Publications by authors named "Matthias B Schulze"

315 Publications

Food biodiversity and total and cause-specific mortality in 9 European countries: An analysis of a prospective cohort study.

PLoS Med 2021 Oct 18;18(10):e1003834. Epub 2021 Oct 18.

Department of Radiation Sciences, Oncology, Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden.

Background: Food biodiversity, encompassing the variety of plants, animals, and other organisms consumed as food and drink, has intrinsic potential to underpin diverse, nutritious diets and improve Earth system resilience. Dietary species richness (DSR), which is recommended as a crosscutting measure of food biodiversity, has been positively associated with the micronutrient adequacy of diets in women and young children in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). However, the relationships between DSR and major health outcomes have yet to be assessed in any population.

Methods And Findings: We examined the associations between DSR and subsequent total and cause-specific mortality among 451,390 adults enrolled in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) study (1992 to 2014, median follow-up: 17 years), free of cancer, diabetes, heart attack, or stroke at baseline. Usual dietary intakes were assessed at recruitment with country-specific dietary questionnaires (DQs). DSR of an individual's yearly diet was calculated based on the absolute number of unique biological species in each (composite) food and drink. Associations were assessed by fitting multivariable-adjusted Cox proportional hazards regression models. In the EPIC cohort, 2 crops (common wheat and potato) and 2 animal species (cow and pig) accounted for approximately 45% of self-reported total dietary energy intake [median (P10-P90): 68 (40 to 83) species consumed per year]. Overall, higher DSR was inversely associated with all-cause mortality rate. Hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) comparing total mortality in the second, third, fourth, and fifth (highest) quintiles (Qs) of DSR to the first (lowest) Q indicate significant inverse associations, after stratification by sex, age, and study center and adjustment for smoking status, educational level, marital status, physical activity, alcohol intake, and total energy intake, Mediterranean diet score, red and processed meat intake, and fiber intake [HR (95% CI): 0.91 (0.88 to 0.94), 0.80 (0.76 to 0.83), 0.69 (0.66 to 0.72), and 0.63 (0.59 to 0.66), respectively; PWald < 0.001 for trend]. Absolute death rates among participants in the highest and lowest fifth of DSR were 65.4 and 69.3 cases/10,000 person-years, respectively. Significant inverse associations were also observed between DSR and deaths due to cancer, heart disease, digestive disease, and respiratory disease. An important study limitation is that our findings were based on an observational cohort using self-reported dietary data obtained through single baseline food frequency questionnaires (FFQs); thus, exposure misclassification and residual confounding cannot be ruled out.

Conclusions: In this large Pan-European cohort, higher DSR was inversely associated with total and cause-specific mortality, independent of sociodemographic, lifestyle, and other known dietary risk factors. Our findings support the potential of food (species) biodiversity as a guiding principle of sustainable dietary recommendations and food-based dietary guidelines.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1003834DOI Listing
October 2021

A plasma fatty acid profile associated to type 2 diabetes development: from the CORDIOPREV study.

Eur J Nutr 2021 Oct 5. Epub 2021 Oct 5.

Lipids and Atherosclerosis Unit, Internal Medicine Unit, Reina Sofia University Hospital, Av. Menendez Pidal, s/n., 14004, Córdoba, Spain.

Purpose: The prevalence of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) is increasing worldwide. For this reason, it is essential to identify biomarkers for the early detection of T2DM risk and/or for a better prognosis of T2DM. We aimed to identify a plasma fatty acid (FA) profile associated with T2DM development.

Methods: We included 462 coronary heart disease patients from the CORDIOPREV study without T2DM at baseline. Of these, 107 patients developed T2DM according to the American Diabetes Association (ADA) diagnosis criteria after a median follow-up of 60 months. We performed a random classification of patients in a training set, used to build a FA Score, and a Validation set, in which we tested the FA Score.

Results: FA selection with the highest prediction power was performed by random survival forest in the Training set, which yielded 4 out of the 24 FA: myristic, petroselinic, α-linolenic and arachidonic acids. We built a FA Score with the selected FA and observed that patients with a higher score presented a greater risk of T2DM development, with an HR of 3.15 (95% CI 2.04-3.37) in the Training set, and an HR of 2.14 (95% CI 1.50-2.84) in the Validation set, per standard deviation (SD) increase. Moreover, patients with a higher FA Score presented lower insulin sensitivity and higher hepatic insulin resistance (p < 0.05).

Conclusion: Our results suggest that a detrimental FA plasma profile precedes the development of T2DM in patients with coronary heart disease, and that this FA profile can, therefore, be used as a predictive biomarker. CLINICAL TRIALS.GOV.

Identifier: NCT00924937.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00394-021-02676-zDOI Listing
October 2021

A newly developed and externally validated non-clinical score accurately predicts 10-year cardiovascular disease risk in the general adult population.

Sci Rep 2021 Oct 4;11(1):19609. Epub 2021 Oct 4.

Department of Molecular Epidemiology, German Institute of Human Nutrition Potsdam-Rehbruecke (DIfE), Nuthetal, Germany.

Inclusion of clinical parameters limits the application of most cardiovascular disease (CVD) prediction models to clinical settings. We developed and externally validated a non-clinical CVD risk score with a clinical extension and compared the performance to established CVD risk scores. We derived the scores predicting CVD (non-fatal and fatal myocardial infarction and stroke) in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC)-Potsdam cohort (n = 25,992, cases = 683) using competing risk models and externally validated in EPIC-Heidelberg (n = 23,529, cases = 692). Performance was assessed by C-indices, calibration plots, and expected-to-observed ratios and compared to a non-clinical model, the Pooled Cohort Equation, Framingham CVD Risk Scores (FRS), PROCAM scores, and the Systematic Coronary Risk Evaluation (SCORE). Our non-clinical score included age, gender, waist circumference, smoking, hypertension, type 2 diabetes, CVD family history, and dietary parameters. C-indices consistently indicated good discrimination (EPIC-Potsdam 0.786, EPIC-Heidelberg 0.762) comparable to established clinical scores (thereof highest, FRS: EPIC-Potsdam 0.781, EPIC-Heidelberg 0.764). Additional clinical parameters slightly improved discrimination (EPIC-Potsdam 0.796, EPIC-Heidelberg 0.769). Calibration plots indicated very good calibration with minor overestimation in the highest decile of predicted risk. The developed non-clinical 10-year CVD risk score shows comparable discrimination to established clinical scores, allowing assessment of individual CVD risk in physician-independent settings.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-021-99103-4DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8490374PMC
October 2021

Identification and Characterization of Human Observational Studies in Nutritional Epidemiology on Gut Microbiomics for Joint Data Analysis.

Nutrients 2021 Sep 21;13(9). Epub 2021 Sep 21.

INSERM UMR 1073 "Nutrition, Inflammation and Gut-Brain Axis Dysfunctions", UNIROUEN, Normandie University, 76000 Rouen, France.

In any research field, data access and data integration are major challenges that even large, well-established consortia face. Although data sharing initiatives are increasing, joint data analyses on nutrition and microbiomics in health and disease are still scarce. We aimed to identify observational studies with data on nutrition and gut microbiome composition from the Intestinal Microbiomics (INTIMIC) Knowledge Platform following the findable, accessible, interoperable, and reusable (FAIR) principles. An adapted template from the European Nutritional Phenotype Assessment and Data Sharing Initiative (ENPADASI) consortium was used to collect microbiome-specific information and other related factors. In total, 23 studies (17 longitudinal and 6 cross-sectional) were identified from Italy (7), Germany (6), Netherlands (3), Spain (2), Belgium (1), and France (1) or multiple countries (3). Of these, 21 studies collected information on both dietary intake (24 h dietary recall, food frequency questionnaire (FFQ), or Food Records) and gut microbiome. All studies collected stool samples. The most often used sequencing platform was Illumina MiSeq, and the preferred hypervariable regions of the 16S rRNA gene were V3-V4 or V4. The combination of datasets will allow for sufficiently powered investigations to increase the knowledge and understanding of the relationship between food and gut microbiome in health and disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/nu13093292DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8466729PMC
September 2021

Dietary Advanced Glycation End-Products and Colorectal Cancer Risk in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) Study.

Nutrients 2021 Sep 8;13(9). Epub 2021 Sep 8.

Centro de Investigación Biomédica en Red de Epidemiología y Salud Pública (CIBERESP), 28029 Madrid, Spain.

Dietary advanced glycation end-products (dAGEs) have been hypothesized to be associated with a higher risk of colorectal cancer (CRC) by promoting inflammation, metabolic dysfunction, and oxidative stress in the colonic epithelium. However, evidence from prospective cohort studies is scarce and inconclusive. We evaluated CRC risk associated with the intake of dAGEs in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) study. Dietary intakes of three major dAGEs: N-carboxy-methyllysine (CML), N-carboxyethyllysine (CEL), and N-(5-hydro-5-methyl-4-imidazolon-2-yl)-ornithine (MG-H1) were estimated in 450,111 participants (median follow-up = 13 years, with 6162 CRC cases) by matching to a detailed published European food composition database. Hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for the associations of dAGEs with CRC were computed using multivariable-adjusted Cox regression models. Inverse CRC risk associations were observed for CML (HR comparing extreme quintiles: HR. = 0.92, 95% CI = 0.85-1.00) and MG-H1 (HR. = 0.92, 95% CI = 0.85-1.00), but not for CEL (HR. = 0.97, 95% CI = 0.89-1.05). The associations did not differ by sex or anatomical location of the tumor. Contrary to the initial hypothesis, our findings suggest an inverse association between dAGEs and CRC risk. More research is required to verify these findings and better differentiate the role of dAGEs from that of endogenously produced AGEs and their precursor compounds in CRC development.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/nu13093132DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8470201PMC
September 2021

A New Pipeline for the Normalization and Pooling of Metabolomics Data.

Metabolites 2021 Sep 17;11(9). Epub 2021 Sep 17.

Centro de Investigación Biomédica en Red de Epidemiología y Salud Pública (CIBERESP), 28029 Madrid, Spain.

Pooling metabolomics data across studies is often desirable to increase the statistical power of the analysis. However, this can raise methodological challenges as several preanalytical and analytical factors could introduce differences in measured concentrations and variability between datasets. Specifically, different studies may use variable sample types (e.g., serum versus plasma) collected, treated, and stored according to different protocols, and assayed in different laboratories using different instruments. To address these issues, a new pipeline was developed to normalize and pool metabolomics data through a set of sequential steps: (i) exclusions of the least informative observations and metabolites and removal of outliers; imputation of missing data; (ii) identification of the main sources of variability through principal component partial R-square (PC-PR2) analysis; (iii) application of linear mixed models to remove unwanted variability, including samples' originating study and batch, and preserve biological variations while accounting for potential differences in the residual variances across studies. This pipeline was applied to targeted metabolomics data acquired using Biocrates AbsoluteIDQ kits in eight case-control studies nested within the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) cohort. Comprehensive examination of metabolomics measurements indicated that the pipeline improved the comparability of data across the studies. Our pipeline can be adapted to normalize other molecular data, including biomarkers as well as proteomics data, and could be used for pooling molecular datasets, for example in international consortia, to limit biases introduced by inter-study variability. This versatility of the pipeline makes our work of potential interest to molecular epidemiologists.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/metabo11090631DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8467830PMC
September 2021

Are Circulating Immune Cells a Determinant of Pancreatic Cancer Risk? A Prospective Study Using Epigenetic Cell Count Measures.

Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2021 Sep 20. Epub 2021 Sep 20.

International Agency for Research on Cancer, World Health Organization, Lyon, France.

Background: Evidence is accumulating that immune cells play a prominent role in pancreatic cancer etiology but prospective investigations are missing.

Methods: We conducted a nested case-control study within the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) study with 502 pairs of incident pancreatic cancer cases and matched controls. Relative counts of circulating immune cells (neutrophils and lymphocyte sublineages: total CD3, CD8, CD4, and FOXP3 regulatory T cells (Tregs) relative to nucleated cells, (white blood cells) were measured by qRT-PCR. ORs with 95% confidence intervals were estimated using logistic regressions, modeling relative counts of immune cells on a continuous scale.

Results: Neither relative counts of immune cell types taken individually, nor mutually adjusted for each other were associated with pancreatic cancer risks. However, in subgroup analyses by strata of lag-time, higher relative counts of Tregs and lower relative counts of CD8 were significantly associated with an increased pancreatic cancer risks in participants diagnosed within the first 5 years of follow-up.

Conclusions: These results might reflect reverse causation, due to higher relative counts of Tregs and lower counts of CD8 cells among individuals with more advanced stages of latent pancreatic cancer, who are closer to the point of developing clinical manifest disease.

Impact: We have shown, for the first time, that increased relative counts of regulatory T cells and lower relative counts of CD8, cytotoxic T cells may be associated with pancreatic cancer risk or relatively late-stage tumor development.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-21-0169DOI Listing
September 2021

Blood copper and risk of cardiometabolic diseases-A Mendelian randomization study.

Hum Mol Genet 2021 Sep 15. Epub 2021 Sep 15.

Department of Molecular Epidemiology, German Institute of Human Nutrition Potsdam-Rehbruecke, Nuthetal, Germany.

Observational evidence links higher blood levels of copper with higher risk of cardiovascular diseases. However, whether those associations reflect causal links or can be attributed to confounding is still not fully clear. We investigated causal effects of copper on the risk of cardiometabolic endpoints (stroke, coronary artery disease and type 2 diabetes) and cardiometabolic risk factors in two-sample Mendelian randomization studies. Selection of genetic instruments for blood copper levels relied on meta-analysis of genome-wide association studies in three independent studies (European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC)-Potsdam Study, Prospective Investigation of the Vasculature in Uppsala Seniors (PIVUS) study, Queensland Institute of Medical Research (QIMR) studies). For the selected instruments, outcome associations were drawn from large public genetic consortia on the respective disease endpoints (MEGASTROKE, Cardiogram, DIAGRAM) and cardiometabolic risk factors. Mendelian randomization results indicate an inverse association for genetically higher copper levels with risk of coronary artery disease (Odds ratio [95% CI] = 0.92 [0.86-0.99], p = 0.022) and systolic blood pressure (beta [SE] = -0.238 [0.121]; p = 0.049). Multivariable Mendelian randomization incorporating copper and systolic blood pressure into one model suggested systolic blood pressure as mediating factor between copper and coronary artery disease risk. In contrast to previous observational evidence establishing higher blood copper levels as risk-increasing factor for cardiometabolic diseases, this study suggests that higher levels of genetically predicted copper might play a protective role for the development of coronary artery disease and systolic blood pressure.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/hmg/ddab275DOI Listing
September 2021

Carbohydrate-dense snacks are a key feature of the nutrition transition among Ghanaian adults - findings from the RODAM study.

Food Nutr Res 2021 6;65. Epub 2021 May 6.

Department of Molecular Epidemiology, German Institute of Human Nutrition Potsdam-Rehbruecke, Nuthetal, Germany.

Background: African populations in sub-Saharan Africa and African migrants in Europe are facing a rapid upsurge in obesity. This trend has been related to urbanization, migration and associated shifts in lifestyle, including dietary habits. Whether changes in eating patterns contribute to the rising burden of obesity among African populations is currently unknown.

