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Dietary factors and the risks of oesophageal adenocarcinoma and Barrett’s oesophagus

Incidence rates for oesophageal adenocarcinoma have increased by over 500% during the past few decades without clear reasons. Gastro-oesophageal reflux disease, obesity and smoking have been identified as risk factors, although the demographic distribution of these risk factors is not consistent with the demographic distribution of oesophageal adenocarcinoma, which is substantially more common among whites and males than any other demographic groups. Numerous epidemiological studies have suggested associations between dietary factors and the risks of oesophageal adenocarcinoma and its precursor, Barrett’s oesophagus, though a comprehensive review is lacking. The main aim of the present review is to consider the evidence linking dietary factors with the risks of oesophageal adenocarcinoma, Barrett’s oesophagus, and the progression from Barrett’s oesophagus to oesophageal adenocarcinoma. The existing epidemiological evidence is strongest for an inverse relationship between intake of vitamin C, beta-carotene, fruits and vegetables, particularly raw fruits and vegetables and dark green, leafy and cruciferous vegetables, carbohydrates, fibre and Fe and the risk of oesophageal adenocarcinoma and Barrett’s oesophagus. Patients at higher risk for Barrett’s oesophagus and oesophageal adenocarcinoma may benefit from increasing their consumption of fruits and vegetables and reducing their intake of red meat and other processed food items. Further research is needed to evaluate the relationship between diet and the progression of Barrett’s oesophagus to oesophageal adenocarcinoma. Evidence from cohort studies will help determine whether randomised chemoprevention trials are warranted for the primary prevention of Barrett’s oesophagus or its progression to cancer.

Authors: Kubo A; Corley DA; Jensen CD; Kaur R

Nutr Res Rev. 2010 Dec;23(2):230-46. Epub 2010 Jul 13.

PubMed abstract

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