Cancer Abstracts 3 - Diet


Fruit and vegetable intake and overall cancer risk in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC)
            (Boffetta et al., 2010) Download
BACKGROUND: It is widely believed that cancer can be prevented by high intake of fruits and vegetables. However, inconsistent results from many studies have not been able to conclusively establish an inverse association between fruit and vegetable intake and overall cancer risk. METHODS: We conducted a prospective analysis of the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) cohort to assess relationships between intake of total fruits, total vegetables, and total fruits and vegetables combined and cancer risk during 1992-2000. Detailed information on the dietary habit and lifestyle variables of the cohort was obtained. Cancer incidence and mortality data were ascertained, and hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were estimated using multivariable Cox regression models. Analyses were also conducted for cancers associated with tobacco and alcohol after stratification for tobacco smoking and alcohol drinking. RESULTS: Of the initial 142 605 men and 335 873 women included in the study, 9604 men and 21 000 women were identified with cancer after a median follow-up of 8.7 years. The crude cancer incidence rates were 7.9 per 1000 person-years in men and 7.1 per 1000 person-years in women. Associations between reduced cancer risk and increased intake of total fruits and vegetables combined and total vegetables for the entire cohort were similar (200 g/d increased intake of fruits and vegetables combined, HR = 0.97, 95% CI = 0.96 to 0.99; 100 g/d increased intake of total vegetables, HR = 0.98, 95% CI = 0.97 to 0.99); intake of fruits showed a weaker inverse association (100 g/d increased intake of total fruits, HR = 0.99, 95% CI = 0.98 to 1.00). The reduced risk of cancer associated with high vegetable intake was restricted to women (HR = 0.98, 95% CI = 0.97 to 0.99). Stratification by alcohol intake suggested a stronger reduction in risk in heavy drinkers and was confined to cancers caused by smoking and alcohol. CONCLUSIONS: A very small inverse association between intake of total fruits and vegetables and cancer risk was observed in this study. Given the small magnitude of the observed associations, caution should be applied in their interpretation.

Effect of red wine marinades on the formation of heterocyclic amines in fried chicken breast
            (Busquets et al., 2006) Download
Genotoxic heterocyclic amines (HAs) are formed via the Maillard reaction and free radical reaction mechanisms when meat or fish is cooked at usual cooking conditions. In this paper, the effect of the addition of red wine was tested to study if it interferes in HA formation. Fried chicken breast was the food item chosen, and three different red wines, characterized in terms of grape varieties, free amino acids, antioxidant properties, and metallic composition, were used to marinate meat prior to the heating process. Unmarinated samples and samples marinated with an ethanol-water mixture provided reference HA levels. The frying experiments were performed under well-controlled temperature and time conditions. The samples were analyzed for HA content using solid-phase extraction and LC-MS/MS. DMIP, PhIP, MeIQx, 4,8-DiMeIQx, IFP, TMIP, harman, and norharman were identified in fried chicken breast. Red wine marinades were found to reduce the formation of some of the HAs formed. PhIP, with a reduction of up to 88%, was the most minimized amine, although the formation of harman was enhanced.

Psychosocial factors, biological mediators, and cancer prognosis: a new look at an old story
            (Gidron and Ronson, 2008) Download
PURPOSE OF REVIEW: The present article briefly reviews the prognostic role of psychosocial factors in cancer and concentrates on biological markers that may mediate such relationships. We focus on specific markers that show promising mediating roles. RECENT FINDINGS: The article reviews the prognostic role of psychosocial factors as shown in longitudinal studies and in previous reviews. We present the general stress response and its relevance to cancer progression. The main focus of the article is on the prognostic roles of specific biomarkers that had to meet three criteria for being accepted as biomarkers - being related to a psychosocial factor at the level of the brain, the circulation, and the tissue/cellular level. We review studies supporting the mediating roles of neurohormones and neurotransmitters (e.g., cortisol, norepinephrine), the vagal nerve and inflammation, interleukin-1, DNA damage, and the hormone oxytocin. SUMMARY: These biomarkers may mediate the relationships between certain psychosocial factors (e.g., hopelessness, social support) and cancer progression. Future studies should test the effects of altering such biomarkers on the prognosis of patients scoring high/low on their associated psychosocial factors. Clinical implications that need to be tested are provided.

