Little is currently known about the role of nutrition in preventing lung cancer in female nonsmokers, but research recently published in the International Journal of Cancer suggests that getting enough vitamin E from foods may lower risk for nonsmoking women, especially those exposed to secondhand smoke. However, vitamin E supplements may increase lung cancer risk in these groups.
This study’s authors used data from 65,000 Chinese women who had never smoked and followed them for an average of 12 years to see if they developed lung cancer. They found that women who consumed enough vitamin E from foods to meet Chinese guidelines at the start of the study had a lower risk of developing lung cancer compared to women who did not consume enough vitamin E. Read more… “Study: Vitamin E from Food, Not Supplements, May Lower Women’s Lung Cancer Risk”
The hot topic that kicked off our research conference today was about how some selenium, folic acid and other micronutrients decrease cancer risk, but too much may actually increase risk. It’s delightfully termed the “Goldilocks Effect” and Glen wrote about it earlier.
All the scientists stressed that certain amounts of micronutrients show cancer protection. Supplements can give you too much. But a healthy amount of foods cannot give you the high amounts under study for harm. And these foods are loaded with plenty of other nutrients and phytochemicals linked with cancer protection and good health.
So what foods can give you selenium and folate? Here’s a few:
Joel Mason, MD of Tufts University Medical Center kicked off the opening plenary session of the 2014 AICR Research Conference with a deep dive into one of the most intriguing and – to the public, at least – confusing and even frustrating areas of cancer prevention research.
As scientists learn more about the interplay between diet and cancer risk, it’s clearer than ever that the role of many dietary factors in several cancers is more complex than was once thought.
The entire plenary session of our research conference is focusing on the notion of the “Goldilocks Effect”– the idea that, for several dietary factors, the old idea of “more is better” is flatly wrong. (In scientific circles, this phenomenon is known as the “U-shaped curve,” which describes the graph of dose-response observed as consumption of a given dietary factor increases – from high risk (low consumption) to lower risk (adequate consumption) and back to high risk (high consumption).
Mason spoke on folate as a case in point: Habitually low consumption of folate is associated with higher risk for colorectal and other cancers, as low folate levels increase genomic instability in cells. But in some cases, getting too much folate in the diet has also been linked, in animal models and in some human studies, to increased risk. He stressed, however, that this finding remains controversial, as the evidence for a risk-increasing effect for folate is by no means as consistent as the evidence for its protective role. But until we learn more, he advised that the general population stick to the Institute of Medicine’s recommendation to limit folic acid intake to less than 1000 mcgs/day. Read more… “Getting the Diet “Just Right” – Vitamins, Minerals and the Goldilocks Effect”
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