Adherence to the European food safety authority's dietary recommendations and colorectal cancer risk

F. Turati, V. Edefonti, F. Bravi, M. Ferraroni, R. Talamini, A. Giacosa, M. Montella, M. Parpinel, C. La Vecchia, A. Decarli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background/Objective:The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) recently published dietary guidelines for the intakes of carbohydrates, fiber, fats and water. We evaluated their role on the risk of a specific disease, known to be related to diet.Subjects/Methods:We used data from an Italian case-control study including 1953 colorectal cancer (CRC) cases and 4154 controls. We developed a so-called EFSA index summing up 1 point for adherence to each EFSA guideline. Odds ratios (ORs) and corresponding 95% confidence intervals (CIs) of CRC and its subsites were derived from unconditional multiple logistic regression models, for both the index and its components.Results:When each EFSA index component was analyzed separately, we found significant increased risks of CRC for non adherence to the guidelines on linoleic (OR=1.20, 95% CI, 1.07-1.36) and alpha-linolenic fatty acids (OR=1.19, 95% CI, 1.06-1.34). When all the guidelines were included in the same model, no significant association emerged. Compared with minimal adherence, the ORs of CRC for subsequent EFSA index scores were 1.03 (95% CI, 0.72-1.47), 1.05 (95% CI, 0.75-1.48), 1.04 (95% CI, 0.81-1.60), 0.99 (95% CI, 0.69-1.43), and 1.04 (95% CI, 0.67-1.61). No significant association emerged for colon and rectal cancer separately, and for males and females.Conclusions:Overall adherence to the EFSA dietary guidelines is not associated to colorectal, colon and rectal cancer risk in our population. Adherence to guidelines on linoleic and alpha-linolenic fatty acids may have a modest beneficial role on CRC risk.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)517-522
Number of pages6
JournalEuropean Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2012


  • a priori dietary patterns
  • case control study
  • colorectal cancer
  • diet
  • guidelines adherence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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