Is everything we eat associated with cancer? A systematic cookbook review

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Date: Jan. 2013
From: American Journal of Clinical Nutrition(Vol. 97, Issue 1)
Publisher: American Society for Clinical Nutrition, Inc.
Document Type: Author abstract; Report
Length: 285 words

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Abstract :

Background: Nutritional epidemiology is a highly prolific field. Debates on associations of nutrients with disease risk are common in the literature and attract attention in public media. Objective: We aimed to examine the conclusions, statistical significance, and reproducibility in the literature on associations between specific foods and cancer risk. Design: We selected 50 common ingredients from random recipes in a cookbook. PubMed queries identified recent studies that evaluated the relation of each ingredient to cancer risk. Information regarding author conclusions and relevant effect estimates were extracted. When 10 articles were found, we focused on the 10 most recent articles. Results: Forty ingredients (80%) had articles reporting on their cancer risk. Of 264 single-study assessments, 191 (72%) concluded that the tested food was associated with an increased (n = 103) or a decreased (n = 88) risk; 75% of the risk estimates had weak (0.05 P [greater than or equal to] 0.001) or no statistical (P 0.05) significance. Statistically significant results were more likely than nonsignificant findings to be published in the study abstract than in only the full text (P Conclusions: Associations with cancer risk or benefits have been claimed for most food ingredients. Many single studies highlight implausibly large effects, even though evidence is weak. Effect sizes shrink in meta-analyses. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.112.047142

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A315068574