Effect of cooking methods on the formation of heterocyclic aromatic amines in chicken and duck breast
            (Liao et al., 2010) Download
Heterocyclic aromatic amines (HAAs), potent mutagens/carcinogens, are pyrolysis formed during the cooking of meat and fish. In the present study, the effects of various cooking methods, pan-frying, deep-frying, charcoal grilling and roasting on the formation of HAAs in chicken breast and duck breast were studied. The various HAAs formed during cooking were isolated by solid-phase extraction and analyzed by high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). Results showed that chicken breast cooked by charcoal grilling contained the highest content of total HAAs, as high as 112 ng/g, followed by pan-fried duck breast (53.3 ng/g), charcoal grilled duck breast (32 ng/g), pan-fried chicken breast (27.4 ng/g), deep-fried chicken breast (21.3 ng/g), deep-fried duck breast (14 ng/g), roasted duck breast (7 ng/g) and roasted chicken breast (4 ng/g). For individual HAA, the most abundant HAA was 9H-pyrido-[4,3-b]indole (Norharman), which was detected in charcoal grilled chicken breast at content as high as 32.2 ng/g, followed by 1-methyl-9H-pyrido[4,3-b] indole (Harman) and 2-amino-1-methyl-6-phenylimidazo[4,5-f]pyridine(PhIP) at 32 and 31.1 ng/g in charcoal grilled chicken breast, respectively. The content of PhIP in pan-fried duck and chicken breast were 22 and 18.3 ng/g, respectively. Generally, the type and content of HAAs in cooked poultry meat varies with cooking method and cooking conditions.

Effect of beer/red wine marinades on the formation of heterocyclic aromatic amines in pan-fried beef
            (Melo et al., 2008) Download
The effect of beer or red wine marinades on the reduction of heterocyclic aromatic amines (HAs) formation in pan-fried beef was compared. The cooking experiments were performed under well-controlled temperature and time conditions. The samples were analyzed for HAs contents using solid-phase extraction and high-performance liquid chromatography-diode array detection/fluorescence detection. Unmarinated samples cooked in similar conditions provided reference HAs levels. Marinating with beer or with red wine resulted in decreased levels of HAs. The amount of 2-amino-1-methyl-6-phenylimidazo[4,5-b]pyridine and 2-amino-3,8-dimethylimidazo[4,5-f]quinoxaline reduced significantly, respectively, around 88 and 40% after 6 h of marinating with beer or with wine. High variations were observed for reductions of AalphaC, ranging between 7 and 77%. Only beer marinade significantly reduced the levels of 4,8-DiMeIQx at 1, 2, and 4 h of marinating. Multivariate statistical treatment of results indicated that beer can be more efficient on the reduction of some HAs formation. In addition, results from descriptive sensory analysis of unmarinated and 2 h marinated beef samples, tested for by two trained sensory panels, pointed to beer marinade as the most adequate for maintaining the usual overall appearance and quality of the pan-fried steaks.

Study further erodes evidence for eating fruits and vegetables to prevent cancer
            (Mitka, 2010) Download

Effects of marinating on heterocyclic amine carcinogen formation in grilled chicken
            (Salmon et al., 1997) Download
This study compared heterocyclic aromatic amines in marinated and unmarinated chicken breast meat flame-broiled on a propane grill. Chicken was marinated prior to grilling and the levels of several heterocyclic amines formed during cooking were determined by solid-phase extraction and HPLC. Compared with unmarinated controls, a 92-99% decrease in 2-amino-1-methyl-6-phenylimidazo[4,5-b]pyridine (PhIP) was observed in whole chicken breast marinated with a mixture of brown sugar, olive oil, cider vinegar, garlic, mustard, lemon juice and salt, then grilled for 10, 20, 30 or 40 min. Conversely, 2-amino-3, 8-dimethylimidazo[4,5-f]quinoxaline (MeIQx) increased over 10-fold with marinating, but only at the 30 and 40 min cooking times. Marinating reduced the total detectable heterocyclic amines from 56 to 1.7 ng/g, from 158 to 10 ng/g and from 330 to 44 ng/g for grilling times of 20, 30 and 40 min, respectively. The mutagenic activity of the sample extracts was also measured, using the Ames/Salmonella assay. Mutagenic activity was lower in marinated samples cooked for 10, 20 and 30 min, but higher in the marinated samples cooked for 40 min, compared with unmarinated controls. Although a change in free amino acids, which are heterocyclic amine precursors, might explain the decrease in PhIP and increase in MeIQx, no such change was detected. Marinating chicken in one ingredient at a time showed that sugar was involved in the increased MeIQx, but the reason for the decrease in PhIP was unclear. PhIP decreased in grilled chicken after marinating with several individual ingredients. This work shows that marinating is one method that can significantly reduce PhIP concentration in grilled chicken.

