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Cancer Causes & Control

, Volume 20, Issue 6, pp 803–809 | Cite as

Prospective study of the association between grapefruit intake and risk of breast cancer in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC)

  • Elizabeth A. Spencer
  • Timothy J. Key
  • Paul N. Appleby
  • Carla H. van Gils
  • Anja Olsen
  • Anne Tjønneland
  • Françoise Clavel-Chapelon
  • Marie-Christine Boutron-Ruault
  • Marina Touillaud
  • Maria-José Sánchez
  • Sheila Bingham
  • Kay Tee Khaw
  • Nadia Slimani
  • Rudolf Kaaks
  • Elio Riboli
Original Paper

Abstract

Grapefruit inhibits cytochrome P450 3A4 and may affect estrogen metabolism. In the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC), we examined the relationships of grapefruit intake with risk of breast cancer and with serum sex hormone levels. 114,504 women with information on dietary intake of grapefruit and on reproductive and lifestyle risk factors were followed for a median 9.5 years and 3,747 incident breast cancers were identified. Fifty-nine percent of women reported eating grapefruit, 4% ate ≥ 60 g/day. Cox proportional hazard models were used to estimate the hazard ratio (HR) for breast cancer according to grapefruit intake, adjusting for study centre, reproductive factors, body mass index, energy intake, and alcohol intake. Grapefruit intake was not related to the risk of breast cancer: compared with women who ate no grapefruit, women with the highest intake of ≥60 g/day had a HR of 0.93 (95% CI 0.77–1.13), p for linear trend = 0.5. There was no relationship between grapefruit intake and breast cancer risk among premenopausal women, all postmenopausal women, or postmenopausal women categorized by hormone replacement therapy use (all p>0.05). There was no association between grapefruit intake and estradiol or estrone among postmenopausal women. In this study, we found no evidence of an association between grapefruit intake and risk of breast cancer.

Keywords

Breast cancer CYP3A4 metabolism Grapefruit intake Prospective studies 

Notes

Acknowledgments

We thank the participants in the EPIC study and Genevieve Deharveng and Jerome Vignat at IARC for their expertise in data handling.

Funding

The EPIC is funded by: Cancer Research UK; European Commission: Public Health and Consumer Protection Directorate 1993–2004; Research Directorate-General 2005; German Cancer Aid; German Cancer Research Center; German Federal Ministry of Education and Research; Danish Cancer Society; Health Research Fund (FIS) of the Spanish Ministry of Health; ISCIII Red de Centros RCESP C03/09, Spain; Spanish Regional Governments of Andalusia, Asturia, Basque country, Murcia, and Navarra; Medical Research Council, UK; the Stroke Association, UK; British Heart Foundation; Department of Health, UK; Food Standards Agency, UK; the Wellcome Trust, UK; Greek Ministry of Health; Greek Ministry of Education; Italian Association for Research on Cancer (AIRC); Dutch Ministry of Public Health, Welfare and Sports; Dutch Ministry of Health; Dutch Prevention Funds; LK Research Funds; Dutch ZON (Zorg Onderzoek Nederland). The researchers act independently of the funders.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Elizabeth A. Spencer
    • 1
  • Timothy J. Key
    • 1
  • Paul N. Appleby
    • 1
  • Carla H. van Gils
    • 2
  • Anja Olsen
    • 3
  • Anne Tjønneland
    • 3
  • Françoise Clavel-Chapelon
    • 4
  • Marie-Christine Boutron-Ruault
    • 4
  • Marina Touillaud
    • 4
  • Maria-José Sánchez
    • 5
    • 6
  • Sheila Bingham
    • 7
    • 8
  • Kay Tee Khaw
    • 9
  • Nadia Slimani
    • 10
  • Rudolf Kaaks
    • 11
  • Elio Riboli
    • 12
  1. 1.Cancer Epidemiology UnitUniversity of OxfordOxfordUK
  2. 2.Julius Center for Health Sciences and Primary CareUniversity Medical Center UtrechtUtrechtThe Netherlands
  3. 3.Institute of Cancer EpidemiologyDanish Cancer SocietyCopenhagenDenmark
  4. 4.INSERM (Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale), ERI 20, EA 4045, and Institut Gustave RoussyVillejuif CedexFrance
  5. 5.Andalusian School of Public HealthGranadaSpain
  6. 6.CIBER Epidemiología y Salud Pública (CIBERESP)GranadaSpain
  7. 7.Department of Public Health and Primary Care, MRC Dunn Human Nutrition UnitUniversity of CambridgeCambridgeUK
  8. 8.Department of Public Health and Primary Care, MRC Centre for Nutritional Epidemiology in Cancer Prevention and SurvivalUniversity of CambridgeCambridgeUK
  9. 9.Department of Public Health and Primary CareUniversity of CambridgeCambridgeUK
  10. 10.International Agency for Research on CancerThe World Health OrganisationLyonFrance
  11. 11.Division of Cancer EpidemiologyGerman Cancer Research CentreHeidelbergGermany
  12. 12.Department of Epidemiology and Public HealthImperial CollegeLondonUK

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