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Dietary Choline Linked to Risk of Colorectal Adenomas

Unexpected results from the Nurses' Health Study

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 8 (HealthDay News) -- A higher dietary intake of choline, which is found in organ meats, eggs and wheat germ, is associated with an increased risk of colorectal adenomas in women, contrary to the expectations of researchers, according to a report published online Aug. 8 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

Eunyoung Cho, Sc.D., of Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston, and colleagues analyzed dietary questionnaires and history of colorectal adenoma from subjects in the long-running Nurses' Health Study.

The authors anticipated that higher choline intake would be inversely related to the risk of these polyps. However, they found that the relative risk of adenomas at the highest quintile of choline intake, compared to the lowest quintile, was 1.45.

"Clearly, one-carbon metabolism and its role in carcinogenesis is more complicated than originally anticipated, and our understanding of the underlying mechanisms is probably incomplete," write Regina G. Ziegler, Ph.D., and Unhee Lim, Ph.D., of the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Md., in an accompanying editorial. "More research, and caution in developing public health policy and guidance, is warranted. We should remember the surprises and complexities that emerged for beta-carotene, vitamin E, vitamin C and selenium, other initially promising chemopreventive agents."

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