Association between dietary antioxidant vitamins intake/blood level and risk of gastric cancer

Int J Cancer. 2014 Sep 15;135(6):1444-53. doi: 10.1002/ijc.28777. Epub 2014 Mar 4.


We aimed to systematically evaluate the association between dietary intake/blood levels of antioxidant vitamins (vitamin C, vitamin E, β-carotene, and α-carotene) and gastric cancer risk. Systematic literature searches were conducted until April 2013 in Pubmed and Embase to identify relevant studies. Either a fixed- or a random-effects model was adopted to estimate overall odds ratios (ORs). Dose-response, meta-regression, subgroup, and publication bias analyses were applied. Forty articles were finally included in the present study. Higher dietary intake of vitamin C, vitamin E, β-carotene, and α-carotene was inversely associated with gastric cancer risk (for vitamin C, pooled OR=0.58, 95% CI 0.51-0.65; for vitamin E, pooled OR=0.65, 95% CI 0.57-0.74; for β-carotene, pooled OR=0.59, 95% CI 0.49-0.70; for α-carotene, pooled OR=0.69, 95% CI 0.52-0.93). Subgroup analyses suggested the effects of these antioxidant vitamins were different in gastric cancer subtypes. As indicated by dose-response analysis, a 100 mg/day increment of vitamin C intake conferred an OR of 0.78 (95% CI 0.67-0.90); a 15 mg/day increment of vitamin E intake conferred an OR of 0.79 (95% CI 0.66-0.94); and a 5 mg/day increment in β-carotene intake conferred an OR of 0.80 (95% CI 0.60-1.04). No significant association was observed between blood vitamin C, α-tocopherol, γ- tocopherol, β-carotene and α-carotene levels and gastric cancer risk. In conclusion, dietary intake of vitamin C, vitamin E, β-carotene and α-carotene was inversely associated with gastric cancer risk while no such association was observed for blood levels of these antioxidant vitamins, thus the results should be interpreted cautiously.

Keywords: antioxidant vitamin; blood level; dietary intake; gastric cancer; risk.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antioxidants / administration & dosage*
  • Diet*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Risk
  • Stomach Neoplasms / blood*
  • Stomach Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Vitamins / administration & dosage*
  • Vitamins / blood*


  • Antioxidants
  • Vitamins