Nutrition journal. 2018;17(1):99
Plain language summary
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.