February 5, 2009

Choose the Right Fatty Acids to Fight Breast Cancer

The old adage “you are what you eat” might actually have some truth to it. Researchers from several sources have found strong evidence that the fatty acids found in foods play an important role in the cause, development and progression of breast cancer. In this case, it seems that it is the type of fatty acids eaten, and not the quantity, that are important in breast cancer.

In these recent studies, the fatty acids found in olive oil, fish oils, and vegetable oils seem to act as inhibitors of breast cancer cells, whereas the fatty acids found in corn and sunflower oils seem to stimulate the breast cancer cells. Laboratory tests conducted on HER2Neu-positive cells with and without fatty acid exposure showed dramatic changes in the HER2Neu concentrations depending on the type of fatty acid that was used. These results are the basis of ongoing research regarding the development and treatment of HER2Neu-positive breast cancer, as well as research to learn more about the exact mechanisms of fatty acids and their relationship to breast cancer.

Reference: Menendez J, Ropero S, Lupo R, et al. Dietary Fatty Acids Regulate the Activation Status of Her-2/neu (c-erb B-2) Oncogene in Breast Cancer Cells. Letter to the editor; Annals of Oncology. 2004; 15: 1719-1723.

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Tags: Breast Cancer, Uncategorized