Dietary fat linked to pancreatic cancer

June 26, 2009

High intake of dietary fats from red meat and dairy products was associated with an increased risk of pancreatic cancer, according to a new study published online June 26 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

This study was undertaken because research relating fat intake to was inconclusive.

To examine the association, Rachael Z. Stolzenberg-Solomon, Ph.D., of the Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics at the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Md., and colleagues analyzed a cohort of over 500,000 people from the National Institutes of Health - AARP Diet and Health Study. Participants completed a food frequency questionnaire in 1995 and 1996 and were followed prospectively for an average of 6 years to track a variety of health outcomes, including pancreatic cancer.

Men and women who consumed high amounts of total fats had 53% and 23% higher relative rates of pancreatic cancer, respectively, compared with men and women who had the lowest fat consumption. Participants who consumed high amounts of saturated fats had 36% higher relative rates of pancreatic cancer compared with those who consumed low amounts.

"[W]e observed positive associations between pancreatic cancer and intakes of total, saturated, and monounsaturated fat overall, particularly from red meat and dairy food sources. We did not observe any consistent association with polyunsaturated or fat from plant food sources," the authors write. "Altogether, these results suggest a role for animal fat in pancreatic carcinogenesis."

In an accompanying editorial, Brian M. Wolpin, M.D., MPH, of the Dana Farber Cancer Institute in Boston and Meir J. Stampfer, M.D., DrPH, of the Harvard School of Public Health, call the study well-performed and a good addition to the understanding of pancreatic cancer.

They do note, however, that there is insufficient epidemiological and laboratory evidence to confirm the importance of animal fats or even that meat is the important factor, as opposed to other dietary or lifestyle preferences associated with meat consumption.

"[W]ith further investigation, this work has the potential to provide interesting clues to the mechanisms underlying pancreatic tumorigenesis," the editorialists write.

More information:

Article: Theibaut et al. Dietary Fatty Acids and Pancreatic Cancer in the NIH-AARP Diet and Health Study. J Natl Cancer Inst 2009, 101: 1001-1011.
Editorial: Wolpin B and Stampfer M. D. Defining Determinants of Pancreatic Cancer Risk: Are We Making Progress. J Natl Cancer Inst 2009, 101: 972-973.

Source: (news : web)

Explore further: Low levels of key protein may indicate pancreatic cancer risk

Related Stories

Low levels of key protein may indicate pancreatic cancer risk

August 15, 2007

A protein that dwindles in response to obesity and a sedentary lifestyle may one day help doctors predict which people are at increased risk for pancreatic cancer, new research by Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and collaborating ...

Birth records hold pancreatic cancer clue

August 16, 2007

Pregnancies in Jerusalem in the 1960s and 1970s may hold vital clues about how pancreatic cancer and diabetes are linked. According to research published in the online open access journal BMC Medicine, women with a history ...

Two or more drinks a day may increase pancreatic cancer risk

March 3, 2009

Men and women who consume two or more alcoholic drinks a day could increase their risk of developing pancreatic cancer, according to a study published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention, a journal of the American ...

Charred meat may increase risk of pancreatic cancer

April 21, 2009

Meat cooked at high temperatures to the point of burning and charring may increase the risk of pancreatic cancer, according to data presented at the American Association for Cancer Research 100th Annual Meeting 2009.

Recommended for you

How the finch changes its tune

August 3, 2015

Like top musicians, songbirds train from a young age to weed out errors and trim variability from their songs, ultimately becoming consistent and reliable performers. But as with human musicians, even the best are not machines. ...

Machine Translates Thoughts into Speech in Real Time

December 21, 2009

(PhysOrg.com) -- By implanting an electrode into the brain of a person with locked-in syndrome, scientists have demonstrated how to wirelessly transmit neural signals to a speech synthesizer. The "thought-to-speech" process ...

2 comments

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

GrayMouser
not rated yet Jun 26, 2009
They do note, however, that there is insufficient epidemiological and laboratory evidence to confirm the importance of animal fats or even that meat is the important factor, as opposed to other dietary or lifestyle preferences associated with meat consumption.

Please send money...
E_L_Earnhardt
not rated yet Jun 28, 2009
It works! High fats = accelerated electrons = high energy = accelerated mitosis = errors = cancer!

High fats should be cooled by lots of water.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.