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Does Citrus Juice Consumption Affect the Risk of Non-Melanoma Skin Cancer?

By: Kayci Reyer
Posted: Tuesday, June 1, 2021

According to research presented in Cancers, some women who consume high levels of citrus juice may be at a slightly increased risk for developing non-melanoma skin cancer. Eunyoung Cho, DSc, of Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island, and colleagues sought to determine the effects of dietary furocoumarins, which increase the risk of disease incidence when combined with ultraviolet radiation and are found in abundance in citrus products.

The study included 49,007 non-Hispanic White women who were postmenopausal and were participants in the Women’s Health Initiative’s ongoing observational study; initial data were collected between 1993 and 1998. Women with a history of skin cancer were excluded. Participants provided information regarding their consumption of citrus fruit, citrus juice, and non-citrus fruit and juice using a baseline food frequency questionnaire. Information on sun exposure and lifestyle factors was also gathered. Participants used subsequent annual surveys (through March 2020) to self-report non-melanoma skin cancer occurrences.

A total of 8.642 cases of non-melanoma skin cancer were reported. Relative risk and 95% confidence interval calculations made using the baseline survey results were 1.03 (0.95–1.10) for women consuming a single serving of citrus juice per week, 1.06 (1.00–1.12) for 2 to 4 servings per week, 0.98 (0.90–1.07) for 5 to 6 servings per week, and 1.08 (1.02–1.13) for at least 1 serving per day. No significant associations were noted when incorporating sun exposure data.

“Further longitudinal studies and mechanistic studies using relevant animal models are needed to elucidate the mechanisms underlying the association, particularly to identify the specific furocoumarins, foods, or beverages that may increase skin cancer risks,” concluded the study authors.

Disclosure: The study authors reported no conflicts of interest.



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