Objective: Our aims in conducting this study were to characterize eating patterns among Ghanaian adults living in their country of origin and in Europe and to explore associations of meal patterns with body mass index (BMI).

Design: Within the cross-sectional RODAM (Research on Obesity and Diabetes among African Migrants) study, data of single 24-h dietary recalls from Ghanaian adults in rural Ghana ( = 20), urban Ghana ( = 42), and Europe ( = 172) were recorded. Eating frequencies, energy intake, and macronutrient composition of eating occasions (EOs, i.e. meals or snacks) were compared between study sites based on descriptive statistics and -/Kruskal-Wallis tests.

Results: A rising gradient of EO frequencies from rural Ghana through urban Ghana to Europe was observed, mainly reflecting the differences in snacking frequencies (≥1 snack per day: 20 vs. 48 vs. 52%, = 0.008). Meal frequencies were similar across study sites (≥3 meals per day: 30 vs. 33 vs. 38%, = 0.80). Meals were rich in carbohydrates (median 54.5, interquartile range (IQR): 43.2-64.0 energy%) and total fats (median: 27.0, IQR: 19.9-34.4 energy %); their protein content was lowest in rural Ghana, followed by urban Ghana and Europe ( = 0.0005). Snacks mainly contained carbohydrates (median: 75.7, IQR: 61.0-89.2 energy%). In linear regression analyses, there was a non-significant trend for an inverse association between snacking frequencies and BMI.

Discussion And Conclusions: The observed integration of carbohydrate-dense snacks into the diet supports the growing evidence for a nutrition transition among African populations undergoing socioeconomic development. This analysis constitutes a starting point to further investigate the nutritional implications of increased snacking frequencies on obesity and metabolic health in these African populations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.29219/fnr.v65.5435DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8388941PMC
May 2021

Consumption of ultra-processed foods associated with weight gain and obesity in adults: A multi-national cohort study.

Clin Nutr 2021 09 21;40(9):5079-5088. Epub 2021 Aug 21.

Escuela Andaluza de Salud Pública (EASP), Granada, Spain; Instituto de Investigación Biosanitaria ibs.GRANADA, Granada, Spain; Centro de Investigación Biomédica en Red de Epidemiología y Salud Pública (CIBERESP), Madrid, Spain.

Background: There is a worldwide shift towards increased consumption of ultra-processed foods (UPF) with concurrent rising prevalence of obesity. We examined the relationship between the consumption of UPF and weight gain and risk of obesity.

Methods: This prospective cohort included 348 748 men and women aged 25-70 years. Participants were recruited between 1992 and 2000 from 9 European countries in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) study. Two body weight measures were available, at baseline and after a median follow-up time of 5 years. Foods and drinks were assessed at baseline by dietary questionnaires and classified according to their degree of processing using NOVA classification. Multilevel mixed linear regression was used to estimate the association between UPF consumption and body weight change (kg/5 years). To estimate the relative risk of becoming overweight or obese after 5 years we used Poisson regression stratified according to baseline body mass index (BMI).

Results: After multivariable adjustment, higher UPF consumption (per 1 SD increment) was positively associated with weight gain (0·12 kg/5 years, 95% CI 0·09 to 0·15). Comparing highest vs. lowest quintile of UPF consumption was associated with a 15% greater risk (95% CI 1·11, 1·19) of becoming overweight or obese in normal weight participants, and with a 16% greater risk (95% CI 1·09, 1·23) of becoming obese in participants who were overweight at baseline.

Conclusions: These results are supportive of public health campaigns to substitute UPF for less processed alternatives for obesity prevention and weight management.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.clnu.2021.08.009DOI Listing
September 2021

Determinants of elevated chemerin as a novel biomarker of immunometabolism: data from a large population-based cohort.

Endocr Connect 2021 Sep 20;10(9):1200-1211. Epub 2021 Sep 20.

Department of Epidemiological Methods and Etiological Research, Leibniz Institute for Prevention Research and Epidemiology - BIPS, Bremen, Germany.

Objective: Chemerin is a novel inflammatory biomarker suggested to play a role in the development of metabolic disorders, providing new avenues for treatment and prevention. Little is known about the factors that predispose elevated chemerin concentrations. We therefore aimed to explore a range of lifestyle-associated, dietary, and metabolic factors as potential determinants of elevated chemerin concentrations in asymptomatic adults.

Design: We used cross-sectional data from a random subsample of 2433 participants (1494 women and 939 men) aged 42-58 years of the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition-Potsdam cohort.

Methods: Random forest regression (RFR) was applied to explore the relative importance of 32 variables as statistical predictors of elevated chemerin concentrations overall and by sex. Multivariable-adjusted linear regression was applied to evaluate associations between selected predictors and chemerin concentrations.

Results: Results from RFR suggested BMI, waist circumference, C-reactive protein, fatty liver index, and estimated glomerular filtration rate as the strongest predictors of chemerin concentrations. Additional predictors included sleeping duration, alcohol, red and processed meat, fruits, sugar-sweetened beverages (SSB), vegetables, dairy, and refined grains. Collectively, these factors explained 32.9% variation of circulating chemerin. Multivariable-adjusted analyses revealed linear associations of elevated chemerin with metabolic parameters, obesity, longer sleep, higher intakes of red meat and SSB, and lower intakes of dairy.

Conclusions: These findings come in support of the role of chemerin as a biomarker characterizing inflammatory and metabolic phenotypes in asymptomatic adults. Modifiable dietary and lifestyle-associated determinants of elevated chemerin concentrations require further evaluation in a prospective study setting.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1530/EC-21-0273DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8494416PMC
September 2021

Dietary Linoleic Acid: Will Modifying Dietary Fat Quality Reduce the Risk of Type 2 Diabetes?

Diabetes Care 2021 09 20;44(9):1913-1915. Epub 2021 Aug 20.

Department of Molecular Epidemiology, German Institute of Human Nutrition Potsdam-Rehbruecke, Nuthetal, Germany; German Center for Diabetes Research (DZD), Neuherberg, Germany; and Institute of Nutritional Science, University of Potsdam, Potsdam, Germany

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http://dx.doi.org/10.2337/dci21-0031DOI Listing
September 2021

Association of the odd-chain fatty acid content in lipid groups with type 2 diabetes risk: A targeted analysis of lipidomics data in the EPIC-Potsdam cohort.

Clin Nutr 2021 08 19;40(8):4988-4999. Epub 2021 Jun 19.

Department of Molecular Epidemiology, German Institute of Human Nutrition Potsdam-Rehbruecke, Nuthetal, Germany; German Center for Diabetes Research (DZD), Neuherberg, Germany; Institute of Nutritional Science, University of Potsdam, Potsdam, Germany. Electronic address:

Background: Plasma odd-chain saturated fatty acids (OCFA) are inversely associated with type 2 diabetes (T2D) risk and may serve as biomarkers for dairy fat intake. Their distribution across different lipid classes and consequences for diabetes risk remain unknown.

Aim: To investigate the prospective associations of OCFA-containing lipid species with T2D risk and their dietary determinants.

Methods: Within the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition-Potsdam study (n = 27,548), we applied a nested case-cohort design (subcohort: n = 1,248; T2D cases: n = 820; median follow-up 6.5 years). OCFA-containing lipids included triacylglycerols, free fatty acids (FFA), cholesteryl esters (CE), phosphatidylcholines, phosphatidylethanolamines, lysophosphatidylcholines, lysophosphatidylethanolamines, monoacylglycerols, and diacylglycerols. We estimated lipid class-specific associations between OCFA-containing lipids and T2D in sex-stratified Cox proportional-hazards models. We investigated correlations between lipids and dietary intakes derived from food-frequency questionnaires.

