The use of biomarkers of early genetic effects, predictive for cancer, such as micronuclei (MN) in lymphocytes, may help to investigate the association between diet and cancer. We hypothesised that the presence of mutagens in the diet may increase MN formation. A 'pooled' standardised analysis was performed by applying the same experimental protocol for the cytokinesis block micronucleus assay in 625 young healthy women after delivery from five European study populations (Greece, Denmark, UK, Spain and Norway). We assessed MN frequencies in mono- and binucleated T-lymphocytes (MNMONO and MNBN) and the cytokinesis blocked proliferation index using a semi-automated image analysis system. Food frequency questionnaires (FFQs) were used to estimate intake of fatty acids and a broad range of immunotoxic and genotoxic/carcinogenic compounds through the diet. Pooled difference based on delivery type revealed higher MNMONO frequencies in caesarean than in vaginal delivery (P = 0.002). Statistical analysis showed a decrease in MNMONO frequencies with increasing calculated omega-6 PUFA concentrations and a decrease in MNBN frequencies with increasing calculated omega-3 PUFA concentrations. The expected toxic compounds estimated by FFQs were not associated with MN formation in mothers after delivery. In pregnant women, an omega-3 and -6 rich diet estimated by FFQ is associated with lower MN formation during pregnancy and delivery.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis