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Fibre intake modulates the association of alcohol intake with breast cancer

Alcohol intake has been related to an increased risk of breast cancer (BC) while dietary fibre intake has been inversely associated to BC risk. A beneficial effect of fibre on ethanol carcinogenesis through their impact on estrogen levels is still controversial. A study investigated the role of dietary fibre as a modifying factor of the association of alcohol and breast cancer using data from the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC).

The study included 334,850 women aged 35-70 years at baseline enrolled in the ten countries of the EPIC study and followed up for 11.0 years on average. Information on fibre and alcohol intake at baseline and average lifetime alcohol intake were calculated from country-specific dietary and lifestyle questionnaires. Hazard ratios (HR) of developing invasive breast cancer according to different levels of alcohol and fiber intake were computed. During 3,670,439 person-years, 11,576 incident breast cancer cases were diagnosed.

For subjects with low intake of fibre (< 18.5 g/day), the risk of BC per 10g/day of alcohol intake was 1.06 (1.03-1.08) while among subjects with high intake of fibre (>24.2 g/day) the risk of BC was 1.02 (0.99-1.05) (test for interaction p=0.011). This modulating effect was stronger for fibre from vegetables. The study results suggest that fibre intake may modulate the positive association of alcohol intake and BC.

Source: Fiber intake modulates the association of alcohol intake with breast cancer Romieu I; Ferrari P; Chajes V; de Batlle J; Biessy C; Scoccianti C; Dossus L; et al International Journal of Cancer, published online 6 September 2016.

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