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Lipids. 1986 Apr;21(4):285-8.

Dietary polyunsaturated fat in relation to mammary carcinogenesis in rats.


High fat diets promote the development of mammary tumors induced in rats by 7,12-dimethylbenz(a)anthracene (DMBA), and polyunsaturated fats are more effective than saturated fats. This difference is related to the linoleic acid content of polyunsaturated vegetable oils, but the amount of linoleate required for maximum tumor promotion appears to be higher than indicated by earlier experiments. Comparison of the effects of a polyunsaturated vegetable oil (corn oil) containing linoleate with a fish oil (menhaden oil) containing polyunsaturated fatty acids derived from linolenic acid showed that higher dietary levels of corn oil increased the yield of DMBA-induced mammary tumors, while corresponding levels of menhaden oil had an inhibitory effect. This is further evidence that promotion of mammary tumorigenesis by polyunsaturated vegetable oils may be mediated by prostaglandins or other biologically active eicosanoids derived from n-6 fatty acids.

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