Vitamins A, C and E and the risk of breast cancer: results from a case-control study in Greece.Br J Cancer 1999; 79(1):23-9BJ
Although several dietary compounds are hypothesized to have anticarcinogenic properties, the role of specific micronutrients in the development of breast cancer remains unclear. To address this issue, we assessed intake of retinol, beta-carotene, vitamin C and vitamin E in relation to breast cancer risk in a case-control study in Greece. Eight hundred and twenty women with histologically confirmed breast cancer were compared with 1548 control women. Dietary data were collected through a 115-item semiquantitative food frequency questionnaire. Data were modelled by logistic regression, with adjustment for total energy intake and established breast cancer risk factors, as well as mutual adjustment among the micronutrients. Among post-menopausal women, there was no association between any of the micronutrients evaluated and risk of breast cancer. Among premenopausal women, beta-carotene, vitamin C and vitamin E were each inversely associated with breast cancer risk, but after mutual adjustment among the three nutrients only beta-carotene remained significant; the odds ratio (OR) for a one-quintile increase in beta-carotene intake was 0.84 (95% confidence interval 0.73-0.97). The inverse association observed with beta-carotene intake, however, is slightly weaker than the association previously observed with vegetable intake in these data, raising the possibility that the observed beta-carotene effect is accounted for by another component of vegetables.