Results: We observed heterogeneous integration of OCFA in different lipid classes: triacylglycerols, FFA, CE, and phosphatidylcholines contributed most to the total OCFA-plasma abundance. The relative concentration of OCFA was particularly high in monoacylglycerols, and the contribution of C15:0 versus C17:0 to the total OCFA-abundance differed across lipid classes. In women, several OCFA-containing phospholipids were inversely associated with T2D risk [phosphatidylcholine(C15:0), HR Q5 vs Q1: 0.56, 95% CI 0.32-0.97; phosphatidylcholine(C17:0), HR per SD: 0.59, 95% CI 0.48-0.71; lysophosphatidylcholine(C17:0), HR Q5 vs Q1: 0.42, 95% CI 0.23-0.76]. In men, we did not detect statistically significant inverse associations in phospholipids, and lysophosphatidylcholine(C15:0) was associated with higher T2D risk (HR Q5 vs. Q1: 1.96, 95% CI 1.06-3.63). Besides, CE(C17:0), monoacylglycerols(C15:0), and diacylglycerols(C15:0) were inversely associated with T2D risk; FFA(C17:0) was positively associated with T2D risk in women. Consumption of fat-rich dairy and fiber-rich foods were positively and red meat inversely correlated to OCFA-containing lipid plasma levels.

Conclusions: OCFA-containing lipids are linked to T2D risk in a lipid class and sex-specific manner, and they are correlated with several foods.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.clnu.2021.06.006DOI Listing
August 2021

Association of Cycling With All-Cause and Cardiovascular Disease Mortality Among Persons With Diabetes: The European Prospective Investigation Into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) Study.

JAMA Intern Med 2021 Sep;181(9):1196-1205

University of Southern Denmark, Odense, Denmark.

Importance: Premature death from all causes and cardiovascular disease (CVD) causes is higher among persons with diabetes.

Objective: To investigate the association between time spent cycling and all-cause and CVD mortality among persons with diabetes, as well as to evaluate the association between change in time spent cycling and risk of all-cause and CVD mortality.

Design, Setting, And Participants: This prospective cohort study included 7459 adults with diabetes from the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition study. Questionnaires regarding medical history, sociodemographic, and lifestyle information were administered in 10 Western European countries from 1992 through 2000 (baseline examination) and at a second examination 5 years after baseline. A total of 5423 participants with diabetes completed both examinations. The final updated primary analysis was conducted on November 13, 2020.

Exposures: The primary exposure was self-reported time spent cycling per week at the baseline examination. The secondary exposure was change in cycling status from baseline to the second examination.

Main Outcomes And Measures: The primary and secondary outcomes were all-cause and CVD mortality, respectively, adjusted for other physical activity modalities, diabetes duration, and sociodemographic and lifestyle factors.

Results: Of the 7459 adults with diabetes included in the analysis, the mean (SD) age was 55.9 (7.7) years, and 3924 (52.6%) were female. During 110 944 person-years of follow-up, 1673 deaths from all causes were registered. Compared with the reference group of people who reported no cycling at baseline (0 min/wk), the multivariable-adjusted hazard ratios for all-cause mortality were 0.78 (95% CI, 0.61-0.99), 0.76 (95% CI, 0.65-0.88), 0.68 (95% CI, 0.57-0.82), and 0.76 (95% CI, 0.63-0.91) for cycling 1 to 59, 60 to 149, 150 to 299, and 300 or more min/wk, respectively. In an analysis of change in time spent cycling with 57 802 person-years of follow-up, a total of 975 deaths from all causes were recorded. Compared with people who reported no cycling at both examinations, the multivariable-adjusted hazard ratios for all-cause mortality were 0.90 (95% CI, 0.71-1.14) in those who cycled and then stopped, 0.65 (95% CI, 0.46-0.92) in initial noncyclists who started cycling, and 0.65 (95% CI, 0.53-0.80) for people who reported cycling at both examinations. Similar results were observed for CVD mortality.

Conclusion And Relevance: In this cohort study, cycling was associated with lower all-cause and CVD mortality risk among people with diabetes independent of practicing other types of physical activity. Participants who took up cycling between the baseline and second examination had a considerably lower risk of both all-cause and CVD mortality compared with consistent noncyclists.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/jamainternmed.2021.3836DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8290339PMC
September 2021

Plasma concentrations of persistent organic pollutants and pancreatic cancer risk.

Int J Epidemiol 2021 Jul 14. Epub 2021 Jul 14.

Cancer Registry and Histopathology Department, "Civic-M.P. Arezzo" Hospital, ASP Ragusa, Ragusa, Italy.

Background: Findings and limitations of previous studies on persistent organic pollutants (POPs) and pancreatic cancer risk support conducting further research in prospective cohorts.

Methods: We conducted a prospective case-control study nested within the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) cohort. Participants were 513 pancreatic cancer cases and 1020 matched controls. Concentrations of 22 POPs were measured in plasma collected at baseline.

Results: Some associations were observed at higher concentrations of p, p'-DDT, trans-nonachlor, β-hexachlorocyclohexane and the sum of six organochlorine pesticides and of 16 POPs. The odds ratio (OR) for the upper quartile of trans-nonachlor was 1.55 (95% confidence interval 1.06-2.26; P for trend = 0.025). Associations were stronger in the groups predefined as most valid (participants having fasted >6 h, with microscopic diagnostic confirmation, normal weight, and never smokers), and as most relevant (follow-up ≥10 years). Among participants having fasted >6 h, the ORs were relevant for 10 of 11 exposures. Higher ORs were also observed among cases with microscopic confirmation than in cases with a clinical diagnosis, and among normal-weight participants than in the rest of participants. Among participants with a follow-up ≥10 years, estimates were higher than in participants with a shorter follow-up (for trans-nonachlor: OR = 2.14, 1.01 to 4.53, P for trend = 0.035). Overall, trans-nonachlor, three PCBs and the two sums of POPs were the exposures most clearly associated with pancreatic cancer risk.

Conclusions: Individually or in combination, most of the 22 POPs analysed did not or only moderately increased the risk of pancreatic cancer.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ije/dyab115DOI Listing
July 2021

Hepcidin-regulating iron metabolism genes and pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma: a pathway analysis of genome-wide association studies.

Am J Clin Nutr 2021 10;114(4):1408-1417

Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, National Cancer Institute, Rockville, MD, USA.

Background: Epidemiological studies have suggested positive associations for iron and red meat intake with risk of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC). Inherited pathogenic variants in genes involved in the hepcidin-regulating iron metabolism pathway are known to cause iron overload and hemochromatosis.

Objectives: The objective of this study was to determine whether common genetic variation in the hepcidin-regulating iron metabolism pathway is associated with PDAC.

Methods: We conducted a pathway analysis of the hepcidin-regulating genes using single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) summary statistics generated from 4 genome-wide association studies in 2 large consortium studies using the summary data-based adaptive rank truncated product method. Our population consisted of 9253 PDAC cases and 12,525 controls of European descent. Our analysis included 11 hepcidin-regulating genes [bone morphogenetic protein 2 (BMP2), bone morphogenetic protein 6 (BMP6), ferritin heavy chain 1 (FTH1), ferritin light chain (FTL), hepcidin (HAMP), homeostatic iron regulator (HFE), hemojuvelin (HJV), nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2 (NRF2), ferroportin 1 (SLC40A1), transferrin receptor 1 (TFR1), and transferrin receptor 2 (TFR2)] and their surrounding genomic regions (±20 kb) for a total of 412 SNPs.

