We attempted to systematically determine the association between dietary intake of vitamin C and risk of prostate cancer. PubMed and Embase were searched to obtain eligible studies published before February 2015. Cohort or case-control studies that reported the relative risk (RR)/odds ratio (OR) estimates with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for the association between vitamin C intake and prostate cancer risk were included. Eighteen studies regarding dietary vitamin C intake were finally obtained, with a total of 103,658 subjects. The pooled RR of prostate cancer for the highest versus the lowest categories of dietary vitamin C intake was 0.89 (95%CI: 0.83-0.94; p = 0.000) with evidence of a moderate heterogeneity (I(2) = 39.4%, p = 0.045). Meta-regression analysis suggested that study design accounted for a major proportion of the heterogeneity. Stratifying the overall study according to study design yielded pooled RRs of 0.92 (95%CI: 0.86-0.99, p = 0.027) among cohort studies and 0.80 (95%CI: 0.71-0.89, p = 0.000) among case-control studies, with no heterogeneity in either subgroup. In the dose-response analysis, an inverse linear relationship between dietary vitamin C intake and prostate cancer risk was established, with a 150 mg/day dietary vitamin C intake conferred RRs of 0.91 (95%CI: 0.84-0.98, p = 0.018) in the overall studies, 0.95 (95%CI: 0.90-0.99, p = 0.039) in cohort studies, and 0.79 (95%CI: 0.69-0.91, p = 0.001) in case-control studies. In conclusion, intake of vitamin C from food was inversely associated with prostate cancer risk in this meta-analysis.
Keywords: dietary intake; meta-analysis; prostate cancer; risk; vitamin C.