Dietary Folate, Alcohol Consumption, and Risk of Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma

VITAMIN B complex
DRINKING of alcoholic beverages
FOOD habits
TRACE elements in nutrition
HODGKIN'S disease

Abstract:Dietary deficiency of folate and other micronutrients involved in the one-carbon metabolism (i.e., vitamins B2, B6, B12, and methionine) have been related to several diseases, including cancers, but results on non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) are controversial. A hospital-based case-control study was conducted in Italy, in 1999–2002. Cases were 190 incident, histologically confirmed NHL aged 18–84 years. Controls were 484 subjects admitted to hospitals for acute, non-neoplastic diseases supposed to be unrelated to alcohol consumption or to diet modification. Dietary habits, including alcohol drinking, were assessed by a validated food-frequency questionnaire. Nutrient intakes were computed using the Italian food composition database. Odds ratios (ORs) and corresponding 95% confidence intervals for tertiles of nutrients' intake were computed using the energy-adjusted residual models. No significant association emerged between NHL risk and intakes of folate (OR = 0.9), vitamin B2 (OR = 0.9), vitamin B6 (OR = 0.8), and methionine (OR = 0.7). However, a significant inverse association was observed for all the nutrients examined among abstainers and former drinkers, whereas no relations between one-carbon nutrients and NHL risk emerged among current alcohol drinkers. Our findings support the possibility of an antagonist effect of alcohol on the one-carbon metabolism in NHL etiology. However, the lack of an overall effect for one-carbon nutrients and the small sample size suggested caution in interpreting our results.

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