Poster Topical Area: Nutritional Epidemiology

Location: Hall D

Poster Board Number: 791

P20-094 - Bitter taste sensitivity, food intake, and risk of malignant cancer in the UK Women’s Cohort Study

Monday, Jun 11
8:00 AM – 3:00 PM

Objective: There is variability in sensitivity to bitter tastes. Taste 2 Receptor (TAS2R)38 binds to bitter tastants including phenylthiocarbamide (PTC). Many foods with putative cancer preventive activity have bitter tastes. We examined the relationship between PTC sensitivity or TAS2R38 diplotype, food intake, and cancer risk in the UK Women's Cohort Study.

PTC taste phenotype (n = 5,500) and TAS238 diplotype (n = 750) were determined in a subset of the cohort. Food intake was determined using a 217-item food frequency questionnaire. Cancer incidence was obtained from the National Health Service Central Register. Hazard ratios (HR) were estimated using multivariable Cox proportional hazard models.

PTC tasters (HR = 1.30, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.04, 1.62),but not supertasters (HR = 0.98, CI: 0.76, 1.44), had increased cancer risk compared to nontasters. An interaction was found between phenotype and age for supertasters (p = 0.019) but not tasters (p = 0.54). Among women > 60 y, tasters (HR = 1.40 CI: 1.03, 1.90) and supertasters (HR = 1.58, CI: 1.06, 2.36) had increased cancer risk compared to nontasters, but no such association was observed among women ≤ 60 y (tasters HR = 1.16, CI: 0.84, 1.62; supertasters HR = 0.54, CI: 0.31, 0.94). We found no association between TAS2R38 diplotype and cancer risk. We observed no major differences in bitter fruit and vegetable intake.

These results suggest that the relationship between PTC taster phenotype and cancer risk may be mediated by factors other than fruit and vegetable intake.

Funding Source: World Cancer Research Fund
United States Department of Agriculture Hatch Project No. 4565

CoAuthors: Sarah VanDusen – University of Leeds; Jennie Cockroft – University of Leeds; Elizabeth Smith – University of Leeds; Darren Greenwood – University of Leeds; Janet Cade – University of Leeds

Joshua D. Lambert

Associate Professor
The Pennsylvania State University
University Park, Pennsylvania