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Antioxidant and DNA Methylation-Related Nutrients and Risk of Distal Colorectal Cancer


Williams, Christina Dawn; Satia, Jessie A.; Adair, Linda S.; Stevens, June; Galanko, Joseph A.; Keku, Temitope O.; & Sandler, Robert S. (2010). Antioxidant and DNA Methylation-Related Nutrients and Risk of Distal Colorectal Cancer. Cancer Causes & Control, 21(8), 1171-1181. PMCID: PMC3024035


OBJECTIVE: To investigate the relationship between antioxidant nutrients (vitamins C and E, beta-carotene, selenium) and DNA methylation-related nutrients (folate, vitamins B6 and B12) and distal colorectal cancer risk in whites and African Americans and to examine intakes from food only versus total (food plus dietary supplements) intakes.
METHODS: Data are from the North Carolina Colon Cancer Study-Phase II, a case-control study of 945 distal colorectal cancer (including sigmoid, rectosigmoid, and rectum) cases and 959 controls. In-person interviews captured usual dietary intake and various covariates. Multivariate logistic regression was used to calculate odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CI).
RESULTS: High intakes of each antioxidant and DNA methylation-related nutrient were significantly associated with lower risk in whites. In African Americans, the highest category of selenium from food only had a marginally significant inverse association with distal colorectal cancer risk (Q4 vs. Q1 OR: 0.55, 95% CI 0.29-1.02). Supplements did not provide additional risk reduction beyond intakes from food.
CONCLUSIONS: Our findings provide evidence that antioxidant and DNA methylation-related nutrients may lower the risk of distal colorectal cancer in whites, and selenium may lower risk in African Americans. Optimal micronutrient intakes from food alone may be more beneficial than supplementation.


Reference Type

Journal Article

Year Published


Journal Title

Cancer Causes & Control


Williams, Christina Dawn
Satia, Jessie A.
Adair, Linda S.
Stevens, June
Galanko, Joseph A.
Keku, Temitope O.
Sandler, Robert S.