Fruit and vegetable intake and urinary levels of prostaglandin E₂ metabolite in postmenopausal women

Nutr Cancer. 2015;67(4):580-6. doi: 10.1080/01635581.2015.1011787. Epub 2015 Mar 26.


Prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) is an inflammatory mediator that plays key roles in promoting tumor development and progression. Urinary concentration of a major PGE2 metabolite (PGE-M) has been recently proposed as a promising cancer biomarker. Using dietary intake data from 600 postmenopausal women aged 50-74 years, we examined cross-sectional relationships between fruit and vegetable intake and urinary levels of PGE-M, determined using liquid chromatography/tandem mass spectrometry. After multivariable adjustment, increasing consumption of fruits, but not vegetables, was associated with reduced levels of urinary PGE-M (P for linear trend = 0.02), with geometric means of 5.8 [95% confidence interval (CI): 5.2-6.6] in the lowest quintile versus 4.8 (95% CI: 4.3-5.4) in the highest quintile (Q5) of fruit consumption. A better quality diet, indicated by higher scores on the Healthy Eating Index, was also associated with decreased PGE-M (P for linear trend <0.01). The lack of association with vegetable intake may be related to variation in antioxidant capacities of the major dietary sources of fruits and vegetables for the study participants. Our findings suggest that urinary PGE-M may be modifiable by a healthy diet that follows current national dietary guideline. Further studies are warranted to assess potential utility of urinary PGE-M in assessing cancer prevention efficacy.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Antioxidants / administration & dosage
  • Biomarkers / urine
  • Breast Neoplasms / prevention & control
  • Breast Neoplasms / urine
  • C-Reactive Protein / metabolism
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Diet*
  • Dinoprostone / urine*
  • Female
  • Food Quality
  • Fruit*
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Nutrition Assessment
  • Postmenopause / urine*
  • Risk Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Vegetables*


  • Antioxidants
  • Biomarkers
  • C-Reactive Protein
  • Dinoprostone