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n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids and colon cancer prevention

Roynette, Catherine E., Calder, Philip C., Dupertuis, Yves M. and Pichard, Claude (2004) n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids and colon cancer prevention Clinical Nutrition, 23, (2), pp. 139-151. (doi:10.1016/j.clnu.2003.07.005).

Record type: Article


The incidence of colon cancer in industrialised countries has increased since the early 1970s. It is estimated that more than one-third of cases are associated with factors related to a Western diet. Both the type and amount of dietary fats consumed have been implicated in colon cancer aetiology. Recent studies have demonstrated that n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), commonly found in fish oil (FO), could prevent colon cancer development. Evidences show that n-3 PUFAs act at different stages of cancer development and through several mechanisms including the modulation of arachidonic acid-derived prostaglandin synthesis, and Ras protein and protein kinase C expression and activity. As a result, n-3 PUFAs limit tumour cell proliferation, increase apoptotic potential along the crypt axis, promote cell differentiation and possibly limit angiogenesis. The modulatory actions of n-3 PUFAs on the immune system and their anti-inflammatory effects might also play a role in reducing colon carcinogenesis. There remains, nevertheless, some ambiguity over the safety of n-3 PUFAs with respect to secondary tumour formation. However, it appears that n-3 PUFAs may be of use in colon cancer prevention.

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Published date: 2004
Additional Information: Review Article
Keywords: colon cancer, n-3 Fatty acids, immuno-modulatory nutrition, prevention


Local EPrints ID: 25962
ISSN: 0261-5614
PURE UUID: 29badc59-f405-46eb-8a9d-0731e51c1b12

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Date deposited: 12 Apr 2006
Last modified: 17 Jul 2017 16:08

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Author: Catherine E. Roynette
Author: Yves M. Dupertuis
Author: Claude Pichard

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