The phyto-oestrogen enterolactone has been hypothesised to protect against hormone-dependent cancers, probably through its anti-oestrogenic potential. We investigated whether a higher level of plasma enterolactone was associated with a lower incidence of endometrial cancer in a case-cohort study in the 'Diet, Cancer and Health' cohort. The cohort study included 29 875 women aged 50-64 years enrolled between 1993 and 1997. Information on diet and lifestyle was provided by self-administrated questionnaires and blood was drawn from each participant. Time-resolved fluoroimmunoassay was used for biochemical determination of plasma enterolactone. A total of 173 cases and 149 randomly selected cohort members were included. We estimated incidence rate ratio (IRR) and 95 % CI by a Cox proportional hazards model. A 20 nmol/l higher plasma concentration of enterolactone was associated with a non-significant lower risk of endometrial cancer (IRR 0·93, 95 % CI 0·84, 1·04). When excluding women with low enterolactone concentrations (quartile 1) due to potential recent antibiotic use, the association became slightly stronger, but remained non-significant (IRR 0·90, 95 % CI 0·79, 1·02). Menopausal status, hormone replacement therapy or BMI did not modify the association. In conclusion, we found some support for a possible inverse association between plasma enterolactone concentration and endometrial cancer incidence.
British Journal of Nutrition, 2013, Vol 109, Issue 12, p. 2269-2275