Purpose: B vitamins and methionine have been postulated to have potential effects on carcinogenesis; however, findings from previous epidemiologic studies on B vitamins, methionine, and lung cancer risk are inconsistent. We investigated associations of dietary intakes of B vitamins (i.e., riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B6, folate, and vitamin B12) and methionine with lung cancer risk among female never smokers.
Methods: The Shanghai Women's Health Study, a population-based, prospective cohort study, included 74,941 women. During a median follow-up of 11.2 years, 428 incident lung cancer cases accrued among 71,267 women with no history of smoking or cancer at baseline. Baseline dietary intakes were derived from a validated, interviewer-administered food frequency questionnaire. Cancer incidence and vital status were ascertained through annual linkage to the Shanghai Cancer Registry and Shanghai Vital Statistics Registry databases and through biennial in-person follow-ups with participants. Adjusted hazard ratios (HR) and 95 % confidence intervals (CI) were calculated using Cox regression.
Results: Dietary riboflavin intake was inversely associated with lung cancer risk (HR = 0.62; 95 % CI = 0.43-0.89; p trend = 0.03 for the highest quartile compared with the lowest). A higher than median intake of methionine was associated with lower risk of lung cancer (HR = 0.78; 95 % CI = 0.60-0.99); however, there was no dose-response relation. Intakes of other B vitamins were not associated with lung cancer risk.
Conclusions: Our study suggests that dietary riboflavin intake may be inversely associated with lung cancer risk among female never smokers, which warrants further investigation.