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M He et al, 2024. Nine dietary habits and risk of colorectal cancer: a Mendelian randomization study, BMC Med Genomics.

Nine dietary habits and risk of colorectal cancer: a Mendelian randomization study

M He et al
BMC Medicine
January 23, 2024


Epidemiological studies have provided evidence that there is an association between diet and colorectal cancer. However, the causal relationship between dietary habits and colorectal cancer remains unknown.

The UK Biobank provided summary-level genome-wide association study data for nine dietary habits, including alcohol consumption (n = 549,703), instant coffee consumption (n = 250,308), fruit consumption (n = 210,947), meat consumption (n = 210,947), full cream milk consumption (n = 41,306), sweets consumption (n = 25,521), tea consumption (n = 501,494), vegetable consumption (n = 210,947), and yogurt/ice cream consumption (n = 210,947). Additionally, data on colorectal cancer were collected, consisting of 5,567 cases and 372,016 controls. The MR analysis employed inverse variance weighted, weighted median, MR-Egger regression, and MR multivariate residuals tests.

In the predominantly European population, a positive association was observed between vegetables (OR = 1.014, 95% CI = 1.000-1.029, p = 0.048) and an increased risk of colorectal cancer. The results for vegetable did not survive correction for multiple comparisons. However, no strong evidence was found for other dietary factors, such as alcohol (OR = 1.012, 95% CI = 0.974-1.051, p = 0.556), fruit (OR = 1.007, 95% CI = 0.986-1.029, p = 0.512), meat (OR = 1.000, 95% CI = 0.987-1.026, p = 0.968), full cream milk (OR = 1.019, 95% CI = 0.979-1.061, p = 0.357), sweets (OR = 0.998, 95% CI = 0.991-1.004, p = 0.524), and tea (OR = 1.002, 95% CI = 0.994-1.009, p = 0.672), with regards to colorectal cancer risk in the European population.

Our study highlights the need for a more nuanced approach to dietary recommendations for CRC prevention, with greater emphasis adherence to the Mediterranean dietary pattern.

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