Nutrition and stomach cancer

Epidemiologic evidence on the relation between nutrition and stomach cancer is reviewed. Stomach cancer shows a distinct international variation and dramatic worldwide decline. These descriptive features suggest that dietary factors are important in determining the risk of stomach cancer. The authors assessed relevant data regarding specific dietary hypotheses in the etiology of stomach cancer. A negative association with fresh vegetables and fruits is highly consistent in numerous case-control studies in different populations. Both epidemiologic and experimental data suggest that vitamins C and carotenoids lower risk of stomach cancer. Evidence is sparse and inconsistent as to protective effects of vitamin E and selenium. Epidemiologic studies have not lent, and will not provide, supportive evidence for an etiologic role of nitrate intake. High salt intake has been associated with an increased risk in many case-control studies and limited cohort studies. Taken together with animal data, it is considered that high salt intake is a risk factor for stomach cancer. Both epidemiologic and experimental data are inconclusive as to whether high-starch diets confer an increased risk. Cohort studies using quantitative dietary assessment and biologic measurement of micronutrients are needed for further understanding of etiologic roles of dietary factors in the causation of stomach cancer.

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Correspondence to Tomio Hirohata.

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This study was supported in part by a Grant-in-Aid for Cancer Research (4-2) from the Ministry of Health and Welfare, Japan.

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Kono, S., Hirohata, T. Nutrition and stomach cancer. Cancer Causes Control 7, 41–55 (1996). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00115637

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Key words

  • Diet
  • epidemiology
  • review
  • salt
  • stomach cancer