Problems and approaches in investigating the role of micronutrients in the aetiology of cancer in humans
Sommaire de l'article
Observational studies have provided leads regarding a number of micronutrients which may account for the apparent protective effects of high intakes of vegetables and fruit against many types of cancer. In general, these leads have not been confirmed by randomised controlled trials. This apparent conflict raises issues about the timing and duration of a critical period or periods during which micronutrient intake may influence the development of cancer, the dose, possible interaction between high doses of micronutrients and exposures conferring a high risk of cancer and gene-micronutrient interactions. When gene-environmental interaction exists, failure to take both of these sets of factors into account leads to bias in the estimation of disease risk. As a result of recent advances, it is now possible to take measures of genetic susceptibility into account. Therefore, in future studies, the opportunity should be taken to obtain DNA samples to determine genotypes for polymorphisms potentially affecting micronutrient metabolism.