Drinking coffee may help prevent liver cancer, study suggests

People who drink more coffee are less likely to develop liver cancer, an analysis of data from 26 studies has found | Story via The Guardian | BMJ

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Researchers have found that people who drink more coffee are less likely to develop hepatocellular cancer (HCC), the most common form of primary liver cancer – and the effect was also found in decaffeinated coffee.

Experts from the University of Southampton and the University of Edinburgh examined data from 26 studies involving more than 2.25 million participants.  Compared with people who drank no coffee, those who drank one cup a day had a 20% lower risk of developing HCC, according to the study, published in the journal BMJ Open.

Those who consumed two cups a day had a 35% reduced risk and for those who drank five cups, the risk was halved. They found the protective effect for decaf was “smaller and less certain than for caffeinated coffee”

Full story via The Guardian

Full reference: Kennedy OJ, Roderick P, Buchanan R, et al. Coffee, including caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee, and the risk of hepatocellular carcinoma: a systematic review and dose–response meta-analysis

Chance of colon cancer recurrence nearly cut in half in people who eat nuts

Something as simple as eating tree nuts may make a difference in the long-term survival of patients with colon cancer, a new study concludes.American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) | ScienceDaily | 18th May 2017

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An observational study of 826 patients with stage III colon cancer showed that those who consumed two ounces or more of nuts per week had a 42% lower chance of cancer recurrence and 57% lower chance of death than those who did not eat nuts.

A secondary analysis revealed the benefit of nut consumption was limited to tree nuts. Tree nuts include almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, cashews, and pecans, among others. These findings will be presented at the upcoming 2017 ASCO Annual Meeting in Chicago.

Read more at ScienceDaily

Coffee consumption linked to reduced risk of liver cancer

Kennedy, O.J. et al. (2017) Coffee, including caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee, and the risk of hepatocellular carcinoma: a systematic review and dose–response meta-analysis. BMJ Open. 7:e013739

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Objectives: To examine the association between coffee, including caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee, with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and assess the influence of HCC aetiology and pre-existing liver disease.

Conclusions: Increased consumption of caffeinated coffee and, to a lesser extent, decaffeinated coffee are associated with reduced risk of HCC, including in pre-existing liver disease. These findings are important given the increasing incidence of HCC globally and its poor prognosis.

Read the full article here

Obesity linked to heightened risk of certain cancers

Obesity is strongly linked to the risk of developing certain major cancers, according to a re-analysis of research published in The BMJ | OnMedica | BMJ

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Links between obesity and cancer risk are strongest for 11 cancers related to digestive organs and hormones, says the review. Obesity could also be linked to other cancers, but the quality of the evidence is not sufficiently strong to draw those conclusions yet.

Obesity prevalence has more than doubled over the past 40 years, and the evidence to date suggests that it is linked to a heightened risk of developing particular cancers, but methodological flaws in some published studies have weakened the strength of the associations found.

To better gauge the quality of the evidence and the strength of these associations, the researchers comprehensively reviewed published studies looking at obesity and cancer risk.

From among 204 reviews that analysed obesity measurements, such as body mass index (BMI), weight gain, and waist circumference, and the risk of 36 cancers, 95 included continuous measures of obesity.

Only 13% of the associations for nine cancers were based on strong evidence, meaning the results were statistically significant and excluded bias.

Strong associations were found in studies that looked at heightened risk of oesophageal, bone marrow, colon (in men), rectal (in men), biliary tract system, pancreatic, endometrial (in premenopausal women), and kidney cancers.

Read more via OnMedica

Link to the research: Kyrgiou M, Kalliala I, Markozannes G, et al. Adiposity and cancer at major anatomical sites: umbrella review of the literature. BMJ 2017;356:j477. DOI: 10.1136/bmj.j477

Grilled, Barbecued, and Smoked Meat Intake and Survival Following Breast Cancer

Parada, H. et al. (2017) JNCI: Journal of the National Cancer Institute. 109(6)

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Background: Grilled, barbecued, and smoked meat intake, a prevalent dietary source of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) carcinogens, may increase the risk of incident breast cancer. However, no studies have examined whether intake of this PAH source influences survival after breast cancer.

