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The Role of n-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids in the Prevention and Treatment of Breast Cancer

Department of Human Health & Nutritional Sciences, College of Biological Sciences, University of Guelph, Guelph, ON N1G 2W1, Canada
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Nutrients 2014, 6(11), 5184-5223; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu6115184
Received: 27 August 2014 / Revised: 28 October 2014 / Accepted: 4 November 2014 / Published: 18 November 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrition and Cancer)
Breast cancer (BC) is the most common cancer among women worldwide. Dietary fatty acids, especially n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA), are believed to play a role in reducing BC risk. Evidence has shown that fish consumption or intake of long-chain n-3 PUFA, such as eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), are beneficial for inhibiting mammary carcinogenesis. The evidence regarding α-linolenic acid (ALA), however, remains equivocal. It is essential to clarify the relation between ALA and cancer since ALA is the principal source of n-3 PUFA in the Western diet and the conversion of ALA to EPA and DHA is not efficient in humans. In addition, the specific anticancer roles of individual n-3 PUFA, alone, have not yet been identified. Therefore, the present review evaluates ALA, EPA and DHA consumed individually as well as in n-3 PUFA mixtures. Also, their role in the prevention of BC and potential anticancer mechanisms of action are examined. Overall, this review suggests that each n-3 PUFA has promising anticancer effects and warrants further research. View Full-Text
Keywords: n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA); eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA); docosahexaenoic acid (DHA); α-linolenic acid (ALA); mammary gland; breast cancer (BC) n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA); eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA); docosahexaenoic acid (DHA); α-linolenic acid (ALA); mammary gland; breast cancer (BC)
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Liu, J.; Ma, D.W.L. The Role of n-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids in the Prevention and Treatment of Breast Cancer. Nutrients 2014, 6, 5184-5223.

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