Omega-3 fatty acids in cancer

The study concluded that the combination of chemotherapy and omega-3 supplementation appears an effective strategy to enhance the clinical outcome of cancer patients in their curative and palliative clinical trajectory.

Significant achievements have been obtained in cancer treatment, but the clinical relevance of drug approach in daily practice remains questionable due to the high costs, limited efficacy, and negligible influence on quality of life. A new concept is emerging which is based on the early combination of chemotherapy and nutrition therapy.

Recent findings: Inflammation dictates tumor initiation, progression and growth. Omega-3 fatty acids exert anti-inflammatory effects, and therefore recent studies investigated their role in cancer prevention, in cancer cachexia treatment and in enhancement of antitumour therapies.

Limited evidence suggests a role for omega-3 fatty acid supplementation in cancer prevention, but they have been shown to preserve muscle mass and function in cancer patients even during active treatment.

During chemotherapy, omega-3 fatty acids may contribute to a reduced inflammatory response, but whether cancer treatment toxicity can be prevented remains to be assessed. Finally, small studies showed that omega-3 fatty acids increase response rate to chemotherapy.

Laviano, Alessandro; Rianda, Serena; Molfino, Alessio; Fanelli, Filippo Rossi. CURRENT OPINION IN CLINICAL NUTRITION & METABOLIC CARE, 20131363-1950

Omega-3 fatty acids and cardiac arrhythmias

The study concluded that marine omega-3 PUFAs may protect against ventricular arrhythmias, and there is growing evidence for an effect of marine omega-3 PUFAs in the prevention and treatment of atrial fibrillation.

There are suggestions of effects of marine omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) in relation to ventricular arrhythmia and sudden cardiac death and, more recently, also of possible effects related to atrial fibrillation.

Recent findings reported the effect of marine omega-3 PUFAs on atrial fibrillation, but also provides a status for their effects on ventricular arrhythmias.

Rix, Thomas A.; Christensen, Jeppe H.; Schmidt, Erik B.


n-3 fatty acids modulate adipose tissue inflammation and oxidative stress

The researched summarized the evidence for beneficial effects of n-3 PUFAs on adipose tissue inflammation and oxidative stress.

Dietary n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 PUFAs) may be related to a number of chronic metabolic abnormalities, including metabolic syndrome. This review presents an update on the effects of n-3 PUFAs on risk factors of metabolic syndrome, especially adipose tissue inflammation, oxidative stress and underlying mechanisms of these effects.

Recent findings showed that the anti-inflammatory actions of n-3 PUFAs are thought to be mediated by the formation of their active metabolites (eicosanoids and other lipid mediators) as well as their regulation of the production of inflammatory mediators (e.g., adipocytokines, cytokines) and immune cell infiltration into adipose tissue. n-3 PUFAs mediate these effects by modulating several pathways, such as those involving nuclear factor-κB, peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors and Toll-like receptors.

The antioxidative effects of n-3 PUFAs in adipocytes appear to inhibit reactive oxygen species production and alter mitochondrial function.

Fan, Chaonan; Zirpoli, Hylde; Qi, Kemin. CURRENT OPINION IN CLINICAL NUTRITION & METABOLIC CARE, 20131363-1950

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Connie Dello Buono