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    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
    Saturday, November 15, 2003 9:38 am Email this article
    Effect of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids may effect breast cancer, colon cancer, prostate cancer, diabetes and cholesterol. Here is a summary of findings about these fatty acids.

    ? High-fat diets rich in linoleic acid (found in corn, soy, safflower, and sunflower oils) promote chemically-induced, and virally-induced breast cancer in rats and mice, and increase the growth and metastasis of non-estrogen-dependent human breast cancer cells in mice.

    ? Saturated fat appears to have no effect on breast cancer.

    ? Omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids (like found in corn, soy, safflower, and sunflower oils) may increase the growth of prostate cancer.

        Rose DP. Effects of dietary fatty acids on breast and prostate cancers: evidence from in vitro experiments and animal studies. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 1997 Dec, 66(6 Suppl):1513S-1522S.

    ? There is little evidence that trans fatty acids (found in partially hydrogenated vegetable oils like margarine and vegetable shortening) adversely affect cancer.

    ? The data suggesting oleic acid (found in olive, almond, avocado, and peanut oils) protects against cancer is not convincing. Its suggested protective effect may simply be due to a reduced intake of linoleic acid.

    Note: A new study just published reported monounsaturated fat (like found in olive oil) reduces the risk of breast cancer, whereas polyunsaturated fat (like found in corn oil) increases the risk (Wolk et al, 1998). A 10 gram increase in daily monounsaturated fat intake, the equivalent of about 1 tablespoon, was associated with a 55 percent decreased risk of breast cancer. And for every 5 gram increase in polyunsaturated fat there was a 69 percent increase in breast cancer risk. Saturated fat was not associated with the risk of breast cancer. The study followed 61,471 Swedish women ages 40 to 76 years for an average of 4 years.

    ? Omega-3 fatty acids (found in fish and flax oil) appear to protect against cancer in most cases, however, some of this protection may be due to a reduced intake of linoleic acid.

    ? Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), found in beef fat, protects against cancer independent of the other fatty acids at an intake of 1 percent or maybe less.

        Ip C. Review of the effects of trans fatty acids, oleic acid, n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, and conjugated linoleic acid on mammary carcinogenesis in animals. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 1997 Dec, 66(6 Suppl):1523S-1529S.

        Wolk A, Bergstrom R, Hunter D, Willett W, Ljung H, Holmberg L, Bergkvist L, Bruce A, Adami HO. A prospective study of association of monounsaturated fat and other types of fat with risk of breast cancer. Archives of Internal Medicine, 1998 Jan 12, 158(1):41-5.

    ? Total dietary fat, rather than any specific fat, is thought to increase the risk of colon cancer.

    ? Omega-3 fatty acids from fish inhibit colon cancer.

        Klurfeld DM, Bull AW. Fatty acids and colon cancer in experimental models. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 1997 Dec, 66(6 Suppl):1530S-1538S.

    ? Omega-3 fatty acids (found in fish and flax oil) appear to protect against breast cancer.

    ? Omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids (like found in corn, soy, safflower, and sunflower oils) appear to increase the risk of breast cancer.

    ? Increasing the ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids (such as consuming more fish oil and less corn oil) appears to help protect against breast cancer.

    ? High intakes of monounsaturated fatty acid like those found in olive oil have been associated with a reduced incidence of breast cancer.

    ? Trans fatty acids (found in partially hydrogenated vegetable oils like margarine and vegetable shortening) may increase the risk of breast cancer.

        Kohlmeier L. Biomarkers of fatty acid exposure and breast cancer risk. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 1997 Dec, 66(6 Suppl):1548S-1556S.

    ? Monounsaturated fat, especially in the form of olive oil, may reduce the risk of breast cancer.

    ? Animal fat seems to increase the risk of prostate cancer, but vegetable fat does not.

    ? Neither linoleic acid (found in corn, soy, safflower, and sunflower oils) or omega-3 fatty acids (found in fish and flax oil) appear to affect the risk of prostate cancer.

        Willett WC. Specific fatty acids and risks of breast and prostate cancer: dietary intake. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 1997 Dec, 66(6 Suppl):1557S-1563S.

    ? A higher calorie intake seems to increase the risk of colon cancer rather than total fat composition, however, physical activity appears to reduce the risk, whereas obesity increases the risk.

