Prostate and breast cancer and omega 6s and 3s

     A study [1] found significant differences in the amount of omega-6 and omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids levels in tissue taken from benign and malignant prostate cancer tumors from within the same prostate specimen. Malignant tissue samples were found to have less total omega-6 fatty acids then the benign samples. The tissue levels of the specific types were also different.
The malignant tissue had more of the dihomo-gamma-linolenic acid (DGLA) (C20:3w6) an omega 6 fatty acid and precursor to other omega 6 metabolites. There was significantly less of two omega 6 fatty acids. Arachidonic acid (AA) (C20:4w6), and adrenic acid, (C22:4w6) were at lower levels  in cancer tissue that was malignant compared to tissue that was benign. The abstract to the study concludes with the statement “These findings provide additional evidence that dietary fat is associated with prostatic carcinogenesis.”
     It seems to me that if the samples were simply from different areas of the same specimen that the same human would have been eating the same dietary fats. The two types of tissue from within the same gland would have received the same blood flow and nutrients. So  the malignant tissue had less AA and adrenic acid and less total omega 6 fatty acids but more DGLA than the benign tissue. So something is happening in that malignant tissue that isn’t happening in the benign tissue and the net effect is loss of total omega 6 content. Something else has to be associated with the malignant prostatic carcinogenesis because the dietary fat is going to both the benign and the malignant tissue.
     Elsewhere information has been discovered that malignant prostate cancer cells can make an enzyme that can convert Arachidonic acid into a form usable as a food source for the malignant growth. Increased intake of CLA and ginger may help preserve arachidonic acid from being converted to 5-HETE which the cancer cells can use as an energy source. [Ginger slows prostate cancer growth] (10/20/2011) So targeting the enzyme  that converts AA to 5-HETE would make more sense than wondering what omega 6 and omega 3 ratio on the person’s plate might turn malignant cells back into benign ones. /speculation – The fat ratio in meals may have some effect  on slowing or speeding the growth rate of the cancer cells but it is unlikely to be able to change it back to benign. Some information suggests that malignancy might be preventable and that cancer metastasis might be reduced by avoiding animal products that are rich in free AA. donmatesz
AA forms part of the structure of membranes under normal conditions. AA can be converted from lecithin and combined with ethanolamine to become anandamide, an endogenous cannabinoid (eCB). Lab tests find free AA after it has been broken down from eCBs in response to inflammatory signals.
     The eCBs in times of health are part of the membrane structure and there would be little free AA. Controlling the diet for excess calcium and glutamates may help in addition to adding conjugated linolenic acid (CLA) and ginger. The omega 3s and omega 6s are groups of various chemicals that do not have the same functions and their risks and benefits may vary based on individual differences.
Adequate omega 3 fatty acid is important for heart health and mental health. They have been found helpful for depression, diabetes (ALA) and other diagnoses.
     /speculation/ Linolenic acid and omega 6’s may have gotten a bad name partially because larger research studies may not have excluded people with undiagnosed prostate or breast cancer. Their negative responses to a diet high in LA may have skewed the results of other people with normal tolerance for foods with LA or animal products rich in lecithin or AA (chicken, eggs and beef are the richest sources).
/speculation #2/ Over cooking the food source may increase the amount of free AA that is released. Differences in how foods were prepared for the different studies may have modified the results.
  1. A comparative study of tissue ω-6 and ω-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) in benign and malignant pathologic stage pT2a radical prostatectomy specimens.Schumacher MC, Laven B, Petersson F, Cederholm T, Onelöv E, Ekman P, Brendler C.  Urol Oncol. 2011 Mar 31. Department of Molecular Medicine and Surgery, Karolinska Institutet Department of Urology, Stockholm, Sweden.PMID: 21414816  []
  2. ***infertile men had more omega 6 (AA) and less omega 3  than fertile men. []
  3. ***supplementation with GLA in attempt to modify inflammatory blood chemistry. It worked somewhat.  []
  4. []
Disclaimer: This is provided for informational purposes only. Please see a health professional for individual health care purposes.