Conclusion: High intake of grilled/barbecued and smoked meat may increase mortality after breast cancer.

Read the full article here

Dietary emulsifiers, gut inflammation, tumours and colorectal cancer in mice

Original Article

Viennois, E et al. Cancer Research. Published online: 7 November 2016

The increased risks conferred by inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) to the development of colorectal cancer (CRC) gave rise to the term “colitis-associated cancer” and the concept that inflammation promotes colon tumorigenesis. A condition more common than IBD is low-grade inflammation, which correlates with altered gut microbiota composition and metabolic syndrome, both present in many cases of CRC.

Recent findings suggest that low-grade inflammation in the intestine is promoted by consumption of dietary emulsifiers, a ubiquitous component of processed foods which alter the composition of gut microbiota. Here, we demonstrate in a pre-clinical model of colitis-induced CRC that regular consumption of dietary emulsifiers carboxymethylcellulose or polysorbate-80 exacerbated tumor development. Enhanced tumor development was associated with an altered microbiota metagenome characterized by elevated levels of lipopolysaccharide and flagellin.

We found that emulsifier-induced alterations in the microbiome were necessary and sufficient to drive alterations in major proliferation and apoptosis signaling pathways thought to govern tumor development. Overall, our findings support the concept that perturbations in host-microbiota interactions that cause low-grade gut inflammation can promote colon carcinogenesis.

Read the abstract here


Expert Reaction

Prof. Tom Sanders, Professor emeritus of Nutrition and Dietetics, King’s College London

“Overall this short-term mouse study has several limitations, including the extreme levels of additives the mice were fed, and that they had also been injected with a cancer-causing substance. We can’t assume this study is applicable to humans, so it shouldn’t be cause for concern.”

Prof. Sir Colin Berry, Emeritus Professor of Pathology, Queen Mary University London

“The significant limitations of this mouse study include that the quantities of emulsifiers fed to the mice were orders of magnitude greater than the likely dose for any human population. So, the amount of emulsifiers these mice were fed is not equivalent to what we have in our diets. These results do not demonstrate that emulsifiers in food make a contribution to the incidence of colorectal cancer in man.”

Read the full expert reactions here

The relationship between vegetable & fruit consumption and gallbladder & bile duct cancer

Makiuchi, T. et al. International Journal of Cancer. Published online: 31 October 2016

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Vegetable and fruit consumption may have a protective effect against several types of cancers. However, the effect on biliary cancers is unclear. We investigated the association of vegetable/fruit consumption with the risks of gallbladder cancer (GBC), intrahepatic bile duct cancer (IHBDC) and extrahepatic bile duct cancer (EHBDC) in a population-based prospective cohort study in Japan.

Hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated using the Cox proportional hazard model, and the exposure level was categorized into quartiles, with the lowest group used as the reference.

A total of 80,371 people aged 45–74 years were enrolled between 1995 and 1999, and followed up for 1,158,632 person-years until 2012, during which 133 GBC, 99 IHBDC, and 161 EHBDC cases were identified.

Increased consumption of total vegetable and fruit was significantly associated with a decreased risk of EHBDC (HR = 0.49; 95% CI: 0.29–0.81 for the highest group; P-trend = 0.005). From the analysis of relevant nutrients, significantly decreased risk of EHBDC was associated with folate and insoluble fiber (HR = 0.48, 0.53; 95% CI: 0.28–0.85, 0.31–0.88 for the highest group; P-trend = 0.010, 0.023; respectively), and a significant trend of decreased EHBDC risk associated with vitamin C was observed (P-trend = 0.029). No decreased risk of GBC and IHBDC was found. Our findings suggest that increased vegetable/fruit consumption may decrease a risk of EHBDC, and folate, vitamin C, and insoluble fiber might be key contributors to the observed protective effect.

Read the abstract here