Plasma isoflavone concentrations are not associated with gastric cancer risk among Japanese men and women

J Nutr. 2013 Aug;143(8):1293-8. doi: 10.3945/jn.113.175505. Epub 2013 Jun 12.


The incidence of gastric cancer throughout the world is ~2-3 times higher in men than in women. Previous research suggested that isoflavones, which are structurally similar to 17β-estradiol, may prevent gastric cancer. Based on a large, population-based, prospective study, we recently reported a null association between dietary isoflavone intake and gastric cancer. However, epidemiologic studies using blood concentrations of isoflavones might better reflect the effect of isoflavones on gastric cancer carcinogenesis than dietary assessment. We therefore conducted a nested case-control study within the Japan Public Health Center-Based Prospective Study. Participants were followed-up from 1990 to 2004. Among 36,745 participants who answered the baseline questionnaire and provided blood samples, 483 gastric cancer cases matched to 483 controls were used in the analysis. ORs and 95% CIs were estimated with a conditional logistic regression model. The overall distribution of plasma isoflavone concentrations was not associated with the development of gastric cancer. Compared with groups with the lowest plasma concentrations (reference groups), the groups with the highest daidzein and genistein concentrations had adjusted ORs and 95% CIs of 1.11 (0.74-1.66; P-trend = 0.6) and 0.96 (0.64-1.44; P-trend = 0.9), respectively. The results did not change when analysis was based on sex, subsite, or histological type. We found no association of plasma isoflavone concentrations with gastric cancer risk. Our data support the previously observed null association between isoflavone intake and gastric cancer risk.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Asians
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Genistein / blood
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Isoflavones / blood*
  • Japan / epidemiology
  • Life Style
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Stomach Neoplasms / blood*
  • Stomach Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires


  • Isoflavones
  • daidzein
  • Genistein