Gastric cancer risk and erythrocyte composition of docosahexaenoic acid with anti-inflammatory effects.Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2007; 16(11):2406-15CE
Infection with Helicobacter pylori is linked to inflammation and is the main cause of peptic ulcer, gastritis, and gastric malignancies. To examine associations between gastric cancer risk and the erythrocyte composition of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), a fatty acid with anti-inflammatory and apoptosis-inducing effects, here we conducted a case-control study of 179 incident gastric cancer cases and 357 noncancer controls (matched by age, sex, and season of sample collection). Dietary information and blood samples were collected from all subjects, and erythrocyte fatty acid levels were measured using accelerated solvent extraction and gas-liquid chromatography. Gastric cancer risk did not seem to be directly associated with dietary intake of fish and n-3 highly unsaturated fatty acids (HUFAs), such as DHA, derived from fish. However, risk was inversely associated with erythrocyte compositions of n-3 HUFAs [the highest to the lowest tertile, odds ratio (OR), 0.39; 95% confidence interval (95% CI), 0.23-0.68; P(trend)<0.005] and DHA (OR, 0.47; 95% CI, 0.28-0.79; P(trend)<0.01). Particularly strong associations were noted for well-differentiated type lesions and n-3 HUFAs (OR, 0.10; 95% CI, 0.03-0.35; P(trend)=0.0005) as well as DHA (OR, 0.20; 95% CI, 0.07-0.58; P(trend)<0.01) values. In conclusion, the erythrocyte composition of DHA was found to be negatively linked to risk of gastric cancer, especially of well-differentiated adenocarcinoma. Further studies are needed to investigate mechanisms of action of DHA relevant to antitumor effects in the stomach.