Plasma methionine, choline, betaine, and dimethylglycine in relation to colorectal cancer risk in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC).
Annals of oncology : official journal of the European Society for Medical Oncology 2014 ; 25: 1609-15.
Nitter M, Norgård B, de Vogel S, Eussen SJ, Meyer K, Ulvik A, Ueland PM, Nygård O, Vollset SE, Bjørge T, Tjønneland A, Hansen L, Boutron-Ruault M, Racine A, Cottet V, Kaaks R, Kühn T, Trichopoulou A, Bamia C, Naska A, Grioni S, Palli D, Panico S, Tumino R, Vineis P, Bueno-de-Mesquita HB, van Kranen H, Peeters PH, Weiderpass E, Dorronsoro M, Jakszyn P, Sánchez M, Argüelles M, Huerta JM, Barricarte A, Johansson M, Ljuslinder I, Khaw K, Wareham NJ, Freisling H, Duarte-Salles T, Stepien M, Gunter MJ, and Riboli E
DOI : 10.1093/annonc/mdu185
PubMed ID : 24827130
PMCID : 0
Disturbances in one carbon metabolism may contribute to carcinogenesis by affecting methylation and synthesis of DNA. Choline and its oxidation product betaine are involved in this metabolism and can serve as alternative methyl group donors when folate status is low.
We conducted a case-control study nested within the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC), to investigate plasma concentrations of the methyl donors methionine, choline, betaine (trimethylglycine), and dimethylglycine (DMG) in relation to colorectal cancer (CRC) risk. Our study included 1367 incident CRC cases (965 colon and 402 rectum) and 2323 controls matched by gender, age group, and study center. Multivariate-adjusted odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CIs) for CRC risk were estimated by conditional logistic regression, comparing the fifth to the first quintile of plasma concentrations.
Overall, methionine (OR: 0.79, 95% CI: 0.63-0.99, P-trend = 0.05), choline (OR: 0.77, 95% CI: 0.60-0.99, P-trend = 0.07), and betaine (OR: 0.85, 95% CI: 0.66-1.09, P-trend = 0.06) concentrations were inversely associated with CRC risk of borderline significance. In participants with folate concentration below the median of 11.3 nmol/l, high betaine concentration was associated with reduced CRC risk (OR: 0.71, 95% CI: 0.50-1.00, P-trend = 0.02), which was not observed for those having a higher folate status. Among women, but not men, high choline concentration was associated with decreased CRC risk (OR: 0.62, 95% CI: 0.43-0.88, P-trend = 0.01). Plasma DMG was not associated with CRC risk.
Individuals with high plasma concentrations of methionine, choline, and betaine may be at reduced risk of CRC.