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Dietary folate does not reduce risk of pancreatic cancer

A new study reported in Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2009 Jun;18(6):1785-91 suggests that dietary folate and folate vitamers do not reduce risk of pancreatic cancer.

AP Keszei from Maastricht University in Maastricht, the Netherlands and colleagues analyzed data on diet collected from 120,852 men and women ages 55 to 69 at baseline by means of food frequency questionnaires. The participants were followed up for 13.3 years.

The researchers wanted to know if there is an association between dietary folate and risk of pancreatic cancer. Some previous studies suggest that high intake of folate may reduce risk of cancer.

After adjusting for factors including age, gender, smoking status, number of years smoked, number of cigarettes smoked per day, and intake of added sugar, they found those who had highest intakes of folate were at a 37 percent higher risk of pancreatic cancer than those who had the lowest intakes.

There were no associations between individual folate vitamers and risk of pancreatic cancer.

The researchers concluded "Our results do not support a protective association of total dietary folate or individual folate vitamers on the risk of pancreatic cancer."

Fatty diet particularly with high amounts of meat and dairy products has been associated with increased risk of pancreatic cancer, according to another study reported today.