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Vitamin C Associated with Reduced Risk of Stomach Cancer


The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reported in September 2013 that higher plasma vitamin C levels correlate with a reduced risk of gastric cancer. It is estimated that 21,600 new cases of stomach cancer and 10,990 deaths from the disease will occur in the United States in 2013.

The investigators evaluated data from subjects enrolled in the General Population Nutrition Intervention Trial and two additional cohort studies. The researchers evaluated pre-diagnostic plasma vitamin C levels and incidence of gastric adenocarcinoma and esophageal squamous cell carcinoma, including 467 subjects with stomach adenocarcinoma and 618 subjects with esophageal squamous cell carcinoma

The researchers determined that for every 20 µmol/L increase in plasma vitamin C, the risk for gastric adenocarcinoma decreased by 14 percent. In addition, the researchers showed that, compared to subjects with low levels of plasma vitamin C (28 µmol/L or less), the subjects with normal vitamin C concentrations of greater than 28 µmol/L had a 27 percent reduced risk of gastric adenocarcinoma. The investigators also found that the subjects with the highest plasma vitamin C concentrations had a 31 percent lower risk of developing gastric adenocarcinoma compared to the subjects with the lowest levels. The researchers did not find an association with vitamin C levels and esophageal squamous cell carcinoma.

The investigators stated, “Our data provide evidence that higher circulating vitamin C was associated with a reduced risk of incident gastric adenocarcinoma, but no association was seen for esophageal squamous cell carcinoma.”

Lam TK, et al. Am J Clin Nutr. 2013 Sep 11. [Epub ahead of print.]

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