Smoking attenuates the negative association between carotenoids consumption and colorectal cancer risk.

Y. Chaiter, S. B. Gruber, A. Ben-Amotz, R. Almog, H. S. Rennert, R. Fischler, G. Rozen, G. Rennert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


OBJECTIVES: Consumption of vegetables and fruits, physical activity, obesity and caloric intake are all strongly related to the risk of colorectal cancer (CRC). The association between dietary intake of carotenoids from vegetables/fruits and risk of CRC in the context of cigarette smoking was studied in a nutritionally diverse population. METHODS: The study included 1,817 age sex residence-matched case-control pairs from a population-based study in Northern Israel. Data were acquired by food-frequency questionnaire. Individual intake of carotenoid isomers was calculated using an Israeli food content database. Odds ratios (ORs) were calculated using conditional logistic regression models adjusted for known risk factors. RESULTS: Strong inverse associations were found with consumption of 9-cis-beta-carotene (OR = 0.35, 0.26-0.47), all-trans-beta-carotene (OR = 0.58, 0.44-0.76), cis-beta-cryptoxanthin (OR = 0.67, 0.50-0.90), all-trans-zeaxanthin (OR = 0.64, 0.48-0.86), and lutein (OR = 0.74, 0.57-0.96). Lycopene (OR = 2.22, 1.71-2.89) and all-trans-beta-cryptoxanthin (OR = 2.01, 1.48-2.73) were associated with increased risk of CRC. Inverse associations of most carotenoids with CRC, demonstrated in non-smokers, were much attenuated or reversed in past or current smokers with a highly significant interaction term. CONCLUSIONS: Consumption of most dietary carotenoids was found to be strongly associated with reduced risk of CRC. However, smoking significantly attenuated or reversed this observed protective effect on CRC occurrence. Smokers should be advised that smoking also hampers the potential health promoting effects of high fruit and vegetable consumption.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1327-1338
Number of pages12
JournalCancer Causes and Control
Issue number8
StatePublished - Oct 2009

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgments The study team would like to thank Dr Gilbert S. Omenn for his comments. Funding for this study was provided by the National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, USA [CA81488 to S·B.G and GR]

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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