|Minor Allele Frequency (%)
The ‘T’ allele of G1574-3777T is associated with reduced telomere length and an increased risk of several cancers of rapidly dividing tissues such as the lung or liver 3,4. It is unclear how this SNP increases the risk of developing cancer, although there are two hypotheses. Either, telomerase activity is reduced leading to shorter telomeres being formed and an increased risk of cancer causing mutations arising. Or alternatively, alterations in the promoter region of TERT lead to aberrant expression in cells which would otherwise be targeted for degradation.
As the exact activity of the ‘T’ allele of G1574-3777T is poorly understood it is difficult to identify beneficial nutrients directly linked to its action. Rather, potent antioxidants such as Vitamin C may provide a beneficial, cancer preventing effect 5.
Lycopene is a carotenoid plant pigment with a strong antioxidant capacity. A major dietary source of lycopene is tomatoes, with cooking increasing the bio-availability of lycopene (cooked tomato forms one of the key components of the Mediterranean diet, which has numerous supposed health benefits).
Lycopene exhibits a strong anti-cancer effect which may prove beneficial to those carrying the ‘T’ allele of G1574-3777T 6.
A lack of vitamin D has been associated with several cancers including liver, pancreatic and ovarian 7. As the majority of us are deficient for vitamin D based on modern dietary and lifestyle choices, it is usually recommended.
For those carrying the ‘T’ allele of G1574-3777T who are at an elevated risk of developing cancer, vitamin D supplementation may prove beneficial.
Discuss this information with your doctor before taking any course of action.