Berry fruits for cancer prevention: current status and future prospects
            (Seeram, 2008) Download
Overwhelming evidence suggests that edible small and soft-fleshed berry fruits may have beneficial effects against several types of human cancers. The anticancer potential of berries has been related, at least in part, to a multitude of bioactive phytochemicals that these colorful fruits contain, including polyphenols (flavonoids, proanthocyanidins, ellagitannins, gallotannins, phenolic acids), stilbenoids, lignans, and triterpenoids. Studies show that the anticancer effects of berry bioactives are partially mediated through their abilities to counteract, reduce, and also repair damage resulting from oxidative stress and inflammation. In addition, berry bioactives also regulate carcinogen and xenobiotic metabolizing enzymes, various transcription and growth factors, inflammatory cytokines, and subcellular signaling pathways of cancer cell proliferation, apoptosis, and tumor angiogenesis. Berry phytochemicals may also potentially sensitize tumor cells to chemotherapeutic agents by inhibiting pathways that lead to treatment resistance, and berry fruit consumption may provide protection from therapy-associated toxicities. Although a wide variety of berry fruits are consumed worldwide, this paper focuses on those commonly consumed in North America, namely, blackberries, black raspberries, blueberries, cranberries, red raspberries, and strawberries. In addition, a large body of studies on singly purified berry bioactives is available, but this paper focuses on studies of "whole berries" per se, that is, as berry extracts and purified fractions, juices, and freeze-dried powders. Potential mechanisms of anticancer action and bioavailability of berry phenolics, as well as gaps in knowledge and recommendations for future berry research, are also briefly discussed.

Meat, meat cooking methods and preservation, and risk for colorectal adenoma
            (Sinha et al., 2005) Download
Cooking meat at high temperatures produces heterocyclic amines (HCAs) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). Processed meats contain N-nitroso compounds. Meat intake may increase cancer risk as HCAs, PAHs, and N-nitroso compounds are carcinogenic in animal models. We investigated meat, processed meat, HCAs, and the PAH benzo(a)pyrene and the risk of colorectal adenoma in 3,696 left-sided (descending and sigmoid colon and rectum) adenoma cases and 34,817 endoscopy-negative controls. Dietary intake was assessed using a 137-item food frequency questionnaire, with additional questions on meats and meat cooking practices. The questionnaire was linked to a previously developed database to determine exposure to HCAs and PAHs. Intake of red meat, with known doneness/cooking methods, was associated with an increased risk of adenoma in the descending and sigmoid colon [odds ratio (OR), 1.26; 95% confidence interval (95% CI), 1.05-1.50 comparing extreme quintiles of intake] but not rectal adenoma. Well-done red meat was associated with increased risk of colorectal adenoma (OR, 1.21; 95% CI, 1.06-1.37). Increased risks for adenoma of the descending colon and sigmoid colon were observed for the two HCAs: 2-amino-3,8-dimethylimidazo[4,5]quinoxaline and 2-amino-1-methyl-6-phenylimidazo[4,5]pyridine (OR, 1.18; 95% CI, 1.01-1.38 and OR, 1.17, 95% CI, 1.01-1.35, respectively) as well as benzo(a)pyrene (OR, 1.18; 95% CI, 1.02-1.35). Greater intake of bacon and sausage was associated with increased colorectal adenoma risk (OR, 1.14; 95% CI, 1.00-1.30); however, total intake of processed meat was not (OR, 1.04; 95% CI, 0.90-1.19). Our study of screening-detected colorectal adenomas shows that red meat and meat cooked at high temperatures are associated with an increased risk of colorectal adenoma.

