Dietary fiber intake and reduced risk of ovarian cancer: a meta-analysis.

Nutrition journal. 2018;17(1):99
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Dietary factors, including glycaemic load, fat, phytoestrogen, fruit and vegetable intake, play an important role in the development of ovarian cancer. The aim of this meta-analysis was to examine: 1. The available evidence from epidemiological studies; 2. The differences of ovarian cancer risk reported according to study design, geographic location and types or sources of fibre; 3) A possible dose-response relationship between dietary fibre intake and risk of ovarian cancer. 13 studies, comprising 5,777 ovarian cancer cases and 142,189 participants, published between 1994 and 2015, were included in this meta-analysis. All studies measured dietary intakes using a food-frequency questionnaire. The meta-analysis showed that the women with the highest intake of total fibre had a significantly lower risk (22%) of developing ovarian cancer than those with the lowest fibre intake, and that there was a dose dependent reduction in risk, for every 10g of fibre consumed, there was a 12% reduction in risk. When looking at different types/sources of fibre, vegetable fibre showed the biggest protective effect, whilst cereal fibres showed an increased risk for ovarian cancer. Factors which influenced the risk were contraceptive use and menopausal status. The authors discuss possible mechanisms for the protective effect of fibre: 1. Decrease of circulating oestrogen through changing of bacterial composition in the gut and 2. Reduction of glycaemic load through fibre.


BACKGROUND Epidemiological studies regarding the association between dietary fiber intake and ovarian cancer risk are still inconsistent. We aimed to review the available evidence and conduct a dose-response meta-analysis to investigate the relationship between dietary fiber intake and ovarian cancer risk. METHODS Relevant studies were identified by searching PubMed, EMBASE, and the Cochrane Library databases before August 2017. Studies that reported relative risk (RR) estimates with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for the association between dietary fiber intake and risk of ovarian cancer were included. Random-effects models were used to combine the estimated effects extracted from individual study. RESULTS Thirteen studies, with a total of 5777 ovarian cancer cases and 142,189 participants, met the inclusion criteria. The pooled multivariable RRs of ovarian cancer for the highest vs. the lowest category of dietary fiber intake was 0.78 (95% CI: 0.70, 0.88) with no evidence of heterogeneity (I  = 4.20%, P = 0.40). Our dose-response analysis also showed a significant inverse association between dietary fiber intake and ovarian cancer risk (an increment of 10 g/day; combined RR: 0.88; 95% CI: 0.82, 0.93). There was no evidence for a nonlinear association (P for nonlinearity = 0.83). CONCLUSIONS This meta-analysis suggests a significant inverse dose-response association between dietary fiber intake and ovarian cancer risk. Further studies with prospective design that take account of more potential confounders are warranted to confirm this association.

Lifestyle medicine

Fundamental Clinical Imbalances : Hormonal ; Digestive, absorptive and microbiological
Patient Centred Factors : Mediators/Fibre intake
Environmental Inputs : Diet ; Nutrients
Personal Lifestyle Factors : Nutrition
Functional Laboratory Testing : Not applicable
Bioactive Substances : Fibre

Methodological quality

Allocation concealment : Not applicable
Publication Type : Journal Article