Seafood intake is tied to lower colorectal cancer risk

  • Aglago EK & al.
  • Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol
  • 25 Jun 2019

  • International Clinical Digest
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Takeaway

  • Fish intake correlated with reduced risk for colorectal cancer (CRC) in this large cohort study.
  • Intake (but not plasma levels) of n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 PUFAs) was also correlated with reduced CRC risk.

Why this matters

  • A previous European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) cohort study linked fish consumption to lower CRC risk.
  • This study examined fatty acid intake and is the largest to assess fish and n-3 PUFA intake and CRC risk, according to the authors.

Key results

  • During median follow-up 14.9 years, 6291 people developed CRC.
  • CRC incidence, highest-intake quintile vs lowest for following intake types (HRs; 95% CIs): 
    • Total fish: 0.88 (0.80-0.96; P=.005).
    • Fatty fish: 0.90 (0.82-0.98; P=.009).
    • Lean fish: 0.91 (0.83-1.00; P=.016).
    • Total n-3 PUFAs: 0.86 (0.78-0.95; P=.010), driven by lower risk for colon cancer.
    • Dietary n-6:n-3 PUFAs: 1.31 (1.18-1.45; P<.001>
    • Plasma levels of n-3 PUFAs: 0.94 (0.61-1.44; P=.999).
  • Participants who ate the WHO-recommended 100-to-200-g/week had 7% lower CRC risk. 

Study design

  • Analysis of multinational EPIC cohort (n=476,160).
  • Participants reported intake of fish, n-3 PUFAs.
  • Outcome: incident CRC.
  • Funding: World Cancer Research Fund.

Limitations

  • Food frequency questionnaire reflected baseline diet.
  • Fish oil, supplement intake not assessed.

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