Flavonoids might curb esophageal and gastric cancer

Reuters Health Information: Flavonoids might curb esophageal and gastric cancer

Flavonoids might curb esophageal and gastric cancer

Last Updated: 2015-03-02

By David Douglas

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Dietary anthocyanidins, flavonoids found in wine and fruit juice, might help reduce the impact of esophageal and gastric cancer, according to U.S. researchers.

"While further research is needed, our current research suggests that flavonoid compounds, specifically anthocyanidins, could . . . be used as chemopreventive agents in an effort to reduce incidence and improve survival for fatal cancers of the esophagus and stomach," Dr. Jessica L. Petrick, of the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, told Reuters Health by email,

In a February 10 online paper in the British Journal of Cancer, Dr. Petrick and colleagues note that epidemiologic studies have shown that diets high in fruits and vegetables are inversely associated with esophageal and gastric cancer incidence, possibly because of the influence of flavonoids.

The team enrolled more than 1,000 U.S. participants who between 1993 and 1995 had been diagnosed with esophageal adenocarcinoma, gastric cardia adenocarcinoma, esophageal squamous cell carcinoma, and other gastric adenocarcinoma.

After interviewing this group and 662 population-based controls, the researchers linked food frequency questionnaire responses with flavonoid databases and available literature covering six flavonoid classes and lignans, with follow-up until 2000.

The researchers observed little or no consistent association between total flavonoid intake from the main sources-which were black tea, orange and grapefruit juice, and wine-and the incidence or survival for any tumor type.

However, they found that the intake of anthocyanidins, common in wine and fruit juice, was associated with a 57% reduction in the risk of incident esophageal adenocarcinoma and esophageal squamous cell carcinoma.

They found a "modest" positive correlation with isoflavones, of which coffee was the main source, with all tumors except esophageal squamous cell carcinoma.

Although the confidence intervals were wide, they found anthocyanidins to be associated with decreased risk of mortality for gastric cardia adenocarcinoma (hazard ratio 0.63) and modestly for esophageal adenocarcinoma (HR 0.87).

"In summary," the investigators conclude, "our population-based findings suggest that dietary intake of some types of flavonoids, particularly anthocyanidins, may lower the risk of oesophageal and gastric cancer incidence and may potentially increase survival."

The National Institutes of Health supported this research in part. One author reports consulting for pharmaceutical companies after this research.

SOURCE: http://bit.ly/17KwXsj

Br J Cancer 2015.

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