Methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase polymorphism, diet, and breast cancer in Korean women

Exp Mol Med. 2004 Apr 30;36(2):116-21. doi: 10.1038/emm.2004.17.


To evaluate the interactive effect of methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) genotype and dietary factors on the development of breast cancer, a hospital based case-control study was conducted in South Korean study population consisting of 189 histologically confirmed incident breast cancer cases and their 189 age-matched controls without present or previous history of cancer. A PCR-RFLP method was used for the genotyping of MTHFR (C677T) and statistical evaluations were performed by unconditional logistic regression analysis. Consumption of some dietary factors, such as green vegetables (OR = 0.3, 95% CI: 0.2-0.6), white vegetables (OR = 0.3, 95% CI: 0.1-0.7) mushrooms (OR = 0.4, 95% CI: 0.3-0.7), and meats (OR = 1.7, 95% CI: 1.1-2.8) significantly decreased or increased the risk of breast cancer. Although the breast cancer risk was 1.7-fold (95% CI: 0.8-3.2) increased in women with MTHFR TT genotype, the association was not statistically significant. Women with MTHFR TT genotype and low green vegetable intake increased 5.6-fold (95% CI: 1.2-26.3) risk of breast cancer compared to high green vegetable intake group containing MTHFR CC/CT genotype. However, the interaction was not significant (p for interaction = 0.96). Our findings suggest that MTHFR polymorphism did not influence individual susceptibility to breast cancer. However MTHFR (C667T) genotype and green vegetable intakes appeared to have the interactive effect in breast cancer development.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Alleles
  • Breast Neoplasms / enzymology
  • Breast Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Diet*
  • Female
  • Gene Frequency
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease
  • Genotype
  • Humans
  • Korea
  • Methylenetetrahydrofolate Reductase (NADPH2) / genetics*
  • Middle Aged
  • Polymorphism, Restriction Fragment Length*


  • Methylenetetrahydrofolate Reductase (NADPH2)