The role of dietary factors in the epidemiology of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma

Leuk Lymphoma. 2006 Dec;47(12):2477-87. doi: 10.1080/10428190600932927.


The incidence of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL) has risen dramatically over recent decades and, despite some known risk factors, such as compromised immunity, the etiology of NHL and the reasons for most of this increase are unknown. Dietary components may be a common and critical source of immunologic antigens and promoters, which needs to be incorporated more in the etiologic research of NHL. To date, epidemiologic evidence suggests that obesity and fat intake, in particular saturated or animal fat, may increase the risk of NHL; whereas whole-grains, vegetables and moderate consumption of alcohol may be inversely associated with NHL risk. Much of the current evidence is obtained from case-control studies, which are subject to dietary recall bias; therefore, this area of research requires further study within prospective cohorts with detailed dietary information and with a large number of cases to examine disease sub-type heterogeneity.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antioxidants / metabolism
  • Carbohydrates
  • Dairy Products
  • Diet
  • Energy Metabolism
  • Food*
  • Humans
  • Lymphoma, Non-Hodgkin / epidemiology*
  • Lymphoma, Non-Hodgkin / etiology*
  • Meat
  • Risk Factors
  • Vegetables


  • Antioxidants
  • Carbohydrates