Inverse association between intake of cereal fiber and risk of gastric cardia cancer

Gastroenterology. 2001 Feb;120(2):387-91. doi: 10.1053/gast.2001.21171.


Background & aims: Recent data show that salivary nitrites form carcinogenic nitrosamines, especially at the gastric cardia. Wheat fiber has been shown to neutralize such mutagen formation. Our aim was to evaluate the association between dietary fiber and cancers of the esophageal and gastric cardia.

Methods: We examined data from a large-scale population-based case-control study of risk factors for adenocarcinoma of the gastric cardia and esophagus and squamous cell carcinoma of the esophagus.

Results: We found a strong dose-dependent inverse association between total dietary fiber intake and risk of gastric cardia adenocarcinoma, which was driven mainly by intake of cereal fiber. The odds ratio among individuals in the highest quartile of cereal fiber intake compared with the lowest was 0.3 (95% confidence interval, 0.2-0.5; P trend < 0.0001). High intake of cereal fiber was also associated with a moderately decreased risk of esophageal adenocarcinoma, but no linear dose-risk trend was observed. There was no association between dietary fiber and esophageal squamous cell carcinoma.

Conclusions: High intake of cereal fiber may significantly lower the risk of gastric cardia cancer.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma / diet therapy
  • Adenocarcinoma / epidemiology*
  • Adenocarcinoma / prevention & control
  • Aged
  • Cardia*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Dietary Fiber / administration & dosage*
  • Edible Grain / therapeutic use*
  • Esophageal Neoplasms / diet therapy
  • Esophageal Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Esophageal Neoplasms / prevention & control
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Neoplasms, Squamous Cell / diet therapy
  • Neoplasms, Squamous Cell / epidemiology
  • Neoplasms, Squamous Cell / prevention & control
  • Nitrogen / metabolism
  • Nutrition Assessment
  • Phytotherapy*
  • Risk Factors
  • Stomach Neoplasms / diet therapy
  • Stomach Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Stomach Neoplasms / prevention & control
  • Surveys and Questionnaires


  • Dietary Fiber
  • Nitrogen