Nutrition and dietary carcinogens
            (Sugimura, 2000) Download
Three major factors for human carcinogenesis are (i) cigarette smoking, (ii) infection and inflammation and (iii) nutrition and dietary factors. Nutrition and dietary factors include two categories, namely genotoxic agents and constituents including tumor promotion-associated phenomena. This article first describes the genotoxic agents as microcomponents. These are mutagens/carcinogens in cooked food, fungal products, plant and mushroom substance, and nitrite-related materials, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and oxidative agents. Emphasis has been given to heterocyclic amines (HCAs) to which humans are continuously exposed in an ordinary lifestyle. HCAs in food are mainly produced from creatin(in)e, sugar and from amino acids in meat (upon heating). They are imidazoquinoline and imidazoquinoxaline derivatives and phenylimidazopyridine. HCAs are pluripotent in producing cancers in various organs including breast, colon and prostate. Discussion is also given to plant flavonoids which are mutagenic but not carcinogenic. As a macrocomponent, overintake of total calories, fat and sodium chloride is discussed from the viewpoint of the increase of genetic alterations in tissues and of tumor promotion-associated issues. Studies of nutrition and dietary condition will eventually lead us to cancer prevention, namely delay of onset of cancer to the late phase of human life, which is called 'natural-end cancer' (Tenju-gann).

Well-done meat intake, heterocyclic amine exposure, and cancer risk
            (Zheng and Lee, 2009) Download
High intake of meat, particularly red and processed meat, has been associated with an increased risk of a number of common cancers such as breast, colorectum, and prostate in many epidemiological studies. Heterocyclic amines (HCAs) are a group of mutagenic compounds found in cooked meats, particularly well-done meats. HCAs are some of most potent mutagens detected using the Ames/salmonella tests and have been clearly shown to induce tumors in experimental animal models. Over the past 10 years, an increasing number of epidemiological studies have evaluated the association of well-done meat intake and meat carcinogen exposure with cancer risk. The results from these epidemiologic studies were evaluated and summarized in this review. The majority of these studies have shown that high intake of well-done meat and high exposure to meat carcinogens, particularly HCAs, may increase the risk of human cancer.


Boffetta, P., et al. (2010), ‘Fruit and vegetable intake and overall cancer risk in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC)’, J Natl Cancer Inst, 102 (8), 529-37. PubMed: 20371762
Busquets, R., et al. (2006), ‘Effect of red wine marinades on the formation of heterocyclic amines in fried chicken breast’, J Agric Food Chem, 54 (21), 8376-84. PubMed: 17032054
Gidron, Y. and A. Ronson (2008), ‘Psychosocial factors, biological mediators, and cancer prognosis: a new look at an old story’, Curr Opin Oncol, 20 (4), 386-92. PubMed: 18525332
Liao, G. Z., et al. (2010), ‘Effect of cooking methods on the formation of heterocyclic aromatic amines in chicken and duck breast’, Meat Sci, 85 (1), 149-54. PubMed: 20374878
Melo, A., et al. (2008), ‘Effect of beer/red wine marinades on the formation of heterocyclic aromatic amines in pan-fried beef’, J Agric Food Chem, 56 (22), 10625-32. PubMed: 18950185
Mitka, M. (2010), ‘Study further erodes evidence for eating fruits and vegetables to prevent cancer’, Jama, 303 (21), 2127-28. PubMed: 20516408
Salmon, C. P., M. G. Knize, and J. S. Felton (1997), ‘Effects of marinating on heterocyclic amine carcinogen formation in grilled chicken’, Food Chem Toxicol, 35 (5), 433-41. PubMed: 9216741
Seeram, N. P. (2008), ‘Berry fruits for cancer prevention: current status and future prospects’, J Agric Food Chem, 56 (3), 630-35. PubMed: 18211019
Sinha, R., et al. (2005), ‘Meat, meat cooking methods and preservation, and risk for colorectal adenoma’, Cancer Res, 65 (17), 8034-41. PubMed: 16140978
Sugimura, T. (2000), ‘Nutrition and dietary carcinogens’, Carcinogenesis, 21 (3), 387-95. PubMed: 10688859
Zheng, W. and S. A. Lee (2009), ‘Well-done meat intake, heterocyclic amine exposure, and cancer risk’, Nutr Cancer, 61 (4), 437-46. PubMed: 19838915