Fatty acids found in dairy, protein and unsaturated fatty acids are associated with risk of pancreatic cancer in a case-control study

Rick J. Jansen, Dennis P. Robinson, Ryan D. Frank, Kristin E. Anderson, William R. Bamlet, Ann L Oberg, Kari G. Rabe, Janet E Olson, Rashmi Sinha, Gloria M Petersen, Rachael Z. Stolzenberg-Solomon

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Abstract

Although many studies have investigated meat and total fat in relation to pancreatic cancer risk, few have investigated dairy, fish and specific fatty acids (FAs). We evaluated the association between intake of meat, fish, dairy, specific FAs and related nutrients and pancreatic cancer. In our American-based Mayo Clinic case-control study 384 cases and 983 controls frequency matched on recruitment age, race, sex and residence area (Minnesota, Wisconsin or Iowa, USA) between 2004 and 2009. All subjects provided demographic information and completed 144-item food frequency questionnaire. Logistic regression-calculated odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CIs) were adjusted for age, sex, cigarette smoking, body mass index and diabetes mellitus. Significant inverse association (trend p-value < 0.05) between pancreatic cancer and the groupings (highest vs. lowest consumption quintile OR [95% CI]) was as follows: meat replacement (0.67 [0.43-1.02]), total protein (0.58 [0.39-0.86]), vitamin B12 (0.67 [0.44, 1.01]), zinc (0.48 [0.32, 0.71]), phosphorus (0.62 [0.41, 0.93]), vitamin E (0.51 [0.33, 0.78]), polyunsaturated FAs (0.64 [0.42, 0.98]) and linoleic acid (FA 18:2) (0.62 [0.40-0.95]). Increased risk associations were observed for saturated FAs (1.48 [0.97-2.23]), butyric acid (FA 4:0) (1.77 [1.19-2.64]), caproic acid (FA 6:0) (2.15 [1.42-3.27]), caprylic acid (FA 8:0) (1.87 [1.27-2.76]) and capric acid (FA 10:0) (1.83 [1.23-2.74]). Our study suggests that eating a diet high in total protein and certain unsaturated FAs is associated with decreased risk of developing pancreatic cancer in a dose-dependent manner, whereas fats found in dairy increase risk. What's new? Whereas meat and total fat intake in relation to pancreatic cancer risk has been studied extensively, the relationship between pancreatic disease and the intake of other foods, such as dairy and fish, remains cryptic. Here, a diet high in protein and certain unsaturated fatty acids was found to be possibly associated with a decreased risk of pancreatic cancer, with effects observed in a dose-dependent manner. By contrast, the consumption of fats in high-fat or full-fat dairy was found to increase risk. While the mechanisms remain unclear, the findings identify novel, modifiable risk factors in pancreatic cancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1935-1946
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Cancer
Volume134
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 15 2014

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Keywords

  • case-control study
  • dairy consumption
  • fat consumption
  • meat consumption
  • pancreatic cancer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology

Cite this

Jansen, R. J., Robinson, D. P., Frank, R. D., Anderson, K. E., Bamlet, W. R., Oberg, A. L., Rabe, K. G., Olson, J. E., Sinha, R., Petersen, G. M., & Stolzenberg-Solomon, R. Z. (2014). Fatty acids found in dairy, protein and unsaturated fatty acids are associated with risk of pancreatic cancer in a case-control study. International Journal of Cancer, 134(8), 1935-1946. https://doi.org/10.1002/ijc.28525