Send to

Choose Destination
Oncotarget. 2016 Nov 8;7(45):73573-73592. doi: 10.18632/oncotarget.12017.

Flavan-3-ols consumption and cancer risk: A meta-analysis of epidemiologic studies.

Lei L1,2, Yang Y1,2, He H1,2, Chen E1,2, Du L1,2, Dong J1,2, Yang J1,2.

Author information

Key Laboratory of Resources Biology and Biotechnology in Western China, Ministry of Education, College of Life Science, Northwest University, Xi'an 710069, China.
Institute of Preventive Genomic Medicine, Xi'an 710069, China.


Although numerous in vitro studies and animal model data have suggested that flavan-3-ols, the most common subclass of flavonoids in the diet, may exert protective effects against cancer, epidemiologic studies have reported inconclusive results for the association between flavan-3-ols intake and cancer risk. Therefore, we conducted this meta-analysis of epidemiologic studies to investigate the preventive effects of flavan-3-ols on various types of cancers. A total of 43 epidemiologic studies, consisting of 25 case-control and 18 prospective cohort studies, were included. A significant inverse association was shown between flavan-3-ols intake and the risk of overall cancer (relative risk (RR) 0.935, 95%CI: 0.891-0.981). When cancer types were separately analyzed, a statistically significant protective effect of flavan-3-ols consumption was observed in rectal cancer (RR 0.838, 95%CI: 0.733-0.958), oropharyngeal and laryngeal cancer (RR 0.759, 95%CI: 0.581-0.993), breast (RR 0.885, 95%CI: 0.790-0.991) in case-control studies and stomach cancer in women (RR 0.633, 95%CI: 0.468-0.858). Our analysis indicates the potential benefits of flavan-3-ols in cancer prevention.


breast cancer; cancer; colorectal cancer; flavan-3-ols; meta-analysis

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Impact Journals, LLC Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center