August 20, 2007
BOSTONThe first epidemiological study of dietary choline and colon cancer did not find a positive correlation between the two, instead suggesting other nutrients in choline-containing foods may be responsible for any reduction in adenoma incidence. Scientists from various renowned research centers, including Brigham and Womens Hospital and Harvard Medical School, investigated data from the Nurses Health Study and published their findings in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute (2007; 99(16):1224-1231).
Among the enrolled women, dietary intake was measured by food-frequency questionnaires, and individual intakes of choline and betaine were calculated by multiplying the frequency of consumption of each food item by its choline and betaine content then adding the nutrient contributions of all foods. Logistic regression models were used to calculate adjusted odds ratios (as approximations for relative risks) and 95-percent confidence intervals of colorectal adenoma.
Researchers documented 2,408 adenoma cases among the 39,246 women who were initially free of cancer or polyps and who had at least one endoscopy between 1984 and 2002. They found increasing choline intake was associated with an elevated risk of colorectal adenoma. Betaine intake had a nonlinear inverse association with colorectal adenoma. Among individual sources of choline, choline from both phosphatidylcholine and sphingomyelin was positively related to adenoma risk.
Scientists reported there was no inverse association between choline intake and risk of colorectal adenoma, and the observed positive association between choline intake and colorectal adenoma could represent effects of other components in the foods from which choline was derived; for this, they urge further investigation.
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