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Altering Fatty Acid Levels in Diet May Reduce Prostate Cancer Growth Rate

r> The most likely mechanism for the tumor reductions, according to researchers, was due to an increase of the prostate tumor omega-3 fatty acids DHA and EPA and a lowering of theomega-6 acid known as arachidonic acid. These three fatty acids compete to be converted by cyclooxgenase enzymes (COX-1 and COX-2) into prostaglandins, which can become either pro-inflammatory and increase tumor growth, or anti-inflammatory and reduce growth.

Researchers found that pro-inflammatory prostaglandin (PGE-2) levels were 83 percent lower in tumors in the omega-3 group than in mice on the predominantly omega-6 fatty acid diet, demonstrating that higher levels of DHA and EPA may lead to development of more anti-inflammatory prostaglandins.

“This is one of the first studies showing changes in diet can impact the inflammatory response that may play a role in prostate cancer tumor growth,” Aronson said. “We may be able to use EPA and DHA supplements while also reducing omega-6 fatty acids in the diet as a cancer prevention tool or possibly to reduce progression in men with prostate cancer.”

Currently, the research team is conducting a clinical trial with men who are undergoing prostate removal due to cancer to compare the effects of a low-fat diet using omega-3 supplements and a balanced Western diet. Aronson said that positive findings from this study may lead to larger clinical trials.

In addition, Aronson said that further study might show that COX-2 inhibitors or non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDS) combined with omega-3 supplements also may lower the inflammatory response in prostate cancer development.

Source:Newswise
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