Sister chromatid exchanges(SCE) in peripheral lymphocytes is recently used as a biomarker for increased cytogenetic damage in smokers. The purpose of the investigation was to determine if there were any relationships between dietary factors and their DNA damage as measured by SCE test in a group of 62 male cigarette smokers and 36 non-smokers. As expected, smokers as compared with non-smokers had high SCE levels (10.59$\pm$0.21 versus 9.23$\pm$0.17 SCE/lymphocytes ; p<0.05). No significant relationships were observed between SCEs and age in smokers and non-smokers. In smokers, SCEs were negatively correlated with egg frequency score(r=-0.336) and total food frequency scores(r=-0.283). In non-smokers, SCEs were positively correlated with white vegetable frequency score(r=0.333) and instant food frequency score(r=0.382). There was a positive association between SCEs and the history of coffee intake of smokers(r=0.318). SCE frequency was not influenced by any other dietary factors considered ; dietary diversity and quality scores, alcohol consumption, use of processed foods and intake of burned food. No significant relationships were found between SCEs and serum cholesterol or other hematological parameters of the subjects. These results indicate that increased egg frequency score, total food frequency score which reflects dietary quality, and decreased coffee intake may reduce cancer risk by preventing smoking-induced DNA damage as reflected by sister chromatid exchanges in human lymphocytes.
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