    ? Red meat and beef appear to increase the risk of colon cancer. However, the increased risk does not seem to be related to the total fat content of the meat, but possibly to chemicals formed during cooking.

    ? Dietary fat from dairy, poultry, and vegetable oils, does not appear to increase the risk of colon cancer.

        Giovannucci E, Goldin B. The role of fat, fatty acids, and total energy intake in the etiology of human colon cancer. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 1997 Dec, 66(6 Suppl):1564S-1571S.

    ? Currently there is insufficient evidence to conclusively say that any specific fatty acids are associated with human cancers.

        Dwyer JT. Human studies on the effects of fatty acids on cancer: summary, gaps, and future research. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 1997 Dec, 66(6 Suppl):1581S-1586S.

    ? Intake of polyunsaturated fatty acids should not exceed the current intake of approximately 7% of calories.

    ? Total fat should be limited to 30% of calories.

    ? Oleic acid should account for half of fat calories, or 15-16% of total calories.

        Grundy SM. What is the desirable ratio of saturated, polyunsaturated, and monounsaturated fatty acids in the diet? American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 1997 Oct, 66(4 Suppl):988S-990S.

    ? The prevalence of diabetes may be correlated with the ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids.

    ? Omega-3 fatty acids (found in fish and flax oil) may reduce insulin resistance, lowering blood pressure and lowering triglycerides.

    ? Animal studies suggest that omega-3 fats (like found in fish and flax oil) may cause less weight gain than other fats, but may also increase LDL cholesterol, increase sugar output from the liver, and decrease insulin secretion in type II non-insulin-dependent diabetes, adversely affecting blood sugar control in relatively few type II diabetics.

    ? Omega-6 fatty acids (like found in corn, soy, safflower, and sunflower oils) may lower cholesterol levels, but may increase oxidation of LDL cholesterol.

    ? Omega-3 fatty acids (found in fish oil) may help blood vessels relax in response to nitric oxide, which can be damaged in diabetics.

    ? High-carbohydrate, low-fat diets are no longer recommended for diabetics because they increase already elevated triglyceride levels.

    ? The recommended diet for diabetics is one high in monounsaturated fats, like olive oil, provided saturated fat intake is kept to a minimum.

    ? Diets rich in monounsaturated fatty acids, found in olive oil and canola oil, improve lipid profiles and may have antioxidant properties.

    ? High-fat diets, whatever their composition, promote obesity.

        Berry EM. Dietary fatty acids in the management of diabetes mellitus. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 1997 Oct, 66(4 Suppl):991S-997S.

    ? The evidence is stronger that high-fat diets are associated with aggressive prostate cancer, than with breast cancer.

    ? A relatively high intake of omega-3 fatty acids (found in fish oil and flax oil) and monounsaturated fatty acids (found in olive oil) appear to reduce the risk of breast cancer by reducing the risks associated with omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids (like found in corn, soy, safflower, and sunflower oils).

    ? A high intake of omega-6 fatty acids (like found in corn, soy, safflower, and sunflower oils) may increase breast cancer invasion and metastasis. Omega-3 fatty acids (found in fish oil and flax oil) may be protective.

    ? Omega-3 fatty acids (found in fish oil and flax oil) may slow the progression of prostate cancer.

        Rose DP. Dietary fatty acids and cancer. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 1997 Oct, 66(4 Suppl):998S-1003S.

    ? Trans Fatty acids (found in partial hydrogenated vegetable oils like margarine and vegetable shortening) inhibit the metabolism of other fats, specifically linoleic acid and alpha-linolenic acid.

    ? Trans fatty acids increase LDL cholesterol, decrease HDL cholesterol and increase the ratio of total-to-HDL cholesterol nearly twofold compared with saturated fats.

    ? It is estimated the trans fatty acids cause 30,000 premature deaths each year in the United States.

    ? Trans fatty acids have no known nutritional benefits, and therefore their intake should be reduced to a minimum.

        Ascherio A, Willett WC. Health effects of trans fatty acids. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 1997 Oct, 66(4 Suppl):1006S-1010S.

    ? It is premature to say that trans fatty acids cause 30,000 deaths per year, because the studies may have been biased.

    REFERENCE

    Shapiro S. Do trans fatty acids increase the risk of coronary artery disease? A critique of the epidemiologic evidence. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 1997 Oct, 66(4 Suppl):1011S-1017S.

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