Dietary total antioxidant capacity and colorectal cancer: A large case–control study in Italy

Authors

  • Carlo La Vecchia,

    1. Department of Epidemiology, Istituto di Ricerche Farmacologiche Mario Negri—IRCCS, Milan, Italy
    2. Department of Clinical Sciences and Community Health, University of Milan, Milan, Italy
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  • Adriano Decarli,

    1. Department of Clinical Sciences and Community Health, University of Milan, Milan, Italy
    2. Unit of Medical Statistics, Biometry and Bioinformatics, Fondazione IRCSS Istituto Nazionale Tumori di Milano, Milan, Italy
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  • Mauro Serafini,

    1. Agricultural Research Council, CRA Ex-INRAN, Rome, Italy
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  • Maria Parpinel,

    1. Unit of Hygiene and Epidemiology, Department of Biological and Medical Sciences, University of Udine, Udine, Italy
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  • Rino Bellocco,

    1. Department of Statistics, University of Milano-Bicocca, Milan, Italy
    2. Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Karolinska Institutet, Solna, Sweden
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  • Carlotta Galeone,

    1. Department of Epidemiology, Istituto di Ricerche Farmacologiche Mario Negri—IRCCS, Milan, Italy
    2. Department of Clinical Sciences and Community Health, University of Milan, Milan, Italy
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  • Cristina Bosetti,

    1. Department of Epidemiology, Istituto di Ricerche Farmacologiche Mario Negri—IRCCS, Milan, Italy
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  • Antonella Zucchetto,

    1. Department of Clinical Sciences and Community Health, University of Milan, Milan, Italy
    2. Unit of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Centro di Riferimento Oncologico, Aviano, Italy
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  • Jerry Polesel,

    1. Unit of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Centro di Riferimento Oncologico, Aviano, Italy
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  • Pagona Lagiou,

    1. Department of Hygiene, Epidemiology and Medical Statistics, University of Athens Medical School, Athens, Greece
    2. Department of Epidemiology, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA
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  • Eva Negri,

    1. Department of Epidemiology, Istituto di Ricerche Farmacologiche Mario Negri—IRCCS, Milan, Italy
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  • Marta Rossi

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Clinical Sciences and Community Health, University of Milan, Milan, Italy
    • Department of Epidemiology, Istituto di Ricerche Farmacologiche Mario Negri—IRCCS, Milan, Italy
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Correspondence to: Dr. Marta Rossi, Department of Epidemiology, Istituto di Ricerche Farmacologiche “Mario Negri”, Via La Masa, 19, 20156 Milano, Italy, Tel: [+39–0239014541], Fax: [+39–0233200231], E-mail marta.rossi@marionegri.it

Abstract

A favorable role of fruit and vegetables on colorectal cancer risk has been related to the antioxidant properties of their components. We used data from an Italian case–control study including 1,953 patients with incident, histologically confirmed colorectal cancer (1,225 colon and 728 rectal cancers). Controls were 4,154 patients admitted to hospital for acute, non-neoplastic conditions. A reproducible and valid food frequency questionnaire was used to assess subjects' usual diet. Total antioxidant capacity (TAC) was measured using Italian food composition tables in terms of ferric reducing-antioxidant power (FRAP), Trolox equivalent antioxidant capacity (TEAC) and total radical-trapping antioxidant parameter (TRAP). We estimated the odds ratios (ORs) and the corresponding 95% confidence intervals (CIs) through multiple logistic regression models, including terms for potential confounding factors, and energy intake. TAC was inversely related with colorectal cancer risk: the OR for the highest versus the lowest quintile was 0.68 (95% CI, 0.57–0.82) for FRAP, 0.69 (95% CI, 0.57–0.83) for TEAC and 0.69 (95% CI, 0.57–0.83) for TRAP. Corresponding values, excluding TAC deriving from coffee, were 0.75 (95% CI, 0.61–0.93) for FRAP, 0.76 (95% CI, 0.61–0.93) for TEAC and 0.71 (95% CI, 0.57–0.89) for TRAP. The inverse association was apparently—though not significantly—stronger for rectal than for colon cancer. This is the first case–control study indicating consistent inverse relations between dietary TAC and colorectal cancer risk.

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