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Oncotarget. 2016 Nov 29;7(48):79008-79016. doi: 10.18632/oncotarget.12592.

Dietary iron intake and breast cancer risk: modulation by an antioxidant supplementation.

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Sorbonne Paris Cité Epidemiology and Statistics Research Center (CRESS), Inserm U1153, Inra U1125, Cnam, Paris 5, 7 and 13 Universities, Nutritional Epidemiology Research Team (EREN), Bobigny, France.
Public Health Department, Avicenne Hospital, Bobigny, France.
French Network for Nutrition And Cancer Research (NACRe Network), Bobigny, France.
UMR 1331 Toxalim, INRA/INP/UPS, Toulouse, France.


Experimental results suggested that iron-induced lipid peroxidation may explain the direct associations observed between red/processed meat intakes and colorectal and breast cancer risk. However, epidemiological evidence is lacking. Thus, we investigated the association between dietary iron intake and breast cancer risk, and its potential modulation by an antioxidant supplementation and lipid intake. This prospective study included 4646 women from the SU.VI.MAX trial (daily low-dose antioxidants vs. placebo). 188 incident breast cancers were diagnosed (median follow-up=12.6y). Dietary iron intake was assessed using repeated 24h dietary records. Multivariable Cox proportional hazards models were computed. Dietary iron intake was associated with an increased breast cancer risk (HRT3vs.T1=1.67 (1.02-2.71), P-trend=0.04). This association was observed in the placebo group (HRT3vs.T1=2.80 (1.42-5.54), P-trend=0.003), but not in the antioxidant-supplemented group (P-trend=0.7, P-interaction=0.1). Besides, in the placebo group, the increased breast cancer risk associated with dietary iron intake was more specifically observed in women with higher lipid intake (P-trend=0.046). These findings suggest that dietary iron intake may be associated with an increased breast cancer risk, especially in women who did not received antioxidants during the trial and who consumed more lipids. This supports the experimental results suggesting that breast cancer risk may be increased by iron-induced lipid peroxidation.


antioxidants; breast cancer; dietary iron; lipid peroxidation; prospective study

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