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Br J Nutr. 2014 May;111(9):1686-95. doi: 10.1017/S000711451300411X. Epub 2014 Feb 6.

Specific carotenoid intake is inversely associated with the risk of breast cancer among Chinese women.

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Department of Medical Statistics and Epidemiology, School of Public Health, Sun Yat-sen University, 74 Zhongshan Road 2, Guangzhou 510080, People's Republic of China.
Department of Clinical Nutrition, Guangdong General Hospital (Guangdong Academy of Medical Sciences), Guangzhou, People's Republic of China.
Department of Vascular Surgery, The First Affiliated Hospital of Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou, People's Republic of China.


The protective effect of dietary carotenoid intake on the risk of breast cancer is inconclusive. Moreover, data on dietary carotenoids in relation to breast cancer in non-Western populations are scarce. The aim of the present study was to examine the association between dietary carotenoid intake and the risk of breast cancer among Chinese women. A total of 561 cases and 561 controls who were frequency matched by age (5-year interval) and residence were recruited in the present case-control study. Dietary intake information was collected by a face-to-face interview using a validated FFQ. The OR and 95 % CI were assessed by multivariate logistic regression after adjusting for various potential confounders. An inverse association was observed between the consumption of α-carotene, β-carotene, β-cryptoxanthin and lutein/zeaxanthin and the risk of breast cancer. The multivariate-adjusted OR for the highest quartile of intake compared with the lowest quartile of intake were 0·61 (95 % CI 0·43, 0·88) for α-carotene, 0·54 (95 % CI 0·38, 0·78) for β-carotene, 0·38 (95 % CI 0·26, 0·52) for β-cryptoxanthin and 0·49 (95 % CI 0·34, 0·71) for lutein/zeaxanthin. Lycopene intake was not found to be associated with the risk of breast cancer, with the adjusted OR of 0·89 (95 % CI 0·61, 1·30). These inverse associations were more evident among pre-menopausal women and women who were exposed to second-hand smoke. The protective effect of specific carotenoid intake was observed for all subtypes of hormone receptor status of breast cancer. The present study indicated that a greater intake of specific carotenoids was associated with a decreased risk of breast cancer among Chinese women residing in Guangdong.

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