Fish oil supplementation and prostate cancer recurrence
Previously, a 2011 study reported that men with prostate cancer who ate a low-fat diet and took fish oil supplements for four to six weeks prior to prostate removal slowed the growth of cancer cells in human prostate cancer tissue compared to a traditional, high-fat Western diet. The low-fat diet consisted of 15% of calories from fat compared to 40% of calories from fat in the other diet. It was also found that the men on the low-fat fish oil diet were able to change the composition of their cell membranes in both the healthy cells and the cancer cells in the prostate.
Now a new study, published in the peer-reviewed journal Cancer Prevention Research, which is a follow-up to the 2011 study, has revealed some promising new results. The researchers wanted to examine the potential mechanisms at work in the low-fat fish oil diet that may be providing protection against cancer spread and growth. It was found that the men previously on the low-fat fish oil supplement diet had lower levels of pro-inflammatory substances in their blood and a lower cell cycle progression (CCP) score, which is a measure used to predict cancer recurrence, compared to the men who ate a typical Western diet.
In addition to the CCP score, one pro-inflammatory substance called leukotriene B4 (LTB4) was analysed where it was found that men with lower blood levels of LTB4 after the low-fat diet also had lower CCP scores. As a result, it was investigated as to how the LTB4 might potentially affect prostate cancer cells and it was discovered that one of the receptors for LTB4 is found on the surface of prostate cancer cells. Further studies are planned to determine the importance of this novel receptor in prostate cancer progression.
The researchers commented on these new findings:
“This is of great interest, as the CCP score in prostate cancer is known to be associated with more aggressive disease and can help predict which patients will recur and potentially die from their cancer. The studies suggest that by altering the diet, we may favourably affect the biology of prostate cancer.”
Reviewed by Laura Murphy BSc (Hons) MSc Source: Nutri News Nov 13
Galet C et al. Effect of a Low-fat Fish Oil Diet on Pro-inflammatory Eicosanoids and Cell Cycle Progression Score in Men Undergoing Radical Prostatectomy. Cancer Prevention Research 2013.