NIH: Vitamins and Greens May Ward Off Lung Cancer

Based on results of a recent study published in Cancer Research online, intake of multivitamins, folate and green leafy vegetables may help protect smokers from gene action that promotes lung cancer. Researchers from University of New Mexico, University of Colorado, Denver, the Lovelace Respiratory Institute and UCLA reported theirs is the first cohort-based study to identify dietary factors associated with reduced promoter methylation in cells exfoliated from the airway epithelium of smokers. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) reacted to the results, saying the three dietary factors could be protective against lung cancer in both current and former smokers.

In the trial, 1,100 participants from the Lovelace Smokers Cohort—including both current and former smokers— filled out the Harvard Food Frequency Questionnaire and provided a saliva-mucus sample, which was assessed for promoter methylation of eight genes commonly silenced in lung cancer and associated with risk for this disease. After analyzing for associations between 21 dietary variables and methylation, researchers noted significant protection against methylation relative to increased leafy green vegetables and folate intake; they also found some correlation with multivitamin intake. They concluded, “Novel interventions to prevent lung cancer should be developed based on the ability of diet and dietary supplements to affect reprogramming of the epigenome.”

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Scott Denny, PhD, AP, DOM, FAAIM
Integrative Hospital Associates
2215 S. University Dr.
Davie,  FL 33324

Integrative Hospital Associates
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Fort Lauderdale, FL 33334



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