Bulky DNA adducts, 4-aminobiphenyl-haemoglobin adducts and diet in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) prospective study

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


In contrast to some extensively examined food mutagens, for example, aflatoxins, N-nitrosamines and heterocyclic amines, some other food contaminants, in particular polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) and other aromatic compounds, have received less attention. Therefore, exploring the relationships between dietary habits and the levels of biomarkers related to exposure to aromatic compounds is highly relevant. We have investigated in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) cohort the association between dietary items (food groups and nutrients) and aromatic DNA adducts and 4-aminobiphenyl-Hb adducts. Both types of adducts are biomarkers of carcinogen exposure and possibly of cancer risk, and were measured, respectively, in leucocytes and erythrocytes of 1086 (DNA adducts) and 190 (Hb adducts) non-smokers. An inverse. statistically significant, association has been found between DNA adduct levels and dietary fibre intake (P=0.02), vitamin E (P =0.04) and alcohol (P=0.03) but not with other nutrients or food groups. Also, an inverse association between fibre and fruit intake, and BMI and 4-aminobiphenyl-Hb adducts (P=0.03, 0.04, and 0.03 respectively) was observed. After multivariate regression analysis these inverse correlations remained statistically significant, except for the correlation adducts v. fruit intake. The present study suggests that fibre intake in the usual range can modify the level of DNA or Hb aromatic adducts, but Such role seems to be quantitatively modest. Fibres could reduce the formation of DNA adducts in different manners, by diluting potential food mutagens and carcinogens in the gastrointestinal tract, by speeding their transit through the colon and by binding carcinogenic substances.


  • Marco Peluso
  • Luisa Alroldi
  • Armelle Munnia
  • Alessandro Colombi
  • Fabrizio Veglia
  • Herman Autrup
  • Alison Dunning
  • Seymour Garte
  • Emmanuelle Gormally
  • Christian Malaveille
  • Giuseppe Matullo
  • Kim Overvad
  • Ole Raaschou-Nielsen
  • Francoise Clavel-Chapelon
  • Jacob Linseisen
  • Heiner Boeing
  • Antonia Trichopoulou
  • Domenico Palli
  • Vittorio Krogh
  • Rosario Tumino
  • And 19 others
  • Salvatore Panico
  • Bas H. Bueno-De-Mesquita
  • Petra H. Peeters
  • Merethe Kumle
  • Antonio Agudo
  • Carmen Martinez
  • Miren Dorronsoro
  • Aurelio Barricarte
  • Maria Jose Tormo
  • Jose Ramon Quiros
  • Göran Berglund
  • Bengt Jarvholm
  • Nicholas E. Day
  • Timothy J. Key
  • Rodolfo Saracci
  • Rudolf Kaaks
  • Elio Riboli
  • Shelia Bingham
  • Paolo Vineis
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Nutrition and Dietetics


  • air, fibre intake, non-smokers, DNA adducts, haemoglobin adducts, pollution
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)489-495
JournalBritish Journal of Nutrition
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2008
Publication categoryResearch