Dietary carotenoids and the risk of invasive breast cancer

Department of Epidemiology, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA 02115, USA.
International Journal of Cancer (Impact Factor: 5.09). 06/2009; 124(12):2929-37. DOI: 10.1002/ijc.24334
Source: PubMed


Certain classes of vitamins and nutrients found in fruits and vegetables have been of particular interest in relation to cancer prevention, owing to their potential anticarcinogenic properties. We examined the association between certain fruits, vegetables, carotenoids, and vitamin A and breast cancer risk in a large population-based case-control study of women residing in the states of Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Wisconsin. The study was comprised of 5,707 women with incident invasive breast cancer (2,363 premenopausal women and 3,516 postmenopausal women) and 6,389 population controls (2,594 premenopausal women and 3,516 postmenopausal women). In an interview, women were asked about their intake of carotenoid rich fruits and vegetables 5 years prior to a referent date. An inverse association observed among premenopausal women was for high levels of vitamin A (OR: 0.82, 95% CI: 0.68-0.98, p for trend = 0.01), beta-carotene (OR: 0.81, 95% CI 0.68-0.98, p for trend = 0.009), alpha-carotene (OR: 0.82, 95% CI: 0.68-0.98, p for trend = 0.07) and lutein/zeaxanthin (OR: 0.83, 95% CI 0.68-0.99, p for trend = 0.02). An inverse association was not observed among postmenopausal women. Among premenopausal women who reported ever smoking, these results were stronger than among never smokers, although tests for interaction were not statistically significant. Results from this study are comparable to previous prospective studies, and suggest that a high consumption of carotenoids may reduce the risk of premenopausal but not postmenopausal breast cancer, particularly among smokers.

Full-text preview

Available from:
  • Source
    • "This is due to the fact that algae produce a combination of cis-and trans-isomers of β-carotene, while mainly the trans-forms are produced synthetically (Yeum and Russell, 2002). Like other antioxidants , many carotenoids are claimed to have anticancer activity (Cha et al., 2008; Mignone et al., 2009), as described in the Section " Other antioxidants " . All wild types of green microalgae are likely to show an increase in secondary carotenoid content under certain stress conditions. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Full text: Green microalgae for several decades have been produced for commercial exploitation, with applications ranging from health food for human consumption, aquaculture and animal feed, to coloring agents, cosmetics and others. Several products from green algae which are used today consist of secondary metabolites that can be extracted from the algal biomass. The best known examples are the carotenoids astaxanthin and β-carotene, which are used as coloring agents and for health-promoting purposes. Many species of green algae are able to produce valuable metabolites for different uses; examples are antioxidants, several different carotenoids, polyunsaturated fatty acids, vitamins, anticancer and antiviral drugs. In many cases, these substances are secondary metabolites that are produced when the algae are exposed to stress conditions linked to nutrient deprivation, light intensity, temperature, salinity and pH. In other cases, the metabolites have been detected in algae grown under optimal conditions, and little is known about optimization of the production of each product, or the effects of stress conditions on their production. Some green algae have shown the ability to produce significant amounts of hydrogen gas during sulfur deprivation, a process which is currently studied extensively worldwide. At the moment, the majority of research in this field has focused on the model organism, Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, but other species of green algae also have this ability. Currently there is little information available regarding the possibility for producing hydrogen and other valuable metabolites in the same process. This study aims to explore which stress conditions are known to induce the production of different valuable products in comparison to stress reactions leading to hydrogen production. Wild type species of green microalgae with known ability to produce high amounts of certain valuable metabolites are listed and linked to species with ability to produce hydrogen during general anaerobic conditions, and during sulfur deprivation. Species used today for commercial purposes are also described. This information is analyzed in order to form a basis for selection of wild type species for a future multi-step process, where hydrogen production from solar energy is combined with the production of valuable metabolites and other commercial uses of the algal biomass.
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2012 · Critical Reviews in Biotechnology
  • Source
    • "On the other hand, saturated fat consumption is linked to breast cancer in women, but this has not been conclusively demonstrated in animal studies [33]. Similarly, dietary vitamin A, carotenoid and Vitamin D intake has been individually shown to prevent breast cancer in a number of human and animal studies, although a unifying outcome remains lacking [34] [35]. The differences in physiological status of human subjects (prepubertal and postpubertal ; premenopausal and postmenopausal), source of dietary factors (from foods or supplements) as well as varying doses and 'developmental window' of dietary exposure in the many studies described in the literature [22] [32] [36] had preempted conclusive indications of the breast cancer-preventive benefits of consumption of any dietary factor. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The mammary gland is composed of two major cellular compartments: a highly dynamic epithelium that undergoes cycles of proliferation, differentiation and apoptosis in response to local and endocrine signals and the underlying stroma comprised of fibroblasts, endothelial cells and adipocytes, which collectively form the mammary fat pad. Breast cancer originates from subversions of normal growth regulatory pathways in mammary epithelial cells due to genetic mutations and epigenetic modifications in tumor suppressors, oncogenes and DNA repair genes. Diet is considered a highly modifiable determinant of breast cancer risk; thus, considerable efforts are focused on understanding how certain dietary factors may promote resistance of mammary epithelial cells to growth dysregulation. The recent indications that stromal cells contribute to the maintenance of the mammary epithelial 'niche' and the increasing appreciation for adipose tissue as an endocrine organ with a complex secretome have led to the novel paradigm that the mammary stromal compartment is itself a relevant target of bioactive dietary factors. In this review, we address the potential influence of dietary factors on mammary epithelial-stromal bidirectional signaling to provide mechanistic insights into how dietary factors may promote early mammary epithelial differentiation to decrease adult breast cancer risk.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2011 · The Journal of nutritional biochemistry
  • Source
    • "Among the two previous studies that examined the breast cancer-circulating carotenoid association by smoking status, however, one reported that the inverse association of α-carotene with breast cancer risk may be limited to never smokers and past smokers (Pinteraction = 0.10) [12]; the other study found no evidence for a smoking-circulating carotenoid interaction on breast cancer risk after restricting the analysis to women who were diagnosed with breast cancer at least 2 years after blood draw [10]. Two recent studies of dietary antioxidants and breast cancer risk from the Collaborative Breast Cancer Study and the Nurses' Health Study, however, found decreases in risk with increases in carotenoids among current smokers only, similar to the present study [17,18]. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Introduction Assessments by the handful of prospective studies of the association of serum antioxidants and breast cancer risk have yielded inconsistent results. This multiethnic nested case-control study sought to examine the association of plasma carotenoids, retinol, and tocopherols with postmenopausal breast cancer risk. Methods From the biospecimen subcohort of the Multiethnic Cohort Study, 286 incident postmenopausal breast cancer cases were matched to 535 controls on age, sex, ethnicity, study location (Hawaii or California), smoking status, date/time of collection and hours of fasting. We measured prediagnostic circulating levels of individual carotenoids, retinol, and tocopherols. Conditional logistic regression was used to compute odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals. Results Women with breast cancer tended to have lower levels of plasma carotenoids and tocopherols than matched controls, but the differences were not large or statistically significant and the trends were not monotonic. No association was seen with retinol. A sensitivity analysis excluding cases diagnosed within 1 year after blood draw did not alter the findings. Conclusions The lack of significant associations in this multiethnic population is consistent with previously observed results from less racially-diverse cohorts and serves as further evidence against a causal link between plasma micronutrient concentrations and postmenopausal breast cancer risk.
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2009 · Breast Cancer Research
Show more