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Hereditary Cancer in Clinical Practice

Open Access

Influence of lactose intolerance on colorectal cancer incidence in the Polish population

  • Plawski Andrzej1Email author,
  • Machtel Piotr2,
  • Pawel Borun1,
  • Marzena Skrzypczak-Zielinska1,
  • Arleta Wojciechowska-Lacka3,
  • Dariusz Godlewski4 and
  • Tomasz Banasiewicz4
Hereditary Cancer in Clinical Practice201513(Suppl 1):A7

Published: 9 September 2015

During the last few years, a lot of efforts have been devoted to determine potential risk factors of colorectal cancer (CRC). One such agent which might increase susceptibility to sporadic CRC is an ailment of digestive system called lactose intolerance, since it negatively effects functioning of the intestines (after lactose consumption). It is caused by acidification of the lumen, osmotic balance disturbance, and an alteration in intestinal bacteria composition. Primary lactose intolerance is a genetic disorder caused by several loci, from which the most important for the Caucasian population is LCT-13910T>C (C/C - lactose intolerant phenotype, C/T and T/T - lactose persistent). It is located in intron 13 of the MCM6 gene and operates as an enhancer of the LCT gene. The major aim of the following studies was to check a correlation between incidence of lactose intolerance and increased risk of sporadic CRC development. The studies rest on genotyping of LCT-13910 loci in a group of control and 279 cases of sporadic CRC and comparison of frequencies of particular genotypes between those groups. Genotyping was performed by means of high resolution melting (HRM) analysis as a credible and fast genotyping method. Next, the results were subjected to statistical analysis by ξ2test of independence. The test, concerning association between lactose intolerance and sporadic CRC, achieved statistical significance. This observation may indicate the role of lactose intolerance as a risk factor for CRC (about 8% higher frequency of LCT -13910C/C genotype among CRC patients).

Authors’ Affiliations

Institute of Human Genetics, Poznan, Poland
Adam Mickiewicz University Poznan, Poland
International Oncotherapy Center, Koszalin, Poland
Center of Cancer Prevention and Epidemiology, Poznan, Poland


© Plawski et al. 2015

This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.