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Dietary long-chain n-3 fatty acids for the prevention of cancer: a review of potential mechanisms
Sophiahemmet University.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-8101-9915
2004 (English)In: American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, ISSN 0002-9165, E-ISSN 1938-3207, Vol. 79, no 6, 935-45 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Increasing evidence from animal and in vitro studies indicates that n-3 fatty acids, especially the long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid, present in fatty fish and fish oils inhibit carcinogenesis. The epidemiologic data on the association between fish consumption, as a surrogate marker for n-3 fatty acid intake, and cancer risk are, however, somewhat less consistent. This review highlights current knowledge of the potential mechanisms of the anticarcinogenic actions of n-3 fatty acids. Moreover, a possible explanation of why some epidemiologic studies failed to find an association between n-3 fatty acid intake and cancer risk is provided. Several molecular mechanisms whereby n-3 fatty acids may modify the carcinogenic process have been proposed. These include suppression of arachidonic acid-derived eicosanoid biosynthesis; influences on transcription factor activity, gene expression, and signal transduction pathways; alteration of estrogen metabolism; increased or decreased production of free radicals and reactive oxygen species; and mechanisms involving insulin sensitivity and membrane fluidity. Further studies are needed to evaluate and verify these mechanisms in humans to gain more understanding of the effects of n-3 fatty acid intake on cancer risk.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2004. Vol. 79, no 6, 935-45 p.
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:shh:diva-64PubMedID: 15159222OAI: oai:DiVA.org:shh-64DiVA: diva2:301310
Available from: 2010-03-03 Created: 2010-02-23 Last updated: 2014-10-15Bibliographically approved

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