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Ulrika Ericson

Ulrika Ericson

Associate professor

Ulrika Ericson

Dietary methyl-group donor intake and breast cancer risk in the european prospective investigation into cancer and nutrition (EPIC)


  • Heleen Van Puyvelde
  • Nikos Papadimitriou
  • Joanna Clasen
  • David Muller
  • Carine Biessy
  • Pietro Ferrari
  • Jytte Halkjær
  • Kim Overvad
  • Anne Tjønneland
  • Renée T. Fortner
  • Verena Katzke
  • Matthias B. Schulze
  • Paolo Chiodini
  • Giovanna Masala
  • Valeria Pala
  • Carlotta Sacerdote
  • Rosario Tumino
  • Marije F. Bakker
  • Antonio Agudo
  • Eva Ardanaz
  • María Dolores Chirlaque López
  • Maria Jose Sánchez
  • Ulrika Ericson
  • Björn Gylling
  • Therese Karlsson
  • Jonas Manjer
  • Julie A. Schmidt
  • Geneviève Nicolas
  • Corinne Casagrande
  • Elisabete Weiderpass
  • Alicia K. Heath
  • Lode Godderis
  • Koen Van Herck
  • Dirk De Bacquer
  • Marc J. Gunter
  • Inge Huybrechts

Summary, in English

(1) Background: Methyl-group donors (MGDs), including folate, choline, betaine, and methionine, may influence breast cancer (BC) risk through their role in one-carbon metabolism; (2) Methods: We studied the relationship between dietary intakes of MGDs and BC risk, adopting data from the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) cohort; (3) Results: 318,686 pre-and postmenopausal women were followed between enrolment in 1992–2000 and December 2013–December 2015. Dietary MGD intakes were estimated at baseline through food-frequency questionnaires. Multivariable Cox proportional hazards regression models were used to quantify the association between dietary intake of MGDs, measured both as a calculated score based on their sum and individually, and BC risk. Subgroup analyses were performed by hormone receptor status, menopausal status, and level of alcohol intake. During a mean follow-up time of 14.1 years, 13,320 women with malignant BC were identified. No associations were found between dietary intakes of the MGD score or individual MGDs and BC risk. However, a potential U-shaped relationship was observed between dietary folate intake and overall BC risk, suggesting an inverse association for intakes up to 350 µg/day compared to a reference intake of 205 µg/day. No statistically significant differences in the associations were observed by hormone receptor status, menopausal status, or level of alcohol intake; (4) Conclusions: There was no strong evidence for an association between MGDs involved in one-carbon metabolism and BC risk. However, a potential U-shaped trend was suggested for dietary folate intake and BC risk. Further research is needed to clarify this association.


  • Diabetes - Cardiovascular Disease
  • EpiHealth: Epidemiology for Health
  • LUCC: Lund University Cancer Centre
  • Surgery

Publishing year










Document type

Journal article




  • Cancer and Oncology


  • Betaine
  • Breast cancer
  • Choline
  • EPIC
  • Folate
  • Methionine



Research group

  • Diabetes - Cardiovascular Disease
  • Surgery


  • ISSN: 2072-6643