Results: The hepcidin-regulating gene pathway was significantly associated with PDAC (P = 0.002), with the HJV, TFR2, TFR1, BMP6, and HAMP genes contributing the most to the association.

Conclusions: Our results support that genetic susceptibility related to the hepcidin-regulating gene pathway is associated with PDAC risk and suggest a potential role of iron metabolism in pancreatic carcinogenesis. Further studies are needed to evaluate effect modification by intake of iron-rich foods on this association.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ajcn/nqab217DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8488877PMC
October 2021

Factors associated with serum ferritin levels and iron excess: results from the EPIC-EurGast study.

Eur J Nutr 2021 Jul 2. Epub 2021 Jul 2.

Unit of Nutrition and Cancer, Catalan Institute of Oncology - ICO, Nutrition and Cancer Group, Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute -(IDIBELL), L'Hospitalet de Llobregat, Barcelona, Spain.

Purpose: Excess iron is involved in the development of non-communicable diseases such as cancer, type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular conditions. We aimed to describe the prevalence of excess iron and its determinants in healthy European adults.

Methods: Sociodemographic, lifestyle, iron status, dietary information, and HFE genotyping were obtained from controls from the nested case-control study EPIC-EurGast study. High sensitivity C-reactive protein (hsCRP) was measured to address possible systemic inflammation. Descriptive and multivariate analyses were used to assess iron status and its determinants.

Results: Out of the 828 participants (median age: 58.7 years), 43% were females. Median serum ferritin and prevalence of excess iron were 143.7 µg/L and 35.2% in males, respectively, and 77 µg/L and 20% in females, both increasing with latitude across Europe. Prevalence of HFE C282Y mutation was significantly higher in Northern and Central Europe (~ 11%) than in the South (5%). Overweight/obesity, age, and daily alcohol and heme iron intake were independent determinants for iron status, with sex differences even after excluding participants with hsCRP > 5 mg/L. Obese males showed a greater consumption of alcohol, total and red meat, and heme iron, compared with those normal weight.

Conclusion: Obesity, higher alcohol and heme iron consumption were the main risk factors for excess iron in males while only age was associated with iron overload in females. Weight control and promoting healthy lifestyle may help prevent iron overload, especially in obese people. Further research is needed to clarify determinants of excess iron in the healthy adult population, helping to reduce the associated comorbidities.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00394-021-02625-wDOI Listing
July 2021

Circulating tryptophan metabolites and risk of colon cancer: Results from case-control and prospective cohort studies.

Int J Cancer 2021 Nov 12;149(9):1659-1669. Epub 2021 Jul 12.

International Agency for Research on Cancer, Lyon, France.

Dysregulation of tryptophan metabolism has been linked to colorectal tumorigenesis; however, epidemiological studies investigating tryptophan metabolites in relation to colorectal cancer risk are limited. We studied associations of plasma tryptophan, serotonin and kynurenine with colon cancer risk in two studies with cancer patients and controls, and in one prospective cohort: ColoCare Study (110 patients/153 controls), the Colorectal Cancer Study of Austria (CORSA; 46 patients/390 controls) and the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC; 456 matched case-control pairs). Logistic regression was used to estimate odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for colon cancer risk. Tryptophan was inversely associated with colon cancer risk in ColoCare (OR per 1-SD = 0.44; 95% CI, 0.31-0.64) and EPIC (OR per 1-SD = 0.86; 95% CI, 0.74-0.99). Comparing detectable vs nondetectable levels, serotonin was positively associated with colon cancer in CORSA (OR = 6.39; 95% CI, 3.61-11.3) and EPIC (OR = 2.03; 95% CI, 1.20-3.40). Kynurenine was inversely associated with colon cancer in ColoCare (OR per 1-SD = 0.74; 95% CI, 0.55-0.98), positively associated in CORSA (OR per 1-SD = 1.79; 95% CI, 1.27-2.52), while no association was observed in EPIC. The kynurenine-to-tryptophan ratio was positively associated with colon cancer in ColoCare (OR per 1-SD = 1.38; 95% CI, 1.03-1.84) and CORSA (OR per 1-SD = 1.44; 95% CI, 1.06-1.96), but not in EPIC. These results suggest that higher plasma tryptophan may be associated with lower colon cancer risk, while increased serotonin may be associated with a higher risk of colon cancer. The kynurenine-to-tryptophan ratio may also reflect altered tryptophan catabolism during colon cancer development.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ijc.33725DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8429124PMC
November 2021

Advanced glycation end-products, measured as skin autofluorescence, associate with vascular stiffness in diabetic, pre-diabetic and normoglycemic individuals: a cross-sectional study.

Cardiovasc Diabetol 2021 06 27;20(1):110. Epub 2021 Jun 27.

Department of Molecular Epidemiology, German Institute of Human Nutrition Potsdam-Rehbrücke, Arthur-Scheunert-Allee 114-116, 14558, Nuthetal, Germany.

Background: Advanced glycation end-products are proteins that become glycated after contact with sugars and are implicated in endothelial dysfunction and arterial stiffening. We aimed to investigate the relationships between advanced glycation end-products, measured as skin autofluorescence, and vascular stiffness in various glycemic strata.

Methods: We performed a cross-sectional analysis within the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC)-Potsdam cohort, comprising n = 3535 participants (median age 67 years, 60% women). Advanced glycation end-products were measured as skin autofluorescence with AGE-Reader™, vascular stiffness was measured as pulse wave velocity, augmentation index and ankle-brachial index with Vascular Explorer™. A subset of 1348 participants underwent an oral glucose tolerance test. Participants were sub-phenotyped into normoglycemic, prediabetes and diabetes groups. Associations between skin autofluorescence and various indices of vascular stiffness were assessed by multivariable regression analyses and were adjusted for age, sex, measures of adiposity and lifestyle, blood pressure, prevalent conditions, medication use and blood biomarkers.

Results: Skin autofluorescence associated with pulse wave velocity, augmentation index and ankle-brachial index, adjusted beta coefficients (95% CI) per unit skin autofluorescence increase: 0.38 (0.21; 0.55) for carotid-femoral pulse wave velocity, 0.25 (0.14; 0.37) for aortic pulse wave velocity, 1.00 (0.29; 1.70) for aortic augmentation index, 4.12 (2.24; 6.00) for brachial augmentation index and - 0.04 (- 0.05; - 0.02) for ankle-brachial index. The associations were strongest in men, younger individuals and were consistent across all glycemic strata: for carotid-femoral pulse wave velocity 0.36 (0.12; 0.60) in normoglycemic, 0.33 (- 0.01; 0.67) in prediabetes and 0.45 (0.09; 0.80) in diabetes groups; with similar estimates for aortic pulse wave velocity. Augmentation index was associated with skin autofluorescence only in normoglycemic and diabetes groups. Ankle-brachial index inversely associated with skin autofluorescence across all sex, age and glycemic strata.

Conclusions: Our findings indicate that advanced glycation end-products measured as skin autofluorescence might be involved in vascular stiffening independent of age and other cardiometabolic risk factors not only in individuals with diabetes but also in normoglycemic and prediabetic conditions. Skin autofluorescence might prove as a rapid and non-invasive method for assessment of macrovascular disease progression across all glycemic strata.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12933-021-01296-5DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8236143PMC
June 2021

Inflammatory potential of the diet and risk of breast cancer in the European Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) study.

Eur J Epidemiol 2021 Sep 20;36(9):953-964. Epub 2021 Jun 20.

Director Office, International Agency for Research on Cancer, World Health Organization, Lyon, France.

