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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2019

Long-Term Whole Grain Wheat and Rye Intake Reflected by Adipose Tissue Alkylresorcinols and Breast Cancer: A Case-Cohort Study

Wu, Huaxing; Kyro, Cecilie; Tjonneland, Anne; Boll, Katja; Olsen, Anja; Overvad, Kim; Landberg, Rikard


Whole grain rye (WGR) and whole grain wheat (WGW) have been suggested to protect against the development of breast cancer. In this study, we estimated long-term intake of WGR and WGW, using both a food frequency questionnaire (FFQ) and alkylresorcinol concentrations in adipose tissue biopsies, in relation to the risk of developing invasive breast cancer in a case-cohort study (n = 414 in the case group, n = 933 in the subcohort group) on the Danish Diet, Cancer and Health cohort. The median follow-up time of the subcohort was 5.3 years. Total WGR and WGW intake estimated with FFQ or reflected by total alkylresorcinol concentration in adipose tissue was not significantly associated with risk of breast cancer. However, after adjustment for total WGR and WGW intake, women in the highest quartile of relative WGR intake, reflected by the alkylresorcinol C17:0/C21:0 ratio, had a higher risk of overall breast cancer and estrogen-receptor-positive (ER+) breast cancer than women in the lowest quartile of relative WGR intake, while the risk of estrogen-receptor-negative (ER-) breast cancer incidence was unaffected. Similar results were obtained with the FFQ data. Based on these data, further investigation of the role of specific grain types in reducing or increasing breast cancer risk, and their overall impact on health, is warranted.


breast cancer; whole grain; rye; wheat; alkylresorcinol; adipose tissue

Published in

2019, Volume: 11, number: 2, article number: 465
Publisher: MDPI

    Sustainable Development Goals

    SDG3 Good health and well-being

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Nutrition and Dietetics

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