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Vitamin C intake from diary recordings and risk of breast cancer in the UK Dietary Cohort Consortium



Vitamin C intake has been inversely associated with breast cancer risk in case–control studies, but not in meta-analyses of cohort studies using Food Frequency Questionnaires, which can over-report fruit and vegetable intake, the main source of vitamin C. This is the first study to investigate associations between vitamin C intake and breast cancer risk using food diaries.


Estimated dietary vitamin C intake was derived from 4–7 day food diaries pooled from five prospective studies in the UK Dietary Cohort Consortium. This nested case–control study of 707 incident breast cancer cases and 2144 matched controls examined breast cancer risk in relation to dietary vitamin C intake using conditional logistic regression adjusting for relevant covariates. Additionally, total vitamin C intake from supplements and diet was analysed in three cohorts.


No evidence of associations was observed between breast cancer risk and vitamin C intake analysed for dietary vitamin C intake (odds ratios (OR)=0.98 per 60 mg/day, 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.88–1.09, Ptrend=0.7), dietary vitamin C density (OR=0.97 per 60 mg/day, 95% CI: 0.87–1.07, Ptrend=0.5 ) or total vitamin C intake (OR=1.01 per 60 mg/day, 95% CI: 0.99–1.03, Ptrend=0.3). Additionally, there was no significant association for post-menopausal women (OR=1.02 per 60 mg/day, 95% CI: 0.99–1.05, Ptrend=0.3).


This pooled analysis of individual UK women found no evidence of significant associations between breast cancer incidence and dietary or total vitamin C intake derived uniquely from detailed diary recordings.

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The UK Dietary Cohort Consortium is part of the MRC Centre for Nutritional Epidemiology in Cancer Prevention and Survival which is funded by the Medical Research Council. The cohorts forming the consortium have received funding from the World Cancer Research Fund, Cancer Research UK, the British Heart Foundation and the Medical Research Council. Professor Sheila Rodwell (also known professionally as Sheila Bingham), who died in 2009, established the UK Dietary Cohort Consortium as part of the MRC Centre for Nutritional Epidemiology in Cancer Prevention and Survival, of which she was director.

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Hutchinson, J., Lentjes, M., Greenwood, D. et al. Vitamin C intake from diary recordings and risk of breast cancer in the UK Dietary Cohort Consortium. Eur J Clin Nutr 66, 561–568 (2012).

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  • breast cancer
  • vitamin C
  • cohort studies
  • food diaries

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