Dietary intake of fruit and vegetables and risk of non-Hodgkin lymphoma

Cancer Causes Control. 2011 Aug;22(8):1183-95. doi: 10.1007/s10552-011-9797-5. Epub 2011 Jun 22.


Objective: Few studies have evaluated the potential association between consumption of fruit and vegetables and non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) by histologic subtype, and the results of these studies have been inconsistent.

Methods: A detailed history of dietary practices and food preferences was collected using a food frequency questionnaire from 348 cases and 470 controls in a population-based, case-control study conducted in Nebraska during 1999-2002. Risk for the highest versus lowest quartile or tertile of intake was estimated by odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence interval (CIs).

Results: A lower risk of overall NHL was associated with a high intake of green leafy vegetables (OR = 0.6; CI = 0.3-1.0) and cruciferous vegetables (OR = 0.7; CI = 0.4-1.0). Analysis by subtype showed that green leafy vegetable intake was associated with a lower risk of follicular lymphoma (OR = 0.5; CI = 0.3-0.8) and diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) (OR = 0.5; CI = 0.3-0.9), while consumption of cruciferous vegetables was associated with a lower risk of DLBCL (OR = 0.4; CI = 0.2-0.8). No association was found with intake of total vegetables, carotene-rich vegetables, or all fruit. For nutrients, the risk of NHL overall was inversely associated with a higher intake of β-cryptoxanthin (OR = 0.6; CI = 0.4-0.9), magnesium (OR = 0.4; CI = 0.2-0.6), potassium (OR = 0.5; CI = 0.3-1.0), and fiber (OR = 0.6; CI = 0.3-1.0), but positively associated with a higher intake of retinol (OR = 1.7; CI = 1.1-2.8). Intakes of vitamin E, magnesium, and potassium were inversely associated with the risk of DLBCL.

Conclusion: A higher intake of green leafy vegetables and cruciferous vegetables is associated with a lower risk of NHL overall, particularly follicular lymphoma and DLBCL.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Case-Control Studies
  • Diet / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Fruit*
  • Humans
  • Lymphoma, Non-Hodgkin / epidemiology*
  • Lymphoma, Non-Hodgkin / pathology
  • Lymphoma, Non-Hodgkin / prevention & control
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nebraska / epidemiology
  • Risk Factors
  • Vegetables*