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Advances in Preventive Medicine
Volume 2011, Article ID 874048, 5 pages
Research Article

Lowering the Risk of Rectal Cancer among Habitual Beer Drinkers by Dietary Means

1Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences, University of Melbourne, 41 Power Street, Toorak, VIC 3142, Australia
2Mother and Child Health Research, La Trobe University, Melbourne, VIC 3000, Australia

Received 28 June 2010; Revised 8 November 2010; Accepted 18 January 2011

Academic Editor: William Cho

Copyright © 2011 Gabriel Kune and Lyndsey Watson. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Whole-life beer consumption and a quantitative measurement of several dietary micronutrients consumed in adult life were obtained from the dietary and alcohol data of the case-control arm of the population-based Melbourne Colorectal Cancer Study. There was a statistically significant risk, adjusted for other established risk factors, among habitual beer drinkers (AOR 1.75, 95% CI 1.28–2.41) with a significant positive dose-response effect (AOR trend 1.34, 95% CI 1.16–1.55). Among beer consumers the data were interpreted as showing an attenuation of this risk with consumption of the four micronutrients involved in methylation: folate, methionine, vitamins B6 and B12, and the four micronutrients examined with antioxidant properties: selenium, vitamins E, C, and lycopene. The strongest effects were noted with vitamins E, C, and lycopene, and the weakest with methionine and selenium. Whilst not condoning excessive beer drinking, the regular consumption of foods rich in these micronutrients may provide a simple and harmless preventative strategy among persistent habitual beer drinkers and deserves further study with larger study numbers.