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Review

Protective Effects of Omega-3 Fatty Acids in Cancer-Related Complications

1
Centro de Pesquisa em Toxicologia e Farmacologia, Escola de Ciências da Saúde, PUCRS, Porto Alegre 90619-900, RS, Brazil
2
Programa de Pós-graduação em Medicina e Ciências da Saúde, Escola de Medicina, PUCRS, Porto Alegre 90619-900, RS, Brazil
3
Programa de Pós-graduação em Odontologia, Escola de Ciências da Saúde, PUCRS, Porto Alegre 90619-900, RS, Brazil
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Nutrients 2019, 11(5), 945; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11050945
Received: 28 March 2019 / Revised: 22 April 2019 / Accepted: 23 April 2019 / Published: 26 April 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Effects of Omega-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids and Human Health)
Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) are considered immunonutrients and are commonly used in the nutritional therapy of cancer patients due to their ample biological effects. Omega-3 PUFAs play essential roles in cell signaling and in the cell structure and fluidity of membranes. They participate in the resolution of inflammation and have anti-inflammatory and antinociceptive effects. Additionally, they can act as agonists of G protein-coupled receptors, namely, GPR40/FFA1 and GPR120/FFA4. Cancer patients undergo complications, such as anorexia-cachexia syndrome, pain, depression, and paraneoplastic syndromes. Interestingly, the 2017 European Society for Clinical Nutrition and Metabolism (ESPEN) guidelines for cancer patients only discuss the use of omega-3 PUFAs for cancer-cachexia treatment, leaving aside other cancer-related complications that could potentially be managed by omega-3 PUFA supplementation. This critical review aimed to discuss the effects and the possible underlying mechanisms of omega-3 PUFA supplementation in cancer-related complications. Data compilation in this critical review indicates that further investigation is still required to assess the factual benefits of omega-3 PUFA supplementation in cancer-associated illnesses. Nevertheless, preclinical evidence reveals that omega-3 PUFAs and their metabolites might modulate pivotal pathways underlying complications secondary to cancer, indicating that this is a promising field of knowledge to be explored. View Full-Text
Keywords: omega-3; cancer; nutrition; anorexia-cachexia syndrome; pain; depression; paraneoplastic syndromes omega-3; cancer; nutrition; anorexia-cachexia syndrome; pain; depression; paraneoplastic syndromes
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MDPI and ACS Style

Freitas, R.D.S.; Campos, M.M. Protective Effects of Omega-3 Fatty Acids in Cancer-Related Complications. Nutrients 2019, 11, 945. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11050945

AMA Style

Freitas RDS, Campos MM. Protective Effects of Omega-3 Fatty Acids in Cancer-Related Complications. Nutrients. 2019; 11(5):945. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11050945

Chicago/Turabian Style

Freitas, Raquel D.S., and Maria M. Campos 2019. "Protective Effects of Omega-3 Fatty Acids in Cancer-Related Complications" Nutrients 11, no. 5: 945. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11050945

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