Dietary intake of selected B vitamins in relation to risk of major cancers in women

G. C. Kabat, A. B. Miller, M. Jain, T. E. Rohan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

90 Scopus citations


Although folic acid has been investigated for its potential to inhibit carcinogenesis, few epidemiologic studies have assessed the effects of intake of thiamin, riboflavin, and niacin, which may reduce cancer risk by acting as cofactors in folate metabolism or by other mechanisms. Using data from a large cohort of Canadian women, we examined the association of dietary intake of these nutrients, as well as intake of folate, methionine, and alcohol, with cancers of the breast, endometrium, ovary, colorectum, and lung ascertained during an average of 16.4 years of follow-up. After exclusions, the following numbers of incident cases were available for analysis: breast, n=2491; endometrium, n=426; ovary, n=264; colorectum, n=617; and lung, n=358. Cox proportional hazard models were used to estimate risk of each cancer with individual nutrients and to explore possible effect modification by combinations of nutrients on cancer risk. Few significant associations of intake of individual B vitamins with the five cancers were observed. Alcohol consumption showed a modest positive association with breast cancer risk but not with risk of the other cancers. There was no evidence of effect modification among the nutrients. This large study provides little support for an association of dietary intake thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, folate, or methionine with five major cancers in women.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)816-821
Number of pages6
JournalBritish Journal of Cancer
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2 2008


  • Dietary folate
  • Female neoplasms
  • Methionine
  • Niacin
  • Riboflavin
  • Thiamin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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