The role of chronic inflammation on breast cancer (BC) risk remains unclear beyond as an underlying mechanism of obesity and physical activity. We aimed to evaluate the association between the inflammatory potential of the diet and risk of BC overall, according to menopausal status and tumour subtypes. Within the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition cohort, 318,686 women were followed for 14 years, among whom 13,246 incident BC cases were identified. The inflammatory potential of the diet was characterized by an inflammatory score of the diet (ISD). Multivariable Cox regression models were used to assess the potential effect of the ISD on BC risk by means of hazard ratios (HR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI). ISD was positively associated with BC risk. Each increase of one standard deviation (1-Sd) of the score increased by 4% the risk of BC (HR = 1.04; 95% CI 1.01-1.07). Women in the highest quintile of the ISD (indicating a most pro-inflammatory diet) had a 12% increase in risk compared with those in the lowest quintile (HR = 1.12; 95% CI 1.04-1.21) with a significant trend. The association was strongest among premenopausal women, with an 8% increased risk for 1-Sd increase in the score (HR = 1.08; 95% CI 1.01-1.14). The pattern of the association was quite homogeneous by BC subtypes based on hormone receptor status. There were no significant interactions between ISD and body mass index, physical activity, or alcohol consumption. Women consuming more pro-inflammatory diets as measured by ISD are at increased risk for BC, especially premenopausal women.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10654-021-00772-2DOI Listing
September 2021

Associations between dietary amino acid intakes and blood concentration levels.

Clin Nutr 2021 06 27;40(6):3772-3779. Epub 2021 Apr 27.

International Agency for Research on Cancer, Nutrition and Metabolism Section, 69372, Lyon CEDEX 08, France.

Background And Aims: Emerging evidence suggests a role of amino acids (AAs) in the development of various diseases including renal failure, liver cirrhosis, diabetes and cancer. However, mechanistic pathways and the effects of dietary AA intakes on circulating levels and disease outcomes are unclear. We aimed to compare protein and AA intakes, with their respective blood concentrations in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) cohort.

Methods: Dietary protein and AA intakes were assessed via the EPIC dietary questionnaires (DQ) and 24-h dietary recalls (24-HDR). A subsample of 3768 EPIC participants who were free of cancer had blood AA concentrations measured. To investigate how circulating levels relate to their respective intakes, dietary AA intake was examined in quintiles and ANOVA tests were run. Pearson correlations were examined for continous associations between intakes and blood concentrations.

Results: Dietary AA intakes (assessed with the DQ) and blood AA concentrations were not strongly correlated (-0.15 ≤ r ≤ 0.17) and the direction of the correlations depended on AA class: weak positive correlations were found for most essential AAs (isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, threonine, tryptophan, and valine) and conditionally essential AAs (arginine and tyrosine), while negative associations were found for non-essential AAs. Similar results were found when using the 24-HDR. When conducting ANOVA tests for essential AAs, higher intake quintiles were linked to higher blood AA concentrations, except for histidine and phenylalanine. For non-essential AAs and glycine, an inverse relationship was observed. Conditionally-essential AAs showed mixed results.

Conclusions: Weak positive correlations and dose responses were found between most essential and conditionally essential AA intakes, and blood concentrations, but not for the non-essential AAs. These results suggest that intake of dietary AA might be related to physiological AA status, particularly for the essential AAs. However, these results should be further evaluated and confirmed in large-scale prospective studies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.clnu.2021.04.036DOI Listing
June 2021

Prospective analysis of circulating metabolites and endometrial cancer risk.

Gynecol Oncol 2021 Aug 5;162(2):475-481. Epub 2021 Jun 5.

Institute for Risk Assessment Sciences, Utrecht University, Utrecht, the Netherlands.

Background: Endometrial cancer is strongly associated with obesity and dysregulation of metabolic factors such as estrogen and insulin signaling are causal risk factors for this malignancy. To identify additional novel metabolic pathways associated with endometrial cancer we performed metabolomic analyses on pre-diagnostic plasma samples from 853 case-control pairs from the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC).

Methods: A total of 129 metabolites (acylcarnitines, amino acids, biogenic amines, glycerophospholipids, hexoses, and sphingolipids) were measured by liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry. Conditional logistic regression estimated the associations of metabolites with endometrial cancer risk. An analysis focusing on clusters of metabolites using the bootstrap lasso method was also employed.

Results: After adjustment for body mass index, sphingomyelin [SM] C18:0 was positively (OR: 1.18, 95% CI: 1.05-1.33), and glycine, serine, and free carnitine (C0) were inversely (OR: 0.89, 95% CI: 0.80-0.99; OR: 0.89, 95% CI: 0.79-1.00 and OR: 0.91, 95% CI: 0.81-1.00, respectively) associated with endometrial cancer risk. Serine, C0 and two sphingomyelins were selected by the lasso method in >90% of the bootstrap samples. The ratio of esterified to free carnitine (OR: 1.14, 95% CI: 1.02-1.28) and that of short chain to free acylcarnitines (OR: 1.12, 95% CI: 1.00-1.25) were positively associated with endometrial cancer risk. Further adjustment for C-peptide or other endometrial cancer risk factors only minimally altered the results.

Conclusion: These findings suggest that variation in levels of glycine, serine, SM C18:0 and free carnitine may represent specific pathways linked to endometrial cancer development. If causal, these pathways may offer novel targets for endometrial cancer prevention.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ygyno.2021.06.001DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8336647PMC
August 2021

Dietary Methyl-Group Donor Intake and Breast Cancer Risk in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC).

Nutrients 2021 May 28;13(6). Epub 2021 May 28.

Office of the Director, International Agency for Research on Cancer, CEDEX 08, 69372 Lyon, France.

(1) Background: Methyl-group donors (MGDs), including folate, choline, betaine, and methionine, may influence breast cancer (BC) risk through their role in one-carbon metabolism; (2) Methods: We studied the relationship between dietary intakes of MGDs and BC risk, adopting data from the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) cohort; (3) Results: 318,686 pre- and postmenopausal women were followed between enrolment in 1992-2000 and December 2013-December 2015. Dietary MGD intakes were estimated at baseline through food-frequency questionnaires. Multivariable Cox proportional hazards regression models were used to quantify the association between dietary intake of MGDs, measured both as a calculated score based on their sum and individually, and BC risk. Subgroup analyses were performed by hormone receptor status, menopausal status, and level of alcohol intake. During a mean follow-up time of 14.1 years, 13,320 women with malignant BC were identified. No associations were found between dietary intakes of the MGD score or individual MGDs and BC risk. However, a potential U-shaped relationship was observed between dietary folate intake and overall BC risk, suggesting an inverse association for intakes up to 350 µg/day compared to a reference intake of 205 µg/day. No statistically significant differences in the associations were observed by hormone receptor status, menopausal status, or level of alcohol intake; (4) Conclusions: There was no strong evidence for an association between MGDs involved in one-carbon metabolism and BC risk. However, a potential U-shaped trend was suggested for dietary folate intake and BC risk. Further research is needed to clarify this association.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/nu13061843DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8228096PMC
May 2021

Effect of Microbial Status on Hepatic Odd-Chain Fatty Acids Is Diet-Dependent.

Nutrients 2021 May 4;13(5). Epub 2021 May 4.

Department Physiology of Energy Metabolism, German Institute of Human Nutrition Potsdam-Rehbruecke (DIfE), 14558 Nuthetal, Germany.

