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You are what you eat: Low fat diet with fish oil slowed growth of human prostate cancer cells
Date:10/25/2011

A low-fat diet with fish oil supplements eaten for four to six weeks prior to prostate removal slowed down the growth of prostate cancer cells -- the number of rapidly dividing cells -- in human prostate cancer tissue compared to a traditional, high-fat Western diet.

Done by researchers at UCLA's Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center, the short-term study also found that the men on the low-fat, fish oil supplement diet were able to change the composition of their cell membranes in both the healthy cells and the cancer cells in the prostate. They had increased levels of omega-3 fatty acids from fish oil and decreased levels of omega-6 fatty acids from corn oil in the cell membranes, which may directly affect the biology of the cells, though further studies are needed, said Dr. William Aronson, the study's first author and a researcher with UCLA's Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center.

The study also found that blood obtained from patients after the low-fat, fish oil diet program slowed the growth of prostate cancer cells in a test tube as compared to blood from men on the Western diet, which did not slow cancer growth.

"The finding that the low-fat, fish oil diet reduced the number of rapidly dividing cells in the prostate cancer tissue is important because the rate at which the cells are dividing can be predictive of future cancer progression," Aronson said. "The lower the rate of proliferation, the lesser the chances that the cancer will spread outside the prostate, where it is much harder to treat."

The study appeared Oct. 25, 2011 in Cancer Prevention Research, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Association for Cancer Research.

The study, which evaluated blood samples before and after the diet commenced and examined tissue from the removed prostate, validated previous studies by Aronson and others done on cell lines and in animal models. Aronson said the study using human blood and tissue also prove
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Contact: Kim Irwin
kirwin@mednet.ucla.edu
310-206-2805
University of California - Los Angeles Health Sciences
Source:Eurekalert

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