcinogens. A large amount of data demonstrate that isothiocyanates act as cancer chemopreventive agents by favorably modifying carcinogen metabolism via inhibition of Phase 1 enzymes and/or induction of Phase 2 enzymes. These effects are quite specific, depending on the structure of the isothiocyanate and carcinogen. One of the most thoroughly studied examples of isothiocyanate inhibition of rodent carcinogenesis is inhibition of 4-(methylnitrosamino)-1-(3-pyridyl)-1-butanone (NNK)-induced lung tumorigenesis by PEITC. This occurs because PEITC blocks the metabolic activation of NNK, resulting in increased urinary excretion of detoxified metabolites. Similar effects on NNK metabolism have been observed in smokers who consumed watercress, a source of PEITC. On the basis of these observations and knowledge of the carcinogenic constituents of cigarette smoke, a strategy for chemoprevention of lung cancer can be developed. (+info)
Pancreatic cancer risk and nutrition-related methyl-group availability indicators in male smokers.
BACKGROUND: Few risk factors for pancreatic cancer have been identified, with age and cigarette smoking being the most consistent. The protective effect associated with consumption of fruits and vegetables-the major dietary sources of folate-is suggestive of a role for factors influencing cellular methylation reactions; however, to our knowledge, no study has investigated this relationship. Whether biochemical indicators of methyl-group availability are associated with exocrine pancreatic cancer risk was the focus of this investigation. METHODS: We conducted a nested case-control study within the Alpha-Tocopherol, Beta-Carotene Cancer Prevention Study cohort of 29133 male Finnish smokers aged 50-69 years. One hundred twenty-six subjects with incident exocrine pancreatic cancer were matched by date of baseline blood draw (+/-30 days), study center, age (+/-5 years), trial intervention group, and completion of dietary history to 247 control subjects, who were alive and free from cancer at the time the case subjects were diagnosed. Odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were determined by use of conditional logistic regression. Reported P values are two-tailed. RESULTS: Serum folate and pyridoxal-5'-phosphate (PLP) concentrations showed statistically significant inverse dose-response relationships with pancreatic cancer risk, with the highest serum tertiles having approximately half the risk of the lowest (folate: OR = 0.45; 95% CI = 0.24-0.82; P for trend = .009, and PLP: OR = 0.48; 95% CI = 0.26-0.88; P for trend = .02). An increased pancreatic cancer risk was also observed with greater exposure to cigarettes (e.g., pack-years [number of packs smoked per day x number of years of smoking], highest versus lowest quartile: OR = 2.13; 95% CI = 1.13-3.99; P for trend = .04). CONCLUSIONS: These results support the hypothesis that maintaining adequate folate and pyridoxine status may reduce the risk of pancreatic cancer and confirm the risk previously associated with cigarette smoking. (+info)
Comparison of serum carotenoid responses between women consuming vegetable juice and women consuming raw or cooked vegetables.
The objective of this study was to examine serum concentrations of alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, lutein, lycopene, and beta-cryptoxanthin due to consumption of vegetable juice versus raw or cooked vegetables. Subjects included female breast cancer patients who had undergone surgical resection and who were enrolled in a feasibility study for a trial examining the influence of diet on breast cancer recurrence. A high-vegetable, low-fat diet was the focus of the intervention, and some of the subjects were specifically encouraged to consume vegetable juice. At 12 months, blood samples were collected and analyzed for carotenoid concentrations via high-performance liquid chromatography methodology. Matched analysis and paired t test were conducted on two groups: those who consumed vegetable juice (the juice group) and those who consumed raw or cooked vegetables (no juice group). Serum concentrations of alpha-carotene and lutein were significantly higher in the vegetable juice group than in the raw or cooked vegetable group (P < 0.05 and P = 0.05, respectively). Paired t test analysis did not demonstrate a significant difference in serum values of beta-carotene, lycopene, and beta-cryptoxanthin between subjects consuming juice and those not consuming any juice. These results suggest that alpha-carotene and lutein appear to be more bioavailable in the juice form than in raw or cooked vegetables. Therefore, the food form consumed may contribute to the variability in serum carotenoid response to vegetable and fruit interventions in clinical studies. (+info)
Food groups and colorectal cancer risk.
Most studies of diet and colorectal cancer have considered nutrients and micronutrients, but the role of foods or food groups remains open to debate. To elucidate the issue, we examined data from a case-control study conducted between 1992 and 1997 in the Swiss canton of Vaud. Cases were 223 patients (142 men, 81 women) with incident, histologically confirmed colon (n= 119) or rectal (n= 104) cancer (median age 63 years), linked with the Cancer Registry of the Swiss Canton of Vaud, and controls were 491 subjects (211 men, 280 women, median age 58 years) admitted to the same university hospital for a wide spectrum of acute non-neoplastic conditions unrelated to long-term modifications of diet. Odds ratios (OR) were obtained after allowance for age, sex, education, smoking, alcohol, body mass index, physical activity and total energy intake. Significant associations were observed for refined grain (OR = 1.32 for an increase of one serving per day), and red meat (OR = 1.54), pork and processed meat (OR = 1.27), alcohol (OR = 1.28), and significant protections for whole grain (OR = 0.85), raw (OR = 0.85) and cooked vegetables (OR = 0.69), citrus (OR = 0.86) and other fruits (OR = 0.85), and for coffee (OR = 0.73). Garlic was also protective (OR = 0.32 for the highest tertile of intake). These findings in a central European population support the hypothesis that a diet rich in refined grains and red meat increases the risk of colorectal cancer; they, therefore, support the recommendation to substitute whole grains for refined grain, to limit meat intake, and to increase fruit and vegetable consumption. (+info)
Potassium, magnesium, and fruit and vegetable intakes are associated with greater bone mineral density in elderly men and women.
BACKGROUND: Osteoporosis and related fractures will be growing public health problems as the population ages. It is therefore of great importance to identify modifiable risk factors. OBJECTIVE: We investigated associations between dietary components contributing to an alkaline environment (dietary potassium, magnesium, and fruit and vegetables) and bone mineral density (BMD) in elderly subjects. DESIGN: Dietary intake measures were associated with both cross-sectional (baseline) and 4-y longitudinal change in BMD among surviving members of the original cohort of the Framingham Heart Study. Dietary and supplement intakes were assessed by food-frequency questionnaire, and BMD was measured at 3 hip sites and 1 forearm site. RESULTS: Greater potassium intake was significantly associated with greater BMD at all 4 sites for men and at 3 sites for women (P < 0.05). Magnesium intake was associated with greater BMD at one hip site for both men and women and in the forearm for men. Fruit and vegetable intake was associated with BMD at 3 sites for men and 2 for women. Greater intakes of potassium and magnesium were also each associated with less decline in BMD at 2 hip sites, and greater fruit and vegetable intake was associated with less decline at 1 hip site, in men. There were no significant associations between baseline diet and subsequent bone loss in women. CONCLUSION: These results support the hypothesis that alkaline-producing dietary components, specifically, potassium, magnesium, and fruit and vegetables, contribute to maintenance of BMD. (+info)