Publication Abstract

Authors: Ziegler RG, Subar AF, Craft NE, Ursin G, Patterson BH, Graubard BI

Title: Does beta-carotene explain why reduced cancer risk is associated with vegetable and fruit intake?

Journal: Cancer Res 52(7 Suppl):2060s-2066s

Date: 1992 Apr 01

Abstract: Increased intake of vegetables, fruits, and carotenoids and elevated blood levels of beta-carotene are consistently associated with reduced risk of lung cancer in epidemiologic studies. Epidemiologic research also suggests that carotenoids may reduce the risk of other cancers, although the evidence is less extensive and consistent. The simplest explanation is that beta-carotene is protective. However, the possible roles of other carotenoids, other constituents of vegetables and fruits, and associated dietary patterns have not been adequately explored. To evaluate these alternative hypotheses, we are undertaking three lines of research. (a) With dietary data from the 1987 National Health Interview Survey and the 1982-1984 Epidemiologic Follow-up of the first National Health and Nutrition Examination Study, we have determined which food groups and nutrients are highly correlated with vegetable and fruit intake. (b) We have developed and characterized a liquid chromatography method for optimal recovery and resolution of the common carotenoids in blood, specifically lutein, zeaxanthin, beta-cryptoxanthin, lycopene, alpha-carotene, and beta-carotene. (c) In a population-based case-control study of lung cancer in white men in New Jersey, we are assessing whether estimates of the intake of the individual carotenoids might produce stronger inverse associations than estimates of provitamin A carotenoids based on current food composition tables.