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Title: Serum Trimethylamine N-oxide, Carnitine, Choline, and Betaine in Relation to Colorectal Cancer Risk in the Alpha Tocopherol, Beta Carotene Cancer Prevention Study.
Authors: Guertin KA,  Li XS,  Graubard BI,  Albanes D,  Weinstein SJ,  Goedert JJ,  Wang Z,  Hazen SL,  Sinha R
Journal: Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev
Date: 2017 Jun
Branches: BB, MEB
PubMed ID: 28077427
PMC ID: PMC5608021
Abstract: Background: Trimethylamine N-oxide (TMAO), a choline-derived metabolite produced by gut microbiota, and its biomarker precursors have not been adequately evaluated in relation to colorectal cancer risk.Methods: We investigated the relationship between serum concentrations of TMAO and its biomarker precursors (choline, carnitine, and betaine) and incident colorectal cancer risk in a nested case-control study of male smokers in the Alpha-Tocopherol, Beta-Carotene Cancer Prevention (ATBC) Study. We measured biomarker concentrations in baseline fasting serum samples from 644 incident colorectal cancer cases and 644 controls using LC/MS-MS. Logistic regression models estimated the ORs and 95% confidence interval (CI) for colorectal cancer by quartile (Q) of serum TMAO, choline, carnitine, and betaine concentrations.Results: Men with higher serum choline at ATBC baseline had approximately 3-fold greater risk of developing colorectal cancer over the ensuing (median IQR) 14 10 years (in fully adjusted models, Q4 vs. Q1, OR, 3.22; 95% CI, 2.24-4.61; Ptrend < 0.0001). The prognostic value of serum choline for prediction of incident colorectal cancer was similarly robust for proximal, distal, and rectal colon cancers (all P < 0.0001). The association between serum TMAO, carnitine, or betaine and colorectal cancer risk was not statistically significant (P = 0.25, 0.71, and 0.61, respectively).Conclusions: Higher serum choline concentration (but not TMAO, carnitine, or betaine) was associated with increased risk of colorectal cancer.Impact: Serum choline levels showed strong prognostic value for prediction of incident colorectal cancer risk across all anatomical subsites, suggesting a role of altered choline metabolism in colorectal cancer pathogenesis. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev; 26(6); 945-52. 2017 AACR.