suggest that dietary fat plays a role in some cancers. But while
some fats promote tumor growth, other fats actually inhibit it,
according to Kent Erickson, chair of the Department of Cell Biology
and Human Anatomy at UC Davis.
can't lump all fats together," says Erickson. "There are
big differences between saturated and unsaturated fats."
each case, the mechanisms for tumor growth or reduction are not
well-understood. Erickson has been on a quest to unlock the riddle
of how dietary fats regulate tumor growth for over a decade. In
the 1980s, after the first epidemiological studies linked a high-fat
diet with an increased incidence of some cancers, he studied two
polyunsaturated fatty acids, omega-6 and omega-3.
acids such as omega-6 oils, which you find in most vegetable oils,
seem to promote tumor growth in animals, but omega-3 oils have the
opposite action,," he says.
health magazines a few years back bulged with articles about how
omega-3 oils could help cardiovascular health, including lowering
total serum cholesterol, and how they could inhibit tumor growth
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