Galactose metabolism and ovarian toxicity.

Author information

  • 1Center for Women’s Health, Cedars-Sinai Burns and Allen Research Institute, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center/University of California Los Angeles, School of Medicine, 8700 Beverly Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90048, USA.

Abstract

Galactose is an energy-providing nutrient and also a necessary basic substrate for the biosynthesis of many macromolecules in the body. Metabolic pathways for galactose are important not only for the provision of these pathways but also for the prevention of galactose and galactose metabolite accumulation. Problems with galactose metabolism can cause a variety of clinical manifestations in animals and humans. It has been found that the mammalian ovary is particularly susceptible to damage from the accumulation of galactose and galactose metabolites. The galactose metabolites Gal-1-P, galactitol, and UDPgal are all considered to be important in this toxicity and proposed mechanisms include interference with ovarian apoptosis and gonadotrophin signaling. This review addresses the most recent scientific findings regarding the possible mechanisms of galactose-induced ovarian toxicity and also the possible protective role of hormonal and antioxidant therapy. In addition, the available epidemiologic and scientific evidence linking galactose intake with risk of ovarian cancer is discussed.

Milk and lactose intakes and ovarian cancer

Milk and lactose intakes and ovarian cancer risk in the Swedish Mammography Cohort1,2,3

  1. Susanna C Larsson,
  2. Leif Bergkvist, and
  3. Alicja Wolk

+Author Affiliations


  1. 1From the Division of Nutritional Epidemiology, The National Institute of Environmental Medicine, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm (SCL and AW), and the Department of Surgery and the Center for Clinical Research, Uppsala University, Central Hospital, Västerås, Sweden (LB)

Abstract

Background: High intakes of dairy products and of the milk sugar lactose have been hypothesized to increase ovarian cancer risk, but prospective data are scarce.

Objective: We examined the association between intakes of dairy products and lactose and the risk of total epithelial ovarian cancer and its subtypes.

Design: This was a prospective population-based cohort study of 61 084 women aged 38–76 y who were enrolled in the Swedish Mammography Cohort. Diet was assessed in 1987–1990 with the use of a self-administered food-frequency questionnaire. During an average follow-up of 13.5 y, 266 women were diagnosed with invasive epithelial ovarian cancer; 125 of those women had serous ovarian cancer.

Results: After adjustment for potential confounders, women who consumed ≥4 servings of total dairy products/d had a risk of serous ovarian cancer (rate ratio: 2.0; 95% CI: 1.1, 3.7; P for trend = 0.06) twice that of women who consumed <2 servings/d. No significant association was found for other subtypes of ovarian cancer. Milk was the dairy product with the strongest positive association with serous ovarian cancer (rate ratio comparing consuming ≥2 glasses milk/d with consuming milk never or seldom: 2.0; 95% CI: 1.1, 3.7; P for trend = 0.04). We observed a positive association between lactose intake and serous ovarian cancer risk (P for trend = 0.006).

Conclusions: Our data indicate that high intakes of lactose and dairy products, particularly milk, are associated with an increased risk of serous ovarian cancer but not of other subtypes of ovarian cancer. Future studies should consider ovarian cancer subtypes separately.

Statin Use Promotes Diabetes and Obesity

Statins promote diabetes and obesity, according to a study published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine. Researchers monitored new cases of diabetes or diabetes complications and overweight/obesity rates in 25,970 patients. Those on statins had higher rates for diabetes, diabetes complications, and weight-gain when compared to those who do not take statins. The higher risk increased incrementally with higher dosages.