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Omega-3s Aid in Cancer Battle

Posted Aug 28 2013 10:08pm

Previously, a number of studies suggest that long chain omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), inhibit cancer formation in vivo but their mechanism of action is unclear.  Zacharoula Nikolakopoulou, from the University of London (United Kingdom), and colleagues studied squamous-cell carcinoma (SCC), one of the major forms of skin cancer. In that squamous cells also occur in the lining of the digestive tract, lungs, and other areas of the body, oral squamous cell carcinomas (OSCC) are the sixth most common cancer worldwide.  In their experiments, the researchers grew cell cultures in the lab from several different cells lines to which they added fatty acids. The cell lines included both malignant oral and skin SCCs, along with pre-malignant cells and normal skin and oral cells. The team observed that omega-3 fatty acids induced cell death in malignant and pre-malignant cells at doses which did not affect normal cells, with the researchers positing the effect as partly due to an over-stimulation of epidermal growth factor, which triggered cell death.  The study authors submit that: “Our results show that, in part, [eicosapentaenoic acid] specifically inhibits [squamous-cell carcinoma] growth and development by … supporting the chemopreventative potential of [eicosapentaenoic acid].”

Zacharoula Nikolakopoulou, Georgios Nteliopoulos, Adina Teodora Michael-Titus, Eric Kenneth Parkinson, “Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids selectively inhibit growth in neoplastic oral keratinocytes by differentially activating ERK1/2.” Carcinogenesis, 26 July 2013.

  
Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) selectively inhibit growth and induce cell death in early and late-stage oral and skin cancers.
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Anti-Aging Forum MLDP Join A4M
Tip #192 - Stay Connected
Researchers from the University of Chicago (Illinois, USA) report that social isolation may be detrimental to both mental and physical health. The team analyzed data from the National Social Life, Health, and Aging Project, a nationwide US study involving 3,000 men and women, ages 57 to 85 years. They arrived at three key findings regarding the relationships between health and different types of isolation:

• The researchers found that the most socially connected older adults are three times as likely to report very good or excellent health compared to those who are least connected, regardless of whether they feel isolated.

• The team found that older adults who feel least isolated are five times as likely to report very good or excellent health as those who feel most isolated, regardless of their actual level of social connectedness.

• They determined that social disconnectedness is not related to mental health unless it brings feelings of loneliness and isolation.

Separately, Rush University Medical Center (Illinois, USA) researchers studied 906 older men and women, testing their motor functions (including grip, pinch strength, balance, and walking) and surveying their social activity, for a period of 5 years. Those study participants with less social activity were found to have a more rapid rate of motor function decline. Specifically, the team found that every one-point decrease in social activity corresponded to an increase in functional aging of 5 years, translating to a 40% higher risk of death and 65% higher risk of disability.

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