DNA methylation can be affected by numerous lifestyle factors, including diet. Tobacco smoking induces aryl hydrocarbon receptor repressor (AHRR) DNA hypomethylation, which increases the risk of lung and other cancers. However, no lifestyle habits that might increase or restore percentage of AHRR DNA methylation have been identified. We hypothesized that dietary intakes of vegetables/fruits and serum carotenoid concentrations are related to AHRR DNA methylation. A total of 813 individuals participated in this cross-sectional study. A food frequency questionnaire was used to assess dietary intake of vegetables and fruits. AHRR DNA methylation in peripheral blood mononuclear cells were measured using pyrosequencing method. In men, dietary fruit intake was significantly and positively associated with AHRR DNA methylation among current smokers (P for trend =.034). A significant positive association of serum provitamin A with AHRR DNA methylation was observed among current smokers (men: standardized β = 0.141 [0.045 to 0.237], women: standardized β = 0.570 [0.153 to 0.990]). However, compared with never smokers with low provitamin A concentrations, percentages of AHRR DNA methylation were much lower among current smokers, even those with high provitamin A concentrations (men: β = −19.1% [−33.8 to −19.8], women: β = −6.0% [−10.2 to −1.7]). Dietary intake of vegetables and fruits rich in provitamin A may increase percentage of AHRR DNA methylation in current smokers. However, although we found a beneficial effect of provitamin A on AHRR DNA methylation, this beneficial effect could not completely remove the effect of smoking on AHRR DNA demethylation.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
- Nutrition and Dietetics