Saturday, 11 August 2007

Choline, found in red meat, poultry and dairy, may raise risk of colon cancer

Filed under: ,

A new study suggests that choline, a nutrient found in red meat, poultry and dairy, may contribute to the development of intestinal polyps, which can lead to colon cancer. The study was led by Eunyoung Cho, an epidemiologist at Brigham and Women's Hospital.

The study was of more than 39,000 nurses, who all happened to be women. The women were originally free of colon cancer and then had at least one endoscopic examination performed. Polyps were found in more than 2,400 of the women. Women who ate the most choline were 1.45 times more likely to have polyps. Having more polyps does not necessarily mean more cancer and further studies will have to examine whether those who ate the most choline developed the most tumors, in addition to studying the effects of choline in men.

Cho cautions that this study is preliminary and that dietary changes should not be made as a result of it.

According to Regina Ziegler of the NCI who wrote a commentary on the new study, current dietary advice to eat lots of fiber and fruits and vegetables "isn't likely to change even if choline turns out to be a possible villain."

As for now, "people shouldn't run out and start either taking more choline or less choline," she said.

No comments: