Omega-3 kills cancer cells

Apr 02, 2009

Docosahexanoic acid (DHA), an omega-3 fatty acid found in fish oils, has been shown to reduce the size of tumours and enhance the positive effects of the chemotherapy drug cisplatin, while limiting its harmful side effects. The rat experiments, described in BioMed Central's open access journal Cell Division, provide some support for the plethora of health benefits often ascribed to omega-3 acids.

Professor A. M. El-Mowafy led a team of researchers from Mansoura University, Egypt, who studied DHA's effects on solid tumours growing in mice, as well as investigating how this fatty acid interacts with cisplatin, a chemotherapy drug that is known to cause kidney damage. El-Mowafy said, "DHA elicited prominent chemopreventive effects on its own, and appreciably augmented those of cisplatin as well. Furthermore, this study is the first to reveal that DHA can obliterate lethal cisplatin-induced nephrotoxicity and renal tissue injury."

DHA is an omega-3 fatty acid that is commonly found in cold-water fish oil, and some vegetable oils. It is a major component of brain gray matter and of the retina in most and is considered essential for normal neurological and cellular developments. According to the authors, "While DHA has been tentatively linked with protection against cardiovascular, neurological and neoplastic diseases, there exists a paucity of research information, in particular regarding its interactions with existing chemotherapy drugs". The researchers found that, at the molecular level, DHA acts by reducing leukocytosis (white blood cell accumulation), systemic inflammation, and oxidative stress - all processes that have been linked with tumour growth.

El-Mowafy and his colleagues have called for greater deployment of omega-3 in the fight against cancer. They write, "Our results suggest a new, fruitful drug regimen in the management of solid tumors based on combining cisplatin, and possibly other chemotherapeutics, with DHA".

More information: Chemopreventive and renal protective effects for docosahexaenoic acid (DHA): implications of CRP and lipid peroxides, M E Elmesery, M M Algayyar, H A Salem, M M Darweish and A M El-Mowafy, Cell Division (in press), www.celldiv.com/

Source: BioMed Central (news : web)

Explore further: Study shows epigenetic changes can drive cancer

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Omega-3 fatty acids protect against Parkinson's, study says

Nov 26, 2007

Omega-3 fatty acids protect the brain against Parkinson’s disease, according to a study by Université Laval researchers published in the online edition of the FASEB Journal, the journal of the Federation of American Societies ...

Why fish oil is good for you

Dec 26, 2007

It's good news that we are living longer, but bad news that the longer we live, the better our odds of developing late-onset Alzheimer's disease.

Maternal fish consumption aids infants in problem-solving

Jul 18, 2007

Pregnant and nursing women should consume fish or take supplements with the omega-3 fatty acid DHA, as a new study found that just a moderate amount of DHA significantly improves fetal and infant development of problem-solving ...

Recommended for you

Study shows epigenetic changes can drive cancer

Jul 26, 2014

Cancer has long been thought to be primarily a genetic disease, but in recent decades scientists have come to believe that epigenetic changes – which don't change the DNA sequence but how it is 'read' – also play a role ...

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

THEY
not rated yet Apr 02, 2009
HOW MUCH Omega 3? That would be nice to know. Is it possible to get enough from eating fish a few times a week? Or are we talking huge quantities?

Also, did you know that grass fed beef also has high quantity of Omega3?