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Clin Nutr Res. 2014 Jul;3(2):75-88. doi: 10.7762/cnr.2014.3.2.75. Epub 2014 Jul 29.

Dietary factors and the risk of thyroid cancer: a review.

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1
Molecular Epidemiology Branch, National Cancer Center, Goyang 410-769, South Korea.

Abstract

In the past few decades, the incidence of thyroid cancer has rapidly increased worldwide. Thyroid cancer incidence is relatively high in regions where the population's daily iodine intake is insufficient. While low dietary iodine has been considered as a risk factor for thyroid cancer development, previous studies found controversial results across different food types. Among different ethnic groups, dietary factors are influenced by various dietary patterns, eating habits, life-styles, nutrition, and other environmental factors. This review reports the association between dietary factors and thyroid cancer risk among ethnic groups living in different geologic regions. Iodine-rich food such as fish and shellfish may provide a protective role in populations with insufficient daily iodine intake. The consumption of goitrogenic food, such as cruciferous vegetables, showed a positive association with risk. While considered to be a risk factor for other cancers, alcohol intake showed a protective role against thyroid cancer. High consumption of meat such as chicken, pork, and poultry showed a positive association with the risk, but dairy products showed no significant association. Regular use of multivitamins and dietary nitrate and nitrite also showed a positive association with thyroid cancer risk. However, the study results are inconsistent and investigations into the mechanism for how dietary factors change thyroid hormone levels and influence thyroid function are required.

KEYWORDS:

Dietary factor; Food; Iodine; Review; Thyroid cancer

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