Odd-chain fatty acids (OCFA) are inversely associated with type-2-diabetes in epidemiological studies. They are considered as a biomarker for dairy intake because fermentation in ruminants yields high amounts of propionate, which is used as the primer for lipogenesis. Recently, we demonstrated endogenous OCFA synthesis from propionate in humans and mice, but how this is affected by microbial colonization is still unexplored. Here, we investigated the effect of increasing microbiota complexity on hepatic lipid metabolism and OCFA levels in different dietary settings. Germ-free (GF), gnotobiotic (SIH, simplified human microbiota) or conventional (CONV) C3H/HeOuJ-mice were fed a CHOW or high-fat diet with inulin (HFI) to induce microbial fermentation. We found that hepatic lipogenesis was increased with increasing microbiota complexity, independently of diet. In contrast, OCFA formation was affected by diet as well as microbiota. On CHOW, hepatic OCFA and intestinal gluconeogenesis decreased with increasing microbiota complexity (GF > SIH > CONV), while cecal propionate showed a negative correlation with hepatic OCFA. On HFI, OCFA levels were highest in SIH and positively correlated with cecal propionate. The propionate content in the CHOW diet was 10 times higher than that of HFI. We conclude that bacterial propionate production affects hepatic OCFA formation, unless this effect is masked by dietary propionate intake.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/nu13051546DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8147859PMC
May 2021

Novel Biomarkers of Habitual Alcohol Intake and Associations with Risk of Pancreatic and Liver Cancers and Liver Disease Mortality.

J Natl Cancer Inst 2021 May 19. Epub 2021 May 19.

Institute for Risk Assessment Sciences, Division of Environmental Epidemiology, Utrecht University, Utrecht, The Netherlands.

Background: Alcohol is an established risk factor for several cancers, but modest alcohol-cancer associations may be missed due to measurement error in self-reported assessments. Biomarkers of habitual alcohol intake may provide novel insight into the relationship between alcohol and cancer risk.

Methods: Untargeted metabolomics was used to identify metabolites correlated with self-reported habitual alcohol intake in a discovery dataset from the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC; n = 454). Statistically significant correlations were tested in independent datasets of controls from case-control studies nested within EPIC (n = 280) and the Alpha-Tocopherol, Beta-Carotene Cancer Prevention (ATBC; n = 438) study. Conditional logistic regression was used to estimate odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for associations of alcohol-associated metabolites and self-reported alcohol intake with risk of pancreatic cancer, hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), liver cancer, and liver disease mortality in the contributing studies.

Results: Two metabolites displayed a dose-response association with self-reported alcohol intake 2-hydroxy-3-methylbutyric acid and an unidentified compound. A 1-SD (log2) increase in levels of 2-hydroxy-3-methylbutyric acid was associated with risk of HCC (OR = 2.54; 95% CI = 1.51-4.27) and pancreatic cancer (OR = 1.43; 95% CI = 1.03-1.99) in EPIC and liver cancer (OR = 2.00; 95% CI = 1.44-2.77) and liver disease mortality (OR = 2.16; 95% CI = 1.63-2.86) in ATBC. Conversely, a 1-SD (log2) increase in questionnaire-derived alcohol intake was not associated with HCC or pancreatic cancer in EPIC or liver cancer in ATBC but was associated with liver disease mortality (OR = 2.19; 95% CI = 1.60-2.98) in ATBC.

Conclusions: 2-Hydroxy-3-methylbutyric acid is a candidate biomarker of habitual alcohol intake that may advance the study of alcohol and cancer risk in population-based studies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jnci/djab078DOI Listing
May 2021

An Empirically Derived Definition of Metabolically Healthy Obesity Based on Risk of Cardiovascular and Total Mortality.

JAMA Netw Open 2021 May 3;4(5):e218505. Epub 2021 May 3.

Department of Molecular Epidemiology, German Institute of Human Nutrition Potsdam-Rehbruecke, Nuthetal, Germany.

Importance: People classified by a priori definitions as having metabolically healthy obesity have frequently been found to be at increased risk of mortality, compared with individuals with metabolically healthy normal weight, suggesting these definitions may be insufficient.

Objectives: To systematically derive a new definition of metabolic health (MH) and investigate its association with cardiovascular disease (CVD) mortality and total mortality.

Design, Setting, And Participants: In a cohort study using data from the third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES-III), a representative survey using complex multistage probability sampling, anthropometric factors, biomarkers, and blood pressure (BP) associated with total and CVD mortality among participants with obesity were identified with Cox proportional hazards regression. Area under the receiver operating characteristic was calculated to identify predictive factors for mortality to be used to define MH, cutoff levels were determined by the Youden index, and the findings were validated through comparison with the independent UK Biobank cohort, a population-based prospective study. All nonpregnant participants in the databases aged 18 to 75 years with no history of CVD, body mass index greater than or equal to 18.5, and who fasted 6 or more hours before examination in NHANES-III were included; participants in the UK Biobank cohort who did not have blood measurements were excluded. The study was conducted from 2015 to 2020.

Exposures: Body mass index and MH were defined by the new definition and compared with 3 a priori definitions.

Main Outcomes And Measures: Cardiovascular disease mortality and total mortality.

Results: Within the NHANES-III (n = 12 341) cohort, mean (SD) age was 41.6 (29.2) years, 50.7% were women, and mean follow-up was 14.5 (2.7) years. Within the UK Biobank (n = 374 079) cohort, mean (SD) age was 56.2 (8.1) years, 55.1% were women, and mean follow-up was 7.8 (1.0) years. Use of blood pressure (BP)-lowering medication (hazard ratio [HR] for CVD mortality, 2.41; 95% CI, 1.50-3.87 and total mortality, 2.05; 95% CI, 1.47-2.84), diabetes, and several continuous factors were associated with mortality. Of all significant continuous factors, the combination of systolic BP and waist-to-hip ratio showed the highest area under the receiver operating characteristic (CVD mortality: 0.775; 95% CI, 0.770-0.781; total mortality: 0.696; 95% CI, 0.694-0.699). Thus, MH was defined as systolic BP less than 130 mm Hg, no BP-lowering medication, waist-to-hip ratio less than 0.95 for women and less than 1.03 for men, and no self-reported (ie, prevalent) diabetes. In both cohorts, metabolically healthy obesity was not associated with CVD and total mortality compared with metabolically healthy normal weight. For NHANES-III, the hazard ratio was 0.68 (95% CI, 0.30-1.54) for CVD mortality and 1.03 (95% CI, 0.70-1.51) for total mortality. For UK Biobank, the hazard ratio was 1.17 (95% CI, 0.81-1.69) for CVD mortality and 0.98 (95% CI, 0.87-1.10) for total mortality. Regardless of body mass index, all metabolically unhealthy groups displayed increased risks.

Conclusions And Relevance: This newly proposed definition of MH may identify a subgroup of people with obesity without increased risk of mortality and stratify risks in people who are overweight or normal weight.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2021.8505DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8105750PMC
May 2021

Metabolic signatures of greater body size and their associations with risk of colorectal and endometrial cancers in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition.

BMC Med 2021 04 30;19(1):101. Epub 2021 Apr 30.

International Agency for Research on Cancer, World Health Organization, Lyon, France.

Background: The mechanisms underlying the obesity-cancer relationship are incompletely understood. This study aimed to characterise metabolic signatures of greater body size and to investigate their association with two obesity-related malignancies, endometrial and colorectal cancers, and with weight loss within the context of an intervention study.

Methods: Targeted mass spectrometry metabolomics data from 4326 participants enrolled in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) cohort and 17 individuals from a single-arm pilot weight loss intervention (Intercept) were used in this analysis. Metabolic signatures of body size were first determined in discovery (N = 3029) and replication (N = 1297) sets among EPIC participants by testing the associations between 129 metabolites and body mass index (BMI), waist circumference (WC), and waist-to-hip ratio (WHR) using linear regression models followed by partial least squares analyses. Conditional logistic regression models assessed the associations between the metabolic signatures with endometrial (N = 635 cases and 648 controls) and colorectal (N = 423 cases and 423 controls) cancer risk using nested case-control studies in EPIC. Pearson correlation between changes in the metabolic signatures and weight loss was tested among Intercept participants.

