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Int J Cancer. 2012 Aug 15;131(4):E518-29. doi: 10.1002/ijc.26455. Epub 2011 Nov 8.

Folate, vitamin B(6) , vitamin B(12) , methionine and alcohol intake in relation to ovarian cancer risk.

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Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, MA, USA.


Folate, methionine, vitamin B(6) and vitamin B(12) may influence carcinogenesis due to their roles in the one-carbon metabolism pathway, which is critical for DNA synthesis, methylation and repair. Low intake of these nutrients has been associated with an increased risk of breast, colon and endometrial cancers. Previous studies that have examined the relation between these nutrients and ovarian cancer risk have been inconsistent and have had limited power to examine the relation by histologic subtype. We investigated the association between folate, methionine, vitamin B(6) , vitamin B(12) and alcohol among 1910 women with ovarian cancer and 1989 controls from a case-control study conducted in eastern Massachusetts and New Hampshire from 1992 to 2008. Diet was assessed via food frequency questionnaire. Participants were asked to recall diet one-year before diagnosis or interview. Logistic regression models were used to calculate odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CIs). We also examined whether the associations varied by ovarian cancer histologies using polytomous logistic regression. We observed an inverse association between dietary vitamin B(6) (covariate-adjusted OR = 0.76, 95% CI 0.64-0.92; p(trend) = 0.002) and methionine intake (covariate-adjusted OR = 0.72, 95% CI = 0.60-0.87; p(trend) < 0.001) and ovarian cancer risk comparing the highest to lowest quartile. The association with dietary vitamin B(6) was strongest for serous borderline (covariate-adjusted OR = 0.49, 95% CI = 0.32-0.77; p(trend) = 0.001) and serous invasive (covariate-adjusted OR = 0.74, 95% CI = 0.58-0.94; p(trend) = 0.012) subtypes. Overall, we observed no significant association between folate and ovarian cancer risk. One-carbon metabolism related nutrients, especially vitamin B(6) and methionine, may lower ovarian cancer risk.

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