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Home HPV Research HPV Research Study: Dietary Supplements Associated with Reduced Risk of CIN

Study: Dietary Supplements Associated with Reduced Risk of CIN

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Researchers in Korea say use of dietary supplements significantly reduces the risk of high-grade cervical precancers.

Cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN) refers to abnormal cervical cell changes that are usually indicative of HPV, especially in younger women. CIN is classified as 1, 2, or 3 depending on the size and severity of lesions. CIN 2 and CIN 3 are considered cancer precursors in the US. While HPV is the prime cause of cervical precancers and cancers, other factors (such as diet, smoking, and genetics) are thought to play an as yet undefined role.

To see if dietary supplements impact CIN, Dr. Jong Ha Hwang and colleagues recruited 328 HPV-positive women who were part of an HPV cohort study done by the National Cancer Center of Korea. Subjects were followed for four years, and periodically underwent gynecologic exams (including HPV tests) and completed questionnaires about diet and lifestyle.

Among those who used dietary supplements (multivitamins, calcium, or vitamins A, C, and E) CIN 2/ 3was only detected in 14%, a striking figure considering the disease was found in 68% of those not using supplements. While use of multivitamins didn’t decrease viral loads in this study, those who had high HPV viral load and used vitamins were much less likely to develop high-grade CIN, which the authors say suggests that supplements affect cervical cancer development by means other then directly impacting HPV.

Other studies have also found a link between nutrient intake and cervical diseases. Chaitali Ghosh, Ph.D., and a team of researchers from the State University of New York College at Buffalo used questionnaires to collect information about diet and medical backgrounds from female patients at Buffalo hospital. Responses from 239 women with cervical cancer were compared with those from 979 hospital patients with no cervical disease. Diets rich in fiber, alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, vitamins A, C, and E, lutein, folate, and high total fruit and vegetable consumption were associated with a 40-60% reduction in risk.

Hwang JH, Kim MK, Lee JK. Dietary Supplements Reduce the Risk of Cervical Intraepithelial Neoplasia. International Journal of Gynecology, 2010. 20:398-403.
C. Ghosh et al. Dietary Intakes of Selected Nutrients and Food Groups and Risk of Cervical Cancer. Nutrition and Cancer. 2008; 60:331-41.