The first results from the EPIC study provide valuable insights into the influence of food groups and nutrients in gastric cancer, colorectal cancer, lung cancer , breast cancer and prostate cancer, reports the European Journal of Cancer.
The fact that only 5 to 10% of all cancer cases are due to genetic defects, and that 90 to 95 % are due to life style factors led the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) study investigators to explore the relationship between diet and cancer and other chronic diseases.
In the multicentre prospective EPIC study - carried out in 23 centres in 10 European countries - 519,978 volunteers answered self administered questionnaires relating to diet over the previous 12 months. Additional information was collected on habits, lifestyles and medical histories.
- For gastric cancer risk was inversely associated with high plasma vitamin C , some carotenoids, retinol and α-tocopherol , high intakes of cereal fibre and high adhesion to Mediterranean diet; while red and processed meat was associated with an increased risk.
- For colorectal cancer, high intakes of dietary fibre, fish, calcium, and plasma vitamin D were associated with a decreased risk; while red and processed meat intake, alcohol intake, body mass index and abdominal obesity were associated with an increased risk.
- For lung cancer high fruit and vegetable intakes in current smokers were significantly associated with a decreased risk.
- For breast cancer, high saturated fat intakes, and alcohol intakes were associated with an increased risk, while in postmenopausal women BMI was positively and physical activity negatively associated with risk.
- For prostate cancer high intakes of dairy protein and calcium from dairy products and high serum concentrations of IGF-I were associated with increased risk.