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Cancer Causes Control. 2013 Aug;24(8):1555-63. doi: 10.1007/s10552-013-0232-y. Epub 2013 May 18.

Dietary intake of B vitamins and methionine and breast cancer risk.

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Cancer Epidemiology Centre, Cancer Council Victoria, 1 Rathdowne Street, Carlton, VIC, 3053, Australia.



We investigated prospectively the relationship between dietary intakes of methionine and B vitamins associated with one-carbon metabolism and breast cancer risk, including modification by age, hormone receptor status and alcohol consumption. Interactions between different B vitamins and methionine were also examined.


During follow-up of 20,756 women from the Melbourne Collaborative Cohort Study for an average of 16 years, we ascertained 936 incident breast cancers. Dietary intakes were estimated using a 121-item food frequency questionnaire. Hazard ratios (HR) and 95 % confidence intervals were estimated using Cox regression.


We found weak evidence for an inverse association between breast cancer risk and riboflavin intake (fourth versus first quartile, HR Q4 vs. Q1 = 0.84 (0.69, 1.01); p linear trend = 0.05) and a positive association for vitamin B12 (HR Q4 vs. Q1 = 1.21 (1.00, 1.46); p linear trend = 0.06). We did not find any significant interactions between alcohol consumption and any of the B vitamins or methionine intake (all p interaction > 0.17) or between methionine or folate intake and any other B vitamins (all p interaction > 0.07). No association varied by tumor hormone receptor status (all p homogeneity > 0.14).


We found weak evidence of an inverse association between breast cancer risk and riboflavin intake and a positive association with vitamin B12.

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