Colorectal cancer is the third most common cause of cancer related death in the world. Multiple lines of evidence suggest that there is an association between consumption of dietary fat and colon cancer risk. Not only the amount but also the type and the ratio of fatty acidscomprising dietary fats consumed have been implicated in the etiology and pathogenesis of colon cancer. Omega-3 (n-3) polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), such as docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), have been known to inhibit development of colon cancer by downregulating the expression of genes involved in colon carcinogenesis and also by altering the membrane lipid composition. Data from laboratory, epidemiological, and clinical studies substantiate the beneficial role of n-3 PUFAs in preventing colitis and subsequent development of colon cancer. In addition, recent studies suggest that some n-3 PUFAs can be effective as an adjuvant with chemotherapeutic agents and other natural anticancer compounds in the management of colon cancer.

In this review, we discuss chemopreventive and therapeutic effects of fish oil derived long chain n-3 PUFAs, particularly EPA and DHA, with focus on synergetic effects of which they exert when combined with chemotherapeutic agents and other natural compounds.

PMID: 28770178

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