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Total polyphenol intake and breast cancer risk in the Seguimiento Universidad de Navarra (SUN) cohort.

  • Gardeazabal, Itziar1, 2
  • Romanos-Nanclares, Andrea1
  • Martínez-González, Miguel Ángel1, 3, 4, 5
  • Sánchez-Bayona, Rodrigo1, 2
  • Vitelli-Storelli, Facundo6
  • Gaforio, José Juan7, 8
  • Aramendía-Beitia, José Manuel2
  • Toledo, Estefanía1, 3, 4
  • 1 Department of Preventive Medicine and Public Health, University of Navarra, C/Irunlarrea 1, 31008 Pamplona, Spain. , (Spain)
  • 2 Department of Oncology, University of Navarra, University of Navarra Clinic, Avda Pio XII 36, 31008 Pamplona, Spain. , (Spain)
  • 3 Centro de Investigación Biomédica en Red Área de Fisiopatología de la Obesidad y la Nutrición (CIBEROBN), Av. Monforte de Lemos 3-5, Pabellón 11, Planta 0, 28029 Madrid, Spain. , (Spain)
  • 4 IdiSNA, Navarra Institute for Health Research, C/Irunlarrea 3, 31008 Pamplona, Spain. , (Spain)
  • 5 Department of Nutrition, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, 677 Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA 02115, USA.
  • 6 Instituto de Biomedicina (IBIOMED), Universidad de León, 24071 Leon, Spain. , (Spain)
  • 7 Center for Advanced Studies in Olive Grove and Olive Oils, Agrifood Campus of International Excellence (ceiA3), University of Jaén, Campus Las Lagunillas s/n, 23071 Jaén, Spain. , (Spain)
  • 8 Centro de Investigación en Red de Epidemiología y Salud Pública (CIBERR-ESP), Instituto de Salud Carlos III, Av. Monforte de Lemos 3-5, Pabellón 11, Planta 0, 28029 Madrid, Spain. , (Spain)
Published Article
British Journal Of Nutrition
Cambridge University Press
Publication Date
Sep 14, 2019
DOI: 10.1017/S0007114518003811
PMID: 30588893


Polyphenols are a wide family of phytochemicals present in diverse foods. They might play a role in cancer development and progression. In vivo and in vitro studies have suggested beneficial properties and potential mechanisms. We aimed to evaluate the association between total and main classes of polyphenol intake and breast cancer (BC) risk in the Seguimiento Universidad de Navarra project - a prospective Mediterranean cohort study. We included 10 713 middle-aged, Spanish female university graduates. Polyphenol intake was derived from a semi-quantitative FFQ and matching food consumption data from the Phenol-Explorer database. Women with self-reported BC were asked to return a copy of their medical report for confirmation purposes; death certificates were used for fatal cases. Cox models were fitted to estimate multivariable-adjusted hazard ratios (HR) and 95 % CI for the association between tertiles (T) of polyphenol intake and BC. After 10·3 years of median follow-up, 168 probable incident BC cases were identified, out of which 100 were confirmed. We found no association between polyphenol intake and the overall BC risk. Nevertheless, we observed a significant inverse association between total polyphenol intake and BC risk for postmenopausal women, either for probable or only for confirmed cases (HRT3 v. T1 0·31 (95 % CI 0·13, 0·77; Ptrend=0·010)). Also, phenolic acid intake was inversely associated with postmenopausal BC. In summary, we observed no significant association between total polyphenol intake and BC risk. Despite a low number of incident BC cases in our cohort, higher total polyphenol intake was associated with a lower risk of postmenopausal BC.

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