Next Article in Journal
Starvation after Cobalt-60 γ-Ray Radiation Enhances Metastasis in U251 Glioma Cells by Regulating the Transcription Factor SP1
Next Article in Special Issue
Licoricidin, an Active Compound in the Hexane/Ethanol Extract of Glycyrrhiza uralensis, Inhibits Lung Metastasis of 4T1 Murine Mammary Carcinoma Cells
Previous Article in Journal
Diabetes Mellitus Induces Alzheimer’s Disease Pathology: Histopathological Evidence from Animal Models
Previous Article in Special Issue
Thymoquinone Modulates Blood Coagulation in Vitro via Its Effects on Inflammatory and Coagulation Pathways
Article Menu
Issue 4 (April) cover image

Export Article

Open AccessReview

The Role of Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA) in the Control of Obesity and Metabolic Derangements in Breast Cancer

Department of Clinical Medicine, Sapienza University of Rome, viale dell’Università 37, 00185 Rome, Italy
Department of Surgical Sciences, Sapienza University of Rome, viale Regina Margherita 324, 00161 Rome, Italy
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Gopinadhan Paliyath
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17(4), 505;
Received: 29 February 2016 / Revised: 24 March 2016 / Accepted: 31 March 2016 / Published: 5 April 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Mechanism of Action of Food Components in Disease Prevention)
PDF [766 KB, uploaded 5 April 2016]


Obesity represents a major under-recognized preventable risk factor for cancer development and recurrence, including breast cancer (BC). Healthy diet and correct lifestyle play crucial role for the treatment of obesity and for the prevention of BC. Obesity is significantly prevalent in western countries and it contributes to almost 50% of BC in older women. Mechanisms underlying obesity, such as inflammation and insulin resistance, are also involved in BC development. Fatty acids are among the most extensively studied dietary factors, whose changes appear to be closely related with BC risk. Alterations of specific ω-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), particularly low basal docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) levels, appear to be important in increasing cancer risk and its relapse, influencing its progression and prognosis and affecting the response to treatments. On the other hand, DHA supplementation increases the response to anticancer therapies and reduces the undesired side effects of anticancer therapies. Experimental and clinical evidence shows that higher fish consumption or intake of DHA reduces BC cell growth and its relapse risk. Controversy exists on the potential anticancer effects of marine ω-3 PUFAs and especially DHA, and larger clinical trials appear mandatory to clarify these aspects. The present review article is aimed at exploring the capacity of DHA in controlling obesity-related inflammation and in reducing insulin resistance in BC development, progression, and response to therapies. View Full-Text
Keywords: docosahexaenoic acid (DHA); diet; food component; breast cancer; obesity; inflammation docosahexaenoic acid (DHA); diet; food component; breast cancer; obesity; inflammation

Figure 1

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Molfino, A.; Amabile, M.I.; Monti, M.; Arcieri, S.; Rossi Fanelli, F.; Muscaritoli, M. The Role of Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA) in the Control of Obesity and Metabolic Derangements in Breast Cancer. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17, 505.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics



[Return to top]
Int. J. Mol. Sci. EISSN 1422-0067 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top