Intakes of folate, methionine, vitamin B6, and vitamin B12 with risk of esophageal and gastric cancer in a large cohort study

Br J Cancer. 2014 Mar 4;110(5):1328-33. doi: 10.1038/bjc.2014.17. Epub 2014 Jan 30.


Background: Nutrients in the one-carbon metabolism pathway may be involved in carcinogenesis. Few cohort studies have investigated the intakes of folate and related nutrients in relation to gastric and esophageal cancer.

Methods: We prospectively examined the association between self-reported intakes of folate, methionine, vitamin B6, and vitamin B12 and gastric and esophageal cancer in 492,293 men and women.

Results: We observed an elevated risk of esophageal squamous cell carcinoma with low intake of folate (relative risk (95% confidence interval): Q1 vs Q3, 1.91 (1.17, 3.10)), but no association with high intake. Folate intake was not associated with esophageal adenocarcinoma, gastric cardia adenocarcinoma, or non-cardia gastric adenocarcinoma. The intakes of methionine, vitamin B6, and vitamin B12 were not associated with esophageal and gastric cancer.

Conclusion: Low intake of folate was associated with increased risk of esophageal squamous cell carcinoma.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Intramural

MeSH terms

  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / epidemiology
  • Cohort Studies
  • Diet / statistics & numerical data*
  • Esophageal Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Female
  • Folic Acid / administration & dosage*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Methionine / administration & dosage*
  • Middle Aged
  • Risk
  • Stomach Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Vitamin B 12 / administration & dosage*
  • Vitamin B 6 / administration & dosage*


  • Vitamin B 6
  • Folic Acid
  • Methionine
  • Vitamin B 12