Korean Cancer Screening Examination Cohort

Identification of major dietary patterns in Korean adults and their association with cancer risk in the Cancer Screening Examination Cohort.

Cancer is the primary cause of disease-related death in Korea. The purposes of this study were to confirm the major dietary patterns and to evaluate whether there were associations between these identified dietary patterns and the risk of cancer based on data from the Cancer Screening Examination Cohort (CSEC) 2004-2008 of the National Cancer Center (NCC) of Korea.

The traditional dietary pattern with high consumption of rice, kimchi, soybean paste and vegetables may decrease the cancer risk among Koreans, and strategies based on the dietary pattern may effectively reduce the cancer risk.European Journal of Clinical Nutrition advance online publication, 1 March 2017; doi:10.1038/ejcn.2017.6.


Wie GA, Cho YA, Kang HH, Ryu KA, Yoo MK, Kim J, Shin S, Chun OK, Joung H.
Identification of major dietary patterns in Korean adults and their association
with cancer risk in the Cancer Screening Examination Cohort. Eur J Clin Nutr.
2017 Mar 1. doi: 10.1038/ejcn.2017.6. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID:




Diet and Cancer Risk in the Korean Population: A Meta- analysis

From Asian Pac J Cancer Prev. 2014;15(19):8509-19. Take a look at the conclusions below:

Many studies have found links between diet and cancer. The summary estimates of the association between dietary factors and cancer risk were investigated using previously reported studies of the Korean population. Gastric cancer risk was inversely associated with the high intake of soy foods [OR (95% CI): 0.32 (0.25-0.40) for soybean, 0.56 (0.45-0.71) for soybean curd, and 0.67 (0.46-0.98) for soymilk], allium vegetables [OR (95% CI): 0.37 (0.26-0.53) for green onion, 0.54 (0.40-0.73) for garlic, and 0.54 (0.35-0.85) for onion], fruits [OR (95% CI): 0.61 (0.42-0.88)], and mushrooms [OR (95% CI): 0.43 (0.21-0.88)]. Salt and Kimchi were associated with an increased gastric cancer risk [OR (95% CI): 1.92 (1.52-2.43) and 2.21 (1.29-3.77), respectively]. Colorectal cancer risk was positively associated with meat intake [OR (95% CI): 1.25 (1.15-1.36)]. Total soy products, soybean curd, and soymilk showed an inverse association with breast cancer risk [OR (95% CI): 0.61 (0.38-0.99), 0.47 (0.34-0.66), and 0.75 (0.57-0.98), respectively]. Green/yellow and light colored vegetables were associated with a reduced risk of breast cancer [OR (95% CI): 0.34 (0.23-0.49) and 0.44 (0.21-0.90), respectively]. Mushroom intake was inversely associated in pre-menopausal women only [OR (95% CI): 0.47 (0.26-0.86)].

In conclusion, soy foods, fruits and vegetables might reduce cancer risk in the Korean population.

High salt food might be risk factor for gastric cancer, and intake of high amount of meat might cause colorectal cancer.

8-week nutrition counseling in Korean breast cancer patients

Nutrition plays a big role in health. Breast cancer rates continue to increase in Korea. Is this due to food? Possibly kimchi?
In a recent study, researchers provided counseling to Korean women to increase their fruit and vegetable intake, but they excluded kimchi in their analysis. Why?

Total vegetable intake (excluding kimchi intake) in the intervention group was increased from 425 g to 761 g.

Effect of 8-week nutrition counseling to increase phytochemical rich fruit and vegetable consumption in korean breast cancer patients: a randomized controlled trial
Clin Nutr Res. Jan 2014; 3(1): 39–47.
Sang Woon Cho, Jin Hee Kim, Seung Min Lee, Song Mi Lee, Eun Jung Choi, Joon Jeong, Yoo Kyoung Park

Kimchi scares me

If kimchi really is linked to cancer, then why do we still eat it? It’s because we don’t think we’ll be the one struck with cancer. We think we’re invincible. We think we won’t be the unlucky guy. We live in denial, and we love the taste of kimchi.

Kimchi scares me. I think I need to cut back. I don’t want to be that unlucky guy.

How to make kimchi

Have you wondered what it takes to make kimchi? It’s actually quite easy, but it takes time and you need the right ingredients. Here’s a brief little video that tells you what you need to know:

Joseph C Kim

Will the FDA restrict the sale of kimchi?

We now have growing scientific evidence suggesting that kimchi may be linked to gastric cancer in certain patient populations. Will the FDA get involved and restrict the sale of kimchi? Will the FDA apply some level of regulation and monitor the levels of potentially carcinogenic compounds found in kimchi?

I can see something like this happening in the future. Of course, we will have to wait and see how conclusive the data gets. I predict that in the future, we will be able to identify which patients are at highest risk for developing gastric cancer. I’m not just talking about the Korean man who smokes and drinks. We will use predictive analytics and genome sequencing to identify patients. Those are the ones who will need to avoid kimchi.


Are you familiar with kimchi? Here’s a nice picture of it:

Looks spicy, doesn’t it? Now, how can that be good for you?