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Effect of omega-3 fatty acids on rectal mucosal cell proliferation in subjects at risk for colon cancer


Anti, M; Marra, G; Armelao, F; Bartoli, G M; Ficarelli, R; Percesepe, A; De Vitis, I; Maria, G; Sofo, L; Rapaccini, G L (1992). Effect of omega-3 fatty acids on rectal mucosal cell proliferation in subjects at risk for colon cancer. Gastroenterology, 103(3):883-891.

Abstract

The effects of 12 weeks of omega-3 fatty acid supplementation on rectal mucosal proliferation were assessed with [3H]thymidine autoradiography in a double-blind, placebo-controlled study of 20 patients with sporadic adenomatous colorectal polyps. In the group of 10 that received fish oil containing eicosapentaenoic acid (4.1 g/day) and docosahexaenoic acid (3.6 g/day), the mean percentage of replicative "S"-phase cells in the upper part of colonic crypts (considered a reliable marker of colon cancer risk) significantly dropped from the baseline level after only 2 weeks of treatment and remained lower throughout the study period; no change in upper-crypt labeling was observed in the 10 placebo patients. Rectal mucosal eicosapentaenoic acid content increased in fish oil patients, whereas arachidonic acid levels decreased. The fish oil-induced kinetic changes represent contraction of the proliferative compartment to the levels of a low-risk population and may be related to omega-3 fatty acid effects on the arachidonic prostaglandin pathway. In this short-term trial, fish oil appeared to exert a rapid effect that may protect high-risk subjects from colon cancer.

The effects of 12 weeks of omega-3 fatty acid supplementation on rectal mucosal proliferation were assessed with [3H]thymidine autoradiography in a double-blind, placebo-controlled study of 20 patients with sporadic adenomatous colorectal polyps. In the group of 10 that received fish oil containing eicosapentaenoic acid (4.1 g/day) and docosahexaenoic acid (3.6 g/day), the mean percentage of replicative "S"-phase cells in the upper part of colonic crypts (considered a reliable marker of colon cancer risk) significantly dropped from the baseline level after only 2 weeks of treatment and remained lower throughout the study period; no change in upper-crypt labeling was observed in the 10 placebo patients. Rectal mucosal eicosapentaenoic acid content increased in fish oil patients, whereas arachidonic acid levels decreased. The fish oil-induced kinetic changes represent contraction of the proliferative compartment to the levels of a low-risk population and may be related to omega-3 fatty acid effects on the arachidonic prostaglandin pathway. In this short-term trial, fish oil appeared to exert a rapid effect that may protect high-risk subjects from colon cancer.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Institute of Molecular Cancer Research
07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Molecular Cancer Research
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
Language:English
Date:1992
Deposited On:03 Aug 2010 06:29
Last Modified:10 Jul 2016 10:11
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0016-5085
Publisher DOI:10.1016/0016-5085(92)90021-P
PubMed ID:1386825

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