One-carbon metabolism-related micronutrients intake and risk for hepatocellular carcinoma: A prospective cohort study

Samuel O. Antwi, Jessica L. Petrick, Peter T. Campbell, Daniel A. Norez, Victoria L. Stevens, Linda M. Liao, Lewis R. Roberts, Tushar Patel, Katherine A. McGlynn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Deficient intake of micronutrients involved in one-carbon metabolism (eg, choline, methionine, vitamin B12 and folic acid) leads to hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) development in rodents, but is under-investigated in humans. We investigated the association between one-carbon metabolism-related micronutrient intake and HCC risk in a prospective cohort of 494 860 participants with 16 years of follow-up in the NIH-AARP study. Dietary intakes and supplement use were ascertained at baseline using a food-frequency questionnaire. Total intake (diet plus supplements) of the following one-carbon metabolism-related micronutrients were calculated: folate, methionine and vitamins B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), B6 and B12. These micronutrients were examined both individually and simultaneously, with adjustment for covariates. Cox proportional hazard models were used to calculate hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs). Over the 16-year follow-up period, 647 incident HCC cases were diagnosed. When examined individually, higher total vitamin B3 intake was associated with a lower HCC risk (HRQ5 vs Q1 = 0.60; 95% CI = 0.42-0.85; Ptrend =.008), and the association remained significant when all six micronutrients were examined simultaneously (HRQ5 vs Q1 = 0.32; 95% CI = 0.18-0.55; Ptrend <.0001). Among participants with >3 years of follow-up, higher total vitamin B3 intake was again associated with lower risk (HRQ5 vs Q1 = 0.37; 95% CI = 0.20-0.68; Ptrend =.001), whereas higher total vitamin B6 intake was associated with higher risk (HRQ5 vs Q1 = 2.04; 95% CI = 1.02-4.07; Ptrend =.04). Restricted cubic spline analyses showed a dose-response inverse association between total vitamin B3 intake and HCC risk, and dose-response positive association between total vitamin B6 intake and HCC risk. The study suggests that higher vitamin B3 intake is associated with lower HCC risk, whereas higher vitamin B6 intake is associated with increased risk.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2075-2090
Number of pages16
JournalInternational Journal of Cancer
Issue number8
StatePublished - Oct 15 2020


  • HCC
  • cancer
  • hepatocellular carcinoma
  • micronutrients
  • one-carbon metabolism
  • risk

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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