An article has reviewed recent research into a potential role of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), such as docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), in preventing colon tumor growth.
The study detailed in the World Journal of Gastroenterology has looked at the impact of n-3 and n-6 PUFA on PGE2, an important factor in the tumorigenesis of colorectal cancer.
The research team from the Charite University Hospital in Berlin led by Jing X. Kang from the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston found that incubation of a colon cancer cell line with DHA reduced cell growth and viability. Moreover, it demonstrated that the n-3 PUFA DHA can directly suppress PGE2-induced colon cancer cell growth.
These results add evidence to the argument that dietary supplementation with DHA may be a powerful tool to counteract PGE2-promoted colon cancer growth that is associated with the Western diet.
DHA is an omega 3 essential fatty acid and can be found in fish oil. The latter is also available in the form of nutritional supplements.
According to American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy, colorectal cancer is the third most commonly diagnosed cancer among Americans. Some 150,000 new cases are diagnosed annually and nearly 50,000 people die from the disease each year.