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Int J Cancer. 2008 Aug 1;123(3):660-3. doi: 10.1002/ijc.23421.

Intake of flavonoids and risk of cancer in Finnish men: The Kuopio Ischaemic Heart Disease Risk Factor Study.

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Research Institute of Public Health, School of Public Health and Clinical Nutrition, University of Kuopio, Kuopio, Finland.


Limited amount of evidence suggests that high intake of flavonoids could be associated with decreased risk of lung and colorectal cancer, but more studies are needed. In this prospective cohort study, we assessed the relation between the intakes of 26 flavonoids from 5 subclasses; flavonols, flavones, flavanones, flavan-3-ols and anthocyanidins, and the risk of lung, prostate and colorectal cancer. The study population consisted of 2,590 middle-aged eastern Finnish men of the prospective population-based Kuopio Ischaemic Heart Disease Risk Factor (KIHD) Study. The mean intake of flavonoids was 131.0 +/- 214.7 mg/day. During the mean follow-up time of 16.2 years, 62 lung, 138 prostate, and 55 colorectal cancers occurred. All lung cancer cases occurred among either current smokers (n = 50) or previous smokers (n = 12). After adjustment for age, examination years, body mass index, smoking status, pack-years of smoking, physical activity and intakes of alcohol, total fat, saturated fat, fiber, vitamin C and E, relative risk (RR) for lung cancer was 0.27 (95% CI: 0.11-0.66) for the highest quarter of total flavonoid intake as compared with the lowest quarter. Out of 5 flavonoid subclasses, flavonols and flavan-3-ols were associated with lung cancer, for the highest quarter of intake the RR were 0.29 (95% CI: 0.11-0.78) and 0.24 (95% CI: 0.09-0.64), respectively. No association between flavonoid intake and risk of prostate or colorectal cancer were found. We conclude that high intake of flavonoids is associated with decreased risk of lung cancer in middle-aged Finnish smoking men.

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