Results: After adjustment for multiple comparisons, greater BMI, WC, and WHR were associated with higher levels of valine, isoleucine, glutamate, PC aa C38:3, and PC aa C38:4 and with lower levels of asparagine, glutamine, glycine, serine, lysoPC C17:0, lysoPC C18:1, lysoPC C18:2, PC aa C42:0, PC ae C34:3, PC ae C40:5, and PC ae C42:5. The metabolic signature of BMI (OR 1.50, 95% CI 1.30-1.74), WC (OR 1.46, 95% CI 1.27-1.69), and WHR (OR 1.54, 95% CI 1.33-1.79) were each associated with endometrial cancer risk. Risk of colorectal cancer was positively associated with the metabolic signature of WHR (OR: 1.26, 95% CI 1.07-1.49). In the Intercept study, a positive correlation was observed between weight loss and changes in the metabolic signatures of BMI (r = 0.5, 95% CI 0.06-0.94, p = 0.03), WC (r = 0.5, 95% CI 0.05-0.94, p = 0.03), and WHR (r = 0.6, 95% CI 0.32-0.87, p = 0.01).

Conclusions: Obesity is associated with a distinct metabolic signature comprising changes in levels of specific amino acids and lipids which is positively associated with both colorectal and endometrial cancer and is potentially reversible following weight loss.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12916-021-01970-1DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8086283PMC
April 2021

Dietary intake and plasma phospholipid concentrations of saturated, monounsaturated and trans fatty acids and colorectal cancer risk in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition cohort.

Int J Cancer 2021 Apr 28. Epub 2021 Apr 28.

Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Section of Sustainable Health, Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden.

Epidemiologic studies examining the association between specific fatty acids and colorectal cancer (CRC) risk are inconclusive. We investigated the association between dietary estimates and plasma levels of individual and total saturated (SFA), monounsaturated (MUFA), industrial-processed trans (iTFA), and ruminant-sourced trans (rTFA) fatty acids, and CRC risk in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC). Baseline fatty acid intakes were estimated in 450 112 participants (6162 developed CRC, median follow-up = 15 years). In a nested case-control study, plasma phospholipid fatty acids were determined by gas chromatography in 433 colon cancer cases and 433 matched controls. Multivariable-adjusted hazard ratios (HRs) and odds ratios (ORs) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were computed using Cox and conditional logistic regression, respectively. Dietary total SFA (highest vs lowest quintile, HR  = 0.80; 95%CI:0.69-0.92), myristic acid (HR  = 0.83, 95%CI:0.74-0.93) and palmitic acid (HR  = 0.81, 95%CI:0.70-0.93) were inversely associated with CRC risk. Plasma myristic acid was also inversely associated with colon cancer risk (highest vs lowest quartile, OR  = 0.51; 95%CI:0.32-0.83), whereas a borderline positive association was found for plasma stearic acid (OR  = 1.63; 95%CI:1.00-2.64). Dietary total MUFA was inversely associated with colon cancer (per 1-SD increment, HR  = 0.92, 95%CI: 0.85-0.98), but not rectal cancer (HR  = 1.04, 95%CI:0.95-1.15, P  = 0.027). Dietary iTFA, and particularly elaidic acid, was positively associated with rectal cancer (HR  = 1.07, 95%CI:1.02-1.13). Our results suggest that total and individual saturated fatty acids and fatty acids of industrial origin may be relevant to the aetiology of CRC. Both dietary and plasma myristic acid levels were inversely associated with colon cancer risk, which warrants further investigation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ijc.33615DOI Listing
April 2021

Dietary intake of advanced glycation endproducts and risk of hepatobiliary cancers: A multinational cohort study.

Int J Cancer 2021 Apr 25. Epub 2021 Apr 25.

Nutrition and Metabolism Branch, International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC-WHO), Lyon, France.

Advanced glycation endproducts (AGEs) may contribute to liver carcinogenesis because of their proinflammatory and prooxidative properties. Diet is a major source of AGEs, but there is sparse human evidence on the role of AGEs intake in liver cancer etiology. We examined the association between dietary AGEs and the risk of hepatobiliary cancers in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition prospective cohort (n = 450 111). Dietary intake of three AGEs, N -[carboxymethyl]lysine (CML), N -[1-carboxyethyl]lysine (CEL) and N -[5-hydro-5-methyl-4-imidazolon-2-yl]-ornithine (MG-H1), was estimated using country-specific dietary questionnaires linked to an AGEs database. Cause-specific hazard ratios (HR) and their 95% confidence intervals (CI) for associations between dietary AGEs and risk of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), gallbladder and biliary tract cancers were estimated using multivariable Cox proportional hazard regression. After a median follow-up time of 14.9 years, 255 cases of HCC, 100 cases of gallbladder cancer and 173 biliary tract cancers were ascertained. Higher intakes of dietary AGEs were inversely associated with the risk of HCC (per 1 SD increment, HR-  = 0.87, 95% CI: 0.76-0.99, HR-  = 0.84, 95% CI: 0.74-0.96 and HR-  = 0.84, 95% CI: 0.74-0.97). In contrast, positive associations were observed with risk of gallbladder cancer (per 1 SD, HR-  = 1.28, 95% CI: 1.05-1.56, HR-  = 1.17; 95% CI: 0.96-1.40, HR-  = 1.27, 95% CI: 1.06-1.54). No associations were observed for cancers of the intra and extrahepatic bile ducts. Our findings suggest that higher intakes of dietary AGEs are inversely associated with the risk of HCC and positively associated with the risk of gallbladder cancer.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ijc.33612DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8360042PMC
April 2021

Soft Drink and Juice Consumption and Renal Cell Carcinoma Incidence and Mortality in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition.

Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2021 06 13;30(6):1270-1274. Epub 2021 Apr 13.

International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC-WHO), Lyon, France.

Background: Renal cell carcinoma (RCC) accounts for more than 80% of kidney cancers in adults, and obesity is a known risk factor. Regular consumption of sweetened beverages has been linked to obesity and several chronic diseases, including some types of cancer. It is uncertain whether soft drink and juice consumption is associated with risk of RCC. We investigated the associations of soft drink and juice consumption with RCC incidence and mortality in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC).

Methods: A total of 389,220 EPIC participants with median age of 52 years at recruitment (1991-2000) were included. Cox regression yielded adjusted HRs and 95% confidence intervals (CI) for RCC incidence and mortality in relation to intakes of juices and total, sugar-sweetened, and artificially sweetened soft drinks.

Results: A total of 888 incident RCCs and 356 RCC deaths were identified. In models including adjustment for body mass index and energy intake, there was no higher risk of incident RCC associated with consumption of juices (HR per 100 g/day increment = 1.03; 95% CI, 0.97-1.09), total soft drinks (HR = 1.01; 95% CI, 0.98-1.05), sugar-sweetened soft drinks (HR = 0.99; 95% CI, 0.94-1.05), or artificially sweetened soft drinks (HR = 1.02; 95% CI, 0.96-1.08). In these fully adjusted models, none of the beverages was associated with RCC mortality (HR, 95% CI per 100 g/day increment 1.06, 0.97-1.16; 1.03, 0.98-1.09; 0.97, 0.89-1.07; and 1.06, 0.99-1.14, respectively).

Conclusions: Consumption of juices or soft drinks was not associated with RCC incidence or mortality after adjusting for obesity.

Impact: Soft drink and juice intakes are unlikely to play an independent role in RCC development or mortality.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-20-1726DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7611361PMC
June 2021
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