Science & Technology

Omega 3 which is a poison of cancer tumor

A 3D tumor that collapses within a few days thanks to the action of the well-known omega 3 (DHA, mainly found in fish) — this is an exceptional discovery by the University of Leuven. Fatty acid-hungry acidotic tumor cells bite into DHA, but fail to store it properly and literally poison themselves. result? They die. Credit: Copyright UCLouvain

So-called “good fatty acids” are essential to human health and are highly sought after by people seeking a healthy diet. Among the omega 3 fatty acids, DHA or docosahexaenoic acid is important in regulating brain function, vision and inflammatory phenomena.

In addition to these virtues, DHA is also associated with a reduced incidence of cancer. How it works is the subject of a major discovery by an interdisciplinary team of researchers at the University of Leuven (UCLouvain), which allows DHA and other related fatty acids to delay the development of tumors. We have just elucidated the chemical mechanism. This is a major advance recently published in leading journals. Cell metabolism..

Discovery Key: Interdisciplinary

In 2016, oncology specialist Olivier Feron’s UCLouvain team discovered that cells in the acidic microenvironment (acidosis) within a tumor replace glucose as an energy source for proliferation. In collaboration with UCLouvain’s Cyril Corbet, Professor Ferron demonstrated in 2020 that these same cells are the most aggressive and acquire the ability to metastasize away from the original tumor. Meanwhile, UCLouvain, a professor of bioengineering, Yvan Larondelle, who is developing an improved dietary lipid source, combined their skills in a research project led by PhD candidate Emeline Dierge. Tumor cells in the presence of various fatty acids.


A 3D tumor that collapses within a few days thanks to the action of the well-known omega 3 (DHA, mainly found in fish) — this is an exceptional discovery by the University of Leuven. Fatty acid-hungry acidotic tumor cells bite into DHA, but fail to store it properly and literally poison themselves. result? They die. Credit: Copyright UCLouvain

Thanks to the support of Fondation Louvain, the Belgian Cancer Foundation, and Télévietelethon, the team quickly identified that these acidic tumor cells respond in the opposite way, depending on the fatty acids they are absorbing. Within a few weeks, the results were impressive and amazing. “We quickly discovered that certain fatty acids stimulated tumor cells and other fatty acids killed them,” the researchers explained. DHA literally poisons them.

Fatal overload

Toxins act on tumor cells through a phenomenon called ferroptosis, a type of cell death associated with the peroxidation of certain fatty acids. The higher the amount of unsaturated fatty acids in the cell, the higher the risk of their oxidation. Normally, in the acidic compartment within a tumor, cells store these fatty acids in lipid droplets. This is a type of bundle in which fatty acids are protected from oxidation. However, in the presence of large amounts of DHA, tumor cells are overwhelmed, unable to store DHA, and oxidize, causing cell death. By using lipid metabolism inhibitors that prevent the formation of lipid droplets, researchers have been able to observe that this phenomenon is further amplified. This confirms the identified mechanism and opens the door to the potential for combination therapies.

In their study, UCLouvain researchers used a 3D tumor cell culture system called spheroids. In the presence of DHA, spheroids grow first and then decay. The team also administered a DHA-rich diet to mice with tumors. RESULTS: Tumor development was significantly slower compared to conventional diet-fed mice.

This UCLouvain study demonstrates the value of DHA in the fight against cancer. “For adults,” said UCLouvain researchers. “We recommend taking at least 250 mg of DHA per day. However, studies have shown that our diet provides only 50-100 mg per day on average. This is recommended. It is well below the minimum intake. “

Reference: June 11, 2021 Cell metabolism..
DOI: 10.1016 / j.cmet.2021.05.016



Omega 3 which is a poison of cancer tumor

https://scitechdaily.com/an-omega-3-thats-poison-for-cancer-tumors/ Omega 3 which is a poison of cancer tumor

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