February 7, 2023

Dietary Risk Factors in Upper Aero-Digestive Tract Cancers

M Bansal & T K Gupta, 2023. Dietary Risk Factors in Upper Aero-Digestive Tract Cancers, Indian J Otolaryngol Head Neck Surgery


The Upper AeroDigestive Tract (UADT) cancers are most common, invasive and have high morbidity. The two leading risk factors, smoking and alcohol, are well known but there is a long list of other risk factors which are not that well talked about. The aim of this study was to ascertain the dietary factors which could be important in their prevention. The PubMed and Google Scholar databases were searched for relevant studies from January 2001 to November 2021. Refined grains were found directly related to the risk of UADT cancer while the whole grain cereals were found protective. Significant inverse associations were observed for the highest compared to the lowest tertile of whole grains and yellow/orange vegetables. Stricter adherence to the Mediterranean diet was seen associated with a substantial and significant decrease in UADT cancer risk. A significant inverse association was also found between yoghurt intake and UADT cancer risk. Consumption of three or more cups of coffee per day was found to have a significant inverse association with UADT cancer. Carcinogenicity of cannabis consumption was observed for regular cannabis smokers (> 1 per day for years). The current study concludes that the protective dietary factors have substantial activity in the prevention of UADT cancer. Nevertheless, basic research is required in investigating the role of these dietary factors and valid biomarkers will be important for chemoprevention studies. The basic research on risk factors on the basis of current knowledge would ultimately lead to the better prevention of UADT cancer.

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