Role of diets rich in omega-3 and omega-6 in the development of cancer

Author: SaraHuerta-YépezabAna B.Tirado-RodriguezaOliverHankinsona
Source: Boletín Médico del Hospital Infantil de México
Publication Date: November 1, 2016

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Over the past decade, some studies have addressed the therapeutic effects of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (ω-3 PUFAs) and the opposite effects of omega-6 (ω-6) PUFAs on several diseases, including cardiovascular disorders, diabetes, neurodegenerative diseases, and cancer. Research demonstrates the safety of these naturally occurring ingredients. Of particular interest, several studies have shown that ω-3 PUFAs possess a therapeutic role against certain types of cancer. It is also known that ω-3 PUFAs can improve the efficacy and tolerability of chemotherapy. Previous reports have indicated that suppression of nuclear factor-κB, activation of AMPK/SIRT1, modulation of cyclooxygenase (COX) activity, and up-regulation of novel anti-inflammatory lipid mediators such as protectins, maresins, and resolvins, are the main mechanisms of the antineoplastic effect of ω-3 PUFAs. In contrast, several studies have demonstrated that ω-6 PUFAs induce progression in certain types of cancer. In this review, we discuss epidemiological and experimental studies addressing the relationship between the development of some types of cancer, including colon and colorectal carcinoma, breast cancer, prostate cancer, lung cancer and neuroblastoma, and the ingestion to ω-3 and ω-6 (PUFAs). We also discuss the clinical data, addressing the therapeutic role of omega-3 PUFA against different types of cancer.