Dietary n-6 and n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids and colorectal carcinogenesis: results from cultured colon cells, animal models and human studies

Y.E.M. Dommels, G.M. Alink, P.J. van Bladeren, B. van Ommen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

During the past few decades, many studies have been conducted to evaluate the effects of n-6 and n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) on colorectal carcinogenesis. This report provides a brief overview of the recent studies that have been performed in cultured colon cells, animal models as well as of the population-based and short-term biomarker studies with humans. No differential effect between n-6 and n-3 PUFAs has been observed in vitro. Results from animal models indicate that n-6 PUFAs have a tumor enhancing effect, predominantly during the post-initiation phase. n-3 PUFAs may protect against colorectal carcinogenesis during both the initiation and post-initiation phase. Population-based human studies show little or no associations between n-6 or n-3 PUFA intake and colorectal cancer. Short-term biomarker studies in humans suggest though that fish oil (FO) supplementation with high amounts of n-3 PUFAs may protect against colorectal carcinogenesis and that n-6 PUFA supplementation may increase the risk.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)233-244
JournalEnvironmental Toxicology and Pharmacology
Volume12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2002

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