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HOME > J Prev Med Public Health > Volume 42(6); 2009 > Article
Review Gene-Diet Interaction on Cancer Risk in Epidemiological Studies.
Sang Ah Lee
Journal of Preventive Medicine and Public Health 2009;42(6):360-370
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Department of Preventive Medicine, Kangwon National University School of Medicine, Chuncheon, Korea.

Genetic factors clearly play a role in carcinogenesis, but migrant studies provide unequivocal evidence that environmental factors are critical in defining cancer risk. Therefore, one may expect that the lower availability of substrate for biochemical reactions leads to more genetic changes in enzyme function; for example, most studies have indicated the variant MTHFR genotype 677TT is related to biomarkers, such as homocysteine concentrations or global DNA methylation particularly in a low folate diet. The modification of a phenotype related to a genotype, particularly by dietary habits, could support the notion that some of inconsistencies in findings from molecular epidemiologic studies could be due to differences in the populations studied and unaccounted underlying characteristics mediating the relationship between genetic polymorphisms and the actual phenotypes. Given the evidence that diet can modify cancer risk, gene-diet interactions in cancer etiology would be anticipated. However, much of the evidence in this area comes from observational epidemiology, which limits the causal inference. Thus, the investigation of these interactions is essential to gain a full understanding of the impact of genetic variation on health outcomes. This report reviews current approaches to gene-diet interactions in epidemiological studies. Characteristics of gene and dietary factors are divided into four categories: one carbon metabolism-related gene polymorphisms and dietary factors including folate, vitamin B group and methionines; oxidative stress-related gene polymorphisms and antioxidant nutrients including vegetable and fruit intake; carcinogen-metabolizing gene polymorphisms and meat intake including heterocyclic amins and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon; and other gene-diet interactive effect on cancer.

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JPMPH : Journal of Preventive Medicine and Public Health