Scientists Make a Major Breakthrough in Prostate Cancer Research

635622690850950671omega 3 hookweb.jpg

18 Mar 2015 --- Washington State University researchers have found a mechanism by which omega-3 fatty acids inhibit the growth and spread of prostate cancer cells. The findings, which are at odds with a 2013 study asserting that omega-3s increase the risk of prostate cancer, point the way to more effective anti-cancer drugs.

Scientists have long known that omega 3s reduce inflammation and have anti-diabetic effects, and some recently discovered how this happens. 

"But we're the first to show that they work this way in cancer," said Kathryn Meier, a professor of pharmacy at WSU Spokane. "The attention has mostly been on inflammation and diabetes but there has always been an interest in cancer, and we were the first to show this mechanism in any cancer cell at all. And we're using prostate cancer, which is the most controversial subject in omega 3s." 

A 2013 study in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute found that men with higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids in their blood had a greater risk of developing prostate cancer. It was not clear if the fatty acids came from food--certain fish, seeds and nuts are high in omega 3s--or supplements like fish oil. 

Working with prostate cell cultures, Meier and two students, Ze Liu and Mandi Hopkins, found the fatty acids bind to a receptor called FFA4, for "free fatty acid receptor 4." Rather than stimulating cancer cells, the receptor acts as a signal to inhibit growth factors, suppressing proliferation of the cancer cells. 

"This kind of knowledge could lead us to better treat or prevent cancer because now we know how it works," Meier said. The study also found that a drug mimicking the action of omega 3s can work as well or better than fatty acids in suppressing the cancer cells. 

The study appears in the Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics. 

Meier said it is still unclear if the effect can be obtained by taking dietary supplements like fish oil. Some people don't tolerate fish oil very well, she said. Moreover, the effect of fish oil could fade as it is digested, while data from this study suggest that an omega-3 drug needs to be in a cancer cell all the time to have an effect. 

"It's very difficult in dietary studies to tell how much to take or what form to take," Meier said. "Should you be eating fish? Should you be taking pills? But now we have a potential drug. Once you have a drug you can test very precisely whether it works or not in a certain disease and you would know exactly how much to give people." 

Related Articles

Nutrition & Health News

Dairy proteins take center stage at FiE 2017

12 Dec 2017 --- Exhibitors at FiE 2017 in Frankfurt showed a sustained focus on high protein concepts, with a number of notable innovations in the area of dairy-related ingredients. NutritionInsight looks at just a few of the offerings showcased at this year’s event.

Business News

Enzymotec and Frutarom merger gets shareholder green light

12 Dec 2017 --- The shareholders of Israeli specialty chemicals company Enzymotec Ltd. have approved by large majority the merger transaction between Frutarom and Enzymotec. The transaction was approved at Enzymotec’s General Meeting by 99.9 percent majority of shareholders present at the meeting and entitled to vote, Frutarom Industries Ltd. reports.

Nutrition & Health News

Relief from food allergies may come from antibody drug and food desensitization

12 Dec 2017 --- A clinical trial of 48 children with multiple food allergies which tested antibody drug omalizumab alongside food desensitization treatment resulted in more effective allergy relief compared to placebo, according to a study published in The Lancet Gastroenterology & Hepatology journal.

Nutrition & Health News

EVNol Tocotrienol may beat omeprazole in controlling gastric issues

12 Dec 2017 --- ExcelVite’s EVNol tocotrienol was found to be more effective in treating gastric growth factors in stress-exposed rats than omeprazole, a common medication used in the treatment of gastroesophageal reflux disease and peptic ulcer disease. This is according to a recently published study in the World Journal of Gastroenterology that suggests more investigation is warranted.
 

Nutrition & Health News

Energetic growth: Energy boosters add pep to the nutritional space’s step

11 Dec 2017 --- Busy schedules can cause consumers to go through an “energy crisis” – prompting their desire to reach for products that might offer some support to their energy levels. Energy boosters are certainly showing signs of growth in all regions tracked by Innova Market Insights. A CAGR in supplement launches of +208.8 percent in South America from 2012 to 2016 is particularly noteworthy, while Europe is top of the pile worldwide with 28.8 percent of its supplement launches having an energy claim in 2016 and its CAGR amounting to a strong +86.7 percent.

More Articles
URL : http://www.nutritioninsight.com:80/news/scientists-make-a-major-breakthrough-in-